A lot of potential chicken keepers can be put off by all the myths that surround this ‘mysterious’ backyard animal… but fear not. Put your concerns to rest by reading if they are true or not, right here!! And rest assured, this is not only our opinion, but the opinion of millions of chicken keepers worldwide!!!

Are chickens hard to care for?

Oh God no… they mostly do their thing during the day and need far less ongoing care than a puppy or kitten. But they will need access to fresh, clean water and healthy, balanced food and eggs collected regularly (isn’t that why you got them anyway?) The most significant aspect of ongoing care will be to let them out daily (fresh air and exercise are important to healthy, happy chickens) and lock them up safely at night. Foxes in Australia are a real and present threat so keep your girls safe and keep them locked up overnight in a fox resistant/proof coop.

Having said all of the above, investing in a good setup initially will save you time and effort in the long run and make your chicken keeping adventure more enjoyable. Suburban Chooks endeavours to supply backyard chicken keepers with the best quality, low energy setups to keep your chooks healthy and happy with minimal effort from you and the family. Great quality feeders/drinkers, treadle feeders for high quantity food storage and rodent proof feeding and ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Openers are all available for purchase from our online store. The novelty of opening up or locking in your girls on cold winters nights or mornings wears thin quite quickly….

Are chickens really noisy?

In general, the answer is no… but as chickens all have different personalities some may be more talkative than others. Chickens make the most noise after they have laid an egg, as they want the world to know about this accomplishment but otherwise you don’t really hear from them… Happy chickens are quiet chickens as they have nothing to complain about.

I keep getting told that chickens carry diseases and will make me/Hubby/kids sick.

Any risks of salmonella are a food handling sanitary problem, not a chicken keeping problem. Wash your hands and 99.9% of concerns will be eradicated. Simple!

Do chicken smell? I’m worried they will stink and the neighbours will complain!

Chickens, like any animals, can smell if left untended and uncared for… but solutions to avoid smelly coops are as simple as deciding on the right coop design for the amount of chickens you will keep, how their poo will be treated and how to keep it all clean (for their sake as well as for any human). It’s seriously not hard, or millions of people would not be doing it…
Also, a dozen clean, fresh eggs can go a long way to keeping your neighbours happy… believe me.

I want to have chickens but I’m worried about attracting mice/rats. What do you advise?

Mice, rats and any other rodents are attracted to old and yucky food, so if you keep your chicken areas free of excess food they aren’t generally a problem that you will experience. We recommend that if you are going to give your girls scraps (or a mash) that you do so in the morning. This gives your girls time to eat the food before they go to bed, and if there is some left over it only takes a few seconds to scoop it up and throw it in the bin…
Food should be stored in appropriate containers to avoid predators eating their food (waste of money) or returning when they know when to get a good meal.
Treadle feeders are another great longer term alternative for avoiding attracting vermin to your chicken yard. They are a metal feeder which requires the chickens to step on a ‘tread’ to open the door to access feed. Treadle feeders also have the added bonus of holding 12kg-20kg of dry food and are perfect for larger flocks or more time in between feeder refills. Order yours now here.

I’m worried that chickens will fly or jump over our backyard fences. What do you think?

Chickens can and will fly short distances if they want to (which can be partly due to a breed characteristic or the individual chook temperament) or to get away from danger.  Most of the (standard) heavy bodied breeds like the Australorp and Light Sussex are said to be unable to fly. Most chickens won’t venture far from the coop once they have settled into their home area.

If you are particularly worried, or have an adventurous chook, you can clip one wing – this throws their aim off balance (so they can’t aim for the top of fences or tree branches) and often is enough to prevent them from continuously trying. There are alot of instructional videos and diagrams on the internet to help you with this (or we can show you when you come to visit us). And no, it isn’t painful to the chicken (if done properly)… much like cutting our nails.

Do I need a rooster for my girls to lay eggs?

This is definitely an old wives tale… you don’t need a rooster to get eggs. Producing eggs is natural for female chickens and will happen when the chickens reach their reproductive organs reach sexual maturity, which happens around 24-26 weeks of age. There is some variation in age dependent on breed and what season it is when they reach the magic age of egg laying.

Chickens 101