Pros: My family loves eggs. I like to bake. An added bonus would be knowing the hens providing our eggs are treated humanely. . . Plus, new pets! And as if God were listening to me, our city council recently approved chicken-keeping. So we’d be legal and carbon footprint friendly, with a very local source of garden fertilizer. Yay!
Sounds good, what’s stopping you, Faith?
Cons: I’m fearful we can’t keep them safe. We live in an area with lots of green space. We have coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks, red-tailed hawks and even some eagles. And cats that are allowed to roam the neighborhood.
I don’t want to find the bloody remains of my pet chickens strewn across the yard. Worse, my children could find them before I did.
Of course, we’d get a sturdy chicken coop and keep them in at night. But is that enough? Chickens aren’t exactly Rottweilers in the self defense department, and the death of small, helpless creatures make me feel really bad. We also don’t have a fully fenced yard, only a fenced vegetable garden where I’d like them to eat all the bugs.
My question to you: With reasonable precautions, how likely is it that we can keep a couple chickens safe in our suburban setting? I’d really appreciate any feedback from those of you who’ve kept chicken (recreationally, if that’s the right term?). How have you kept chickens safe? Can this work, or should we just stick to house cats?