15 Chicken Keeping Mistakes to Avoid

15 Chicken Keeping Mistakes to Avoid from Farming My Backyard

No, these aren’t my chickens.

 In general chickens are pretty easy.  Even if you have no experience taking care of an animal a little reading can get you ready prepped for basic chicken care.  They are versatile and work in many different locations, from country, to city.   However, it is possible to make mistakes.  Here’s a list of chicken keeping mistakes.  All of these have been made either by me or my neighbors.   Hopefully you can avoid a few of these.

  • Bring them home before you finish their coop
  • Melt your brooder with your heating lamp
  • Don’t check the chicks for pasty butt
  • Leave your chicken food out for the rats
  • Make  your coop impossible to clean
  • Leave your coop open at night for a raccoon buffet
  • Get more birds than you have space to keep
  • Get the wrong breeds for your climate
  • Keep them in too small of an area
  • Let them roam about the neighborhood
  • Let them eat poisonous plants in your yard
  • Buy meat birds without a plan to butcher
  • Keep an illegal rooster in a city neighborhood
  • Make your mobile chicken coop too heavy to move

And the number one mistake of all…

Don’t learn from your mistakes.

Wondering if chickens are right for you?  Here’s why you need chickens.  

New to chickens?  These are my favorite chicken books!  Feel free to use one of our affiliate links below. 🙂

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Article Name
15 Chicken Keeping Mistakes
Are you guilty of these 15 chicken keeping mistakes? Make sure you don't commit the worst one of all.
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Posted in Backyard Chickens and Poultry
14 comments on “15 Chicken Keeping Mistakes to Avoid
  1. Diane Karrol says:

    Congrats on your ‘mini farm’! We have a third of an acre in the Woodstock neighborhood.
    I got 7 chicks last year. One ended up being a rooster, found a home for him. He was a Polish Crested and beautiful, wish I could have kept him. The girls are doing fine, 4-5 eggs daily.
    We have been in our home 22 years and love the neighborhood.
    The 15 points were very informative, wish I would have known them before starting.

    • Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard says:

      Oh, your rooster does sound pretty. Sometimes I’m bummed about the rooster ban in the city, but other times I’m glad… Yay for happy chickens!

  2. matt held says:

    I wish I would have found this site years ago!I started w/18chickens well due to my female golden lab that was reduced to 9 w/in 1wk!Gave her to a good home away from my chickens. over the next year 2more died?!?so I have seven left, 1 is a rooster(americana).The others are 2game hens,3 rhode island reds,1 americana out of those I am getting only 1 egg daily from the red.I don’t know which one is laying and have not the patience to sit there for the day to watch!!!r the money for a camera!I feel like getting rid of the BUNCH!!!!

  3. Teleia says:

    Ha ha. I didn’t do any of those. Except the last one. ?

  4. Darrin says:

    Hi there, thank you for sharing the list you have put together.

    I started with a rooster I found abandoned at the river. He had been attacked by a dog and was in need of some care. After a week or so he started crowing and we eventually received a letter from the local Council. I did a Google search on how to stop a rooster crowing but the only two options were an operation, or Velcro strangulation. The operation is extreme and many birds die during the procedure, and the strangulation leaves the rooster making a strangled crowing sound (you can hear them on YouTube videos).

    I came up with another solution and so far it has stopped Boris from crowing.

    Now he has a hen to keep him company and if he does crow I will tweak my crow-stop solution.

    • Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard says:

      Interesting. I’m not familiar with any humane ways to prevent roosters from crowing. Our next door neighbors have an illegal rooster and they may not realize how well the rest of us can hear it crowing throughout the day, even though it has a flock of six hens as companions.

    • Jane Doe says:

      Yeah…. I have 20 hens and 1 rooster and he NEVER.SHUTS.UP. I’m in town but there is no rule against having roosters. Still, I went to the neighbors I like (the ones who don’t already have 15 mini schnauzers barking all night long) and told them if Cogburn got on their nerves to just let me know and he’d be in the crockpot that night. Whether he doesn’t bother them or they just can’t bring themselves to be the instrument of his relocation to the dinner table I don’t know, but no one complains. 😀

  5. Anthony says:

    The only real mistake I made was thinking I could build the perfect coop on the first try. While the coop I built was very beautiful and functional, I found that I would recommend not putting as much into the first one. Like anything hind sight is 20/20 and I have made several mods and additions that customize our coop for our girls, the yard, and us. What I have found a lot of on line builds are geared for people with little or no construction experience and resources. What I have is room for 30+ chickens and ducks, that morphs to the seasons. It takes very little effort to clean and automated light vent and heat.
    But i still want to demo this and build a better one, because I always have something that could be better

  6. Ellen says:

    Hi Kathryn! I was about to pin this article to my pinterest board when I thought “Hey, that house looks familiar!” I live on the Oregon Coast but make semi-frequent trips to Eugene to go shopping. Last weekend, we were driving around Eugene when I saw a white chicken duck through a picket fence in a residential area. Now I see you live in Oregon as well. Did you take this pic in Eugene? If so, that would be amazing.

    • Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard says:

      That’s too funny. We’re in Portland, so it wasn’t us. But I must have a twin down on Eugene!

      I did have a neighbor see the pin and recognize our neighborhood once.

  7. We just got our first chickens. Thankfully we’ve avoided most of those…except checking for patsy butts–what is that?!
    I can’t wait to blog about our first eggs, which should show up in the next couple of weeks!

    • Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard says:

      Pasty but is when the chicks’ poop dries and covers their vent. It has to be very carefully washed off or they could die. Sounds like your birds have outgrown that stage.

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Welcome! I’m Kathryn and I'm creating a tiny urban homestead in Portland, Oregon. Our 1/10th acre lot includes gardens, chickens, ducks, and rabbits. If you want to create an urban homestead please subscribe for email updates and let us help inspire you with baby steps to farming your backyard.
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