Thursday, November 04, 2010

Backyard Chickens in the neighborhood

I am all for people having chickens in the city, that really doesn't bother me. I wouldn't mind bigger lots with horses either. What I do have a problem with is people deciding to get chickens (or any animal really) who have no experience and are doing it because it's popular. Our neighbors 2 doors away were considering getting chickens last month and I was really hoping they would talk themselves out of it. As of yesterday I learned that they are planning on going ahead with their plan.
This family is so anti-animal it makes no sense why they we would get chickens. The wife hates all creatures (I have witnessed her animal freak outs on more then one occasion) and the husband is highly allergic. Their kids think that chasing dogs is normal and poking them in the eye is okay. They travel just about every weekend too.
The husband told me he had just gone to the hardware store and purchased some things for a chicken coop when I ran into him late yesterday afternoon. I asked what his wife thought of the whole plan and he said it was okay they would be outside. He then proceeded to tell me that they wouldn't get chickens until after their annual trip to Maui in December. He said he was hoping that someone would offer to change the chickens water bottle while they were out of town on weekends in exchange for eggs. He made it seem like chickens were super easy to take care of and obviously had no idea that they carry salmonella. Nor did he seem to understand that chicks can die at the drop of a hat.
I've already made my husband promise not to agree to take care of their chickens when they are out of town. I love fresh eggs but I don't want chickens and I am not going to watch someone else's because they shouldn't have gotten them in the first place.


Sonja said...

Hmm...Chickens may not be the best fit for this family, but he's right about some things. Namely, chickens ARE really easy to take care of. We often go out of town for a week at a time and the girls are happy campers for the duration of our trip. They have giant waterers and feeders so no assistance from neighbors is required. And, even if you're not eager to, I'm sure he'll have no problem finding neighbors that will happily collect the eggs while their gone. Our neighbors duke it out for the job. Eggs don't spoil quickly, either, so nobody really has to collect them all that frequently. [When we were in Hawaii for 8 days, they were collected once.]

Chicks are fragile but frankly, it's rather unlikely that he'll find them at feed stores in December anyway. Spring is the time when they're available at most places. You might point out to him that new chicks can't be outdoors for the first month of their lives so if his wife has problems with animals indoors...then they have a problem. Also, chicks won't lay eggs for many, many months. You could suggest that they acquire young pullets that can go outside immediately and start laying asap.

As for the salmonella issue...I trust my eggs way more than an egg from ANY other source (farmer's market, store, etc). And this is from a pregnant lady that eats a lot of raw cookie dough.

Luna Indigo said...

I really think they haven't done their research.
And I am pretty sure without proper hand washing you can get salmonella from a live chicken, that's what happened at PSC many years ago when they had chicks.
You silly, you aren't supposed to be eating raw cookie dough while pregnant!
We already have chickens in the neigborhood. 4 houses down from me, 2 from the people who want to get the chickens. The people who already have the chickens have to give away most of their eggs because their cholestorals went through the roof once they had chickens!
I just don't want them to expect me to watch their chickens. I have enough to do already. :-P