We are no Adam and Jamie, but we do enjoy busting common myths about raising your backyard flock. All the same excitement, but none of the explosions!
This is most likely the most common myth we hear, and one of the most common questions we get asked. Chickens themselves do not produce any smelly odors, and neither does a well-maintained coop! By making an effort to consistently clean your coop, you will eliminate fecal odor while adding to a nutrient rich compost.
This myth is right up there with the first one! Hens will lay eggs regardless wether or not there is a rooster in their flock. This is actually a good thing too, because many townships allow homeowners to keep hens but not roosters because of their noisy reputation. While there are benefits to having a rooster in your flock, fresh eggs are not one of them.
It is true roosters are quite vocal and can be very noisy. Many townships and communities prohibit them for that very reason, so make sure you check your local laws and regulations. Hens, however, are fairly quiet. If you'd like to get scientific, a clucking chicken is measured at 60-65 decibels, or about as loud as two humans talking. Compared to barking dogs, car alarms, and the neighbor kids garage band, that's pretty quiet.
According to Lisa Steele, poultry expert and creator of the ever popular Fresh Eggs Daily, "chickens don't carry any more risk of disease than a dog or cat. In fact, they love to eat ticks and other pesky critters known to transmit diseases like Lyme disease, tapeworm, and heartworm." She continues to explain, "While salmonella can be transmitted to humans through poultry dander and feces, simply washing your hands after handling the chickens keeps the risk of infection minimal."
Predators and rodents are already living in rural and urban areas, and they are no more attracted to your chickens than they are to wild birds, rabbits, squirrel and other smaller animals. Elevated coops and wired runs keep your flock safe and potential predators at bay!
While brown eggs may seem more “natural” because of their hue, these eggs simply come from different breeds of chickens than white eggs do. In fact, the largest factor of an eggs nutrient content is the hen’s diet. According to a study conducted by Mother Earth News magazine, a free-roaming chicken that consumes grass and bugs will lay eggs with less cholesterol and saturated fat and more Vitamin A and E, beta-carotene and Omega-3s than a chicken fed purely commercial corn/grain-based foods.
If there was one myth I wish was true, it would be this one! However, the average chicken produces four to five eggs a week, depending on the chickens breed, age, health and environment. Hens will generally start laying eggs around five to six months, but will dramatically slow down production after two years.