backyard chickens.

backyard chickens.
in january, cnn reported that high egg prices inspired people to keep their own chickens. but watch out! backyard chickens can be a health risk if you’re not careful
  • chickens can carry salmonella on their bodies and in their poop
  • if you touch them and don’t take proper precautions you could get sick
  • people w/ weak immune systems should be especially careful
  • you can keep chickens safely, it just requires attention to detail
in 2022 the cdc linked 2 deaths and 225 hospitalizations to outbreaks of salmonella in backyard poultry
  • in 2022, more than 1,000 ppl got sick from salmonella via backyard flocks
  • it’s important to be super careful w/ these birds. wash your hands and don’t snuggle them!
  • keep a close eye on kids
  • and maintain a strong boundary -- no chicken stuff in the house!
but said the cdc majorly exaggerates the danger. you’re way more likely to contract salmonella from eating poorly handled food. why doesn’t the cdc make a fuss about that?!
  • of the 1.2m estimated annual cases of salmonella, a million are caused by food
  • the remaining cases are largely from pets like guinea pigs and turtles
  • backyard chickens are hardly a blip on the salmonella radar
  • the cdc should put more energy into warning ppl about the risks of eating bad food or using a public toilet!
but. . . you might not be saving much money. said that if you care for your chickens properly, it’s actually more expensive than buying eggs. but! it’s still worth it, it’s better for both you and the animals
  • taking proper care of chickens requires a lot of time and money
  • but you get paid back w/ healthy eggs and a clean conscience
  • the life of a factory bird is pretty bleak
  • those birds are also more likely to get salmonella infections bc they’re so cramped in
tho coopdesignplans argued you can break even after a few years, depending on what kind of coop you choose
  • in year 1 you def won’t break even bc of the costs of getting started
  • but the overall net costs depend a lot on what kind of coop you put in
  • ofc it also matters how many eggs you usually eat and whether or not you buy organic
the real reason to keep your own chickens is the quality of the eggs, said backyard eggs just taste so much better, and they’re also way more nutritious
  • eggs offer a lot of protein and vitamins w/ just a few calories
  • and bc backyard chickens typically have a much healthier diet, their eggs are more nutritious than factory-farmed eggs
  • backyard eggs have 75% more beta carotene, 25% more vitamin e, and up to 20x more omega-3s!
  • they also have much better flavor
there are other benefits too, wrote you can use chicken poop as fertilizer, chickens eat pesky bugs, and kids can learn important lessons by caring for animals
  • chicken poop contains a lot of nitrogen which is great for soil
  • chickens eat bugs, so they help w/ infestations
  • they can also be super friendly
  • and kids learn responsibility by making sure the chickens have what they need
they get a bad rap for being stinky, but explained that it’s not the chickens themselves, it’s their pee and poop! keep that coop clean and it’ll be fine
  • poop is obvio smelly, and the ammonia from pee can get stinky pretty fast
  • coops should have good air circulation and be cleaned regularly to prevent bad odors
  • it’s also a good idea to bed the coop w/ straw or wood shavings
raising chickens is a labor of love, wrote sometimes they get sick, preyed upon, or wreck your garden. but in the end it’s worth it!
  • there’s no shortage of reasons *not* to own chickens: the mess, the noise, the germs, the $$, the time investment, to name a few
  • but they’re a real joy to be around. every chicken has their own personality
  • it feels good to know where your food comes from and to know the chickens are cared for