Friday, February 27, 2009

#4 How much work are you willing to put into looking after your birds?

#4 How much work are you willing to put into looking after your birds?

Looking after any kind of animal requires a certain amount of work. However chickens are one of the easiest animals to look after as they rarely get sick. They are very tough self sufficient animals. In fact they hardly need humans to survive. I say they hardly need humans because as long as your chickens have access to water, some food to eat and a place to spent the night they don't care if you are their or not.

Most breeds of chickens are highly resistant to illness. This most likely comes from thousands of years of living in filthy conditions with mankind. I have seen chickens drinking water that would kill you and I if we drank it. And they seem to love to eat the most disgusting rotten things they can find in the barnyard.

Most disease in chickens comes from overcrowding in large scale chicken farming operations. If you put 25000 chickens in a barn you are asking for trouble. For the small chicken owner who just has a hand full of birds in his back yard decease is rarely a problem.

Chickens are tough creatures in more than just decease resistance. I have seen them kicked by horses, fly through glass windows, fly into walls, chased by dogs, stay outside up in a tree on the coldest nights, get soaking wet out in the rain and so on. Sometimes they seem almost indestructible.

However some breeds are a little tougher than others and the toughness of the breed dictates how much work is required to keep them safe and healthy. As I have already said in previous posts the older more common barnyard breeds like Rocks and Rhode Island Reds are a little tougher than some of the small or fancy breeds. The fancy breeds like Cochins or Polish are a little harder to keep clean with all those fancy feathers and this makes them more susceptible to illness.

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