12 reasons you should not keep poultry

If you are new to chicken keeping it is really important that you get multiple sources of information.

It seems there are plenty of poultry keepers doing the things they blame the big companies for.

1. You're first thought was I can sell the extra eggs for profit.

Having a purely financial motive is going to lead to cut corners. Keep chickens because you want to.

Below is a few screenshots from a you tube video where the chicken keeper is feeding his hens on muddy ground covered in chicken shit. Contrast this with the image of an Asian keeper who is using bamboo troughs to feed his hens.

Below: Don't feed chickens off the ground - use a trough.

In this YouTube example this chap is fermenting whole grains (see below about the pointlessness of fermenting feed) and feeding his birds on muddy open contaminated ground. Just to squeeze a few dollars out of a few poor hens. With dirty equipment .

Below: Don't use dirty equipment.

Just to squeeze a few quid out of some hens.

2. You think it will be idyllic and have rose tinted spectacles.

So you have seen some cute chicks on twitter or Facebook or your mates have a few and you want some of that! It requires work and is never plain sailing. 

Below: Chicks are cute but they grow up fast.

3. You think fermenting all the chickens feed is a good idea. 

Your a bit late, chickens ferment their own feed in their digestive system. Fermenting always produces alcohol ( please spare me the lecture about lacto fermentation, it still produces alcohols) and fermenting plant matter produces methanol which is poison. 

Wet food is bad for chickens as it causes crop problems. None of the studies into fermented feed have ever shown any useful results from fermenting feed and Commercial farms would be using it if there was anything in it. 

Imagine if the commercial chicken business in the US could save 10% on it's feed bill by fermenting the feed, that must = billions of dollars a year. They don't do it for a reason.

It takes time and cost money and has no measurable benefits. I tested it for months with no benefits but then my chickens were properly fed to start with. 

Sprouting grains is quicker, easier and better in the long run.

Your hens probably seem happier because they are half cut all the time!

4. If you think the temperature of your incubator effects the ratio of hens to cockerels in your hatch.

That would be reptiles you are thinking off. Genetically the ratio of males to females in the avian world is 50% of each statistically speaking.

Or you sex your eggs (or chicks) with a weight on a piece of string or think eggs with pointy ends will hatch boys. If you believe either of these old wives tales you're a bit mad - nuff said.

5. You cannot get up in the morning to let them out, clean them out and lock them up at night.

You need enough time and commitment. Include in this letting them live in a mud bath.

6. If you are feeding too many treats.

Everybody wants their chickens to love them and come running to see them. It doesn't take a fortune in treats to train them and they just do not need them.

You need to feed and water them , it isn't difficult. To many treats is a real problem and expensive and likely to upset the digestive and egg laying cycle. Feeding insect protein is illegal in the EU and several other places. If you have got too much money buy some chickens from a charity for someone who needs them.

Below: Hen eating treats.

This is a good example of treat feeding, off the ground and small quantities.

7. You cannot afford it.

It can be done cheaply but needs outlay and a little thought. Include space (area) and time in this not only money.

Below: A muddy floor with chicken s feed all over it.

Cramped hens in a muddy pen. (again from a YouTube video)

8 If You cant be bothered to read up about keeping,  breeding and incubation before you get stuck in.

The number of problems that crop up on Facebook on a daily basis from people who run into massive problems because they couldn't be arsed to do a bit of research and have ended up in the shit. It always seems to involve chicks suffering to some extent. 

On a related note if you allow late or early hatchers you should be flogged in front a warmly applauding audience. Chickens have a 21 days incubation period for a reason and spreading it out benefits no one.

The same applies if you insist on getting all your information from 1 place. Triple check anything you read on social.

9. You think the word lock-down is cool and post to forums and social media about it.

Closing the vents on an incubator as the embryo's need more oxygen is madness. Suffocating animals is cruelty. 

10. You cant deal with vermin, parasites or objectionable side of chicken keeping. 

In the UK, and I'm sure a few other places as well, it is still a criminal offence not to deal with vermin like rats and you may be fined. 

Birds get parasites and they are easy to deal with and easier to prevent. If you cannot clean and treat the coop and dust for parasites you should not have poultry.

11. Your too much of a soft bugger and need to help every chicks hatch even if there weak and sickly.

I'll give it a chance. Well you are diluting the gene pool. There is a reason that chick is weak and sickly. Either it is genetic and your breeding problems into your flock or its environmental and they need looking after better.

12. You like your holidays too much. 

Some other poor sod is left shovelling chicken shit while you are away.