The Omlet Blog

Chicken Keeping Myths

What’s stopping people from getting chickens? Today we’re busting some chicken keeping myths to ensure no one is staying away from these wonderful pets for the wrong reasons. Perfect to read up on if you’re trying to persuade a hen-hesitant friend, partner or parent!

 group of chickens outside omlet lenham chicken coop with automatic chicken coop door

Chickens smell

Chickens themselves are actually quite cleanly animals and will regularly carry out dust baths to get rid of any dirt in their plumage. Sure, they do get muddy feet sometimes, but it’s nothing that will smell. 

What smells is droppings and dirt that gets stuck in the coop, so if you carry out regular coop cleans you will never have to worry about unpleasant odours. With an easy clean chicken coop like the Eglus, getting your chickens’ home sparkly clean and fresh smelling will take you minutes!

You need a rooster to get eggs

Nope, not at all. Chickens will lay the same number of eggs whether there’s a rooster in the flock or not. However, cockerels are of course necessary if you want fertilised eggs for chicks. 

Chickens take a lot of time

Chickens, like all other animals, will take some time and commitment, but in comparison to most other pets they are incredibly self-sufficient. On a daily basis you will need to let them out of the coop, fill up their food and water and give them a quick health check. Other than that they will happily peck around in the garden by themselves. 

You will of course also have to keep their home nice and clean, but that is made quick and simple with an easy clean chicken coop, like Omlet’s Eglus. If you want to optimise chicken keeping even more, you can invest in an Automatic Chicken Coop Door that will let your flock out in the morning and tuck them up at night when they’ve returned to the coop. 

Chickens destroy your garden

This depends a bit on what chickens you have and how many, but yes, it’s true that a flock of hens cooped up on a small area might do some damage to your lawn. There are three ways to go about this. 

  • Let your hens free range as much as possible – over a larger area their pecking will barely be noticeable.  
  • Get a portable chicken coop which you can move around the garden as often as you like. If you move it a few times every week, your chickens won’t have time to ruin the grass.
  • Create a hen specific part of the garden, with a larger Walk in Chicken run or chicken fencing. That way, even if the hens do scratch up some of the grass, you can decide where they do it.

chicken pecking at omlet chicken peck toy

Chicken manure is too strong to use in the garden

Quite the opposite! Chicken manure is one of the best fertilisers there is, and having a steady stream of it coming from your coop will have a hugely positive impact on your garden.

That being said, you should always compost chicken droppings before using it on your flowers or vegetables. Because it is so strong and powerful, fresh manure might actually burn your crop.

Chickens need a lot of space

Obviously the space you need depends on the size of flock you’re planning on, but in general most chickens will be happy in the average sized garden. 

Ideally the space where you’re keeping your chickens should be fenced off, to prevent them wandering into the neighbour’s garden and laying any precious eggs there. 

Grass isn’t essential either, if you haven’t got a big lawn. A layer of wood chippings to rummage about in will provide your hens with something to scratch on, and wood chippings have the right type of surface underfoot.

Chickens are noisy

You don’t need to worry about this one. Chickens make noises, some breeds more than others, but it’s a pleasant clucking and purring even the grumpiest of neighbours won’t object to. Cockerels are a different kettle of fish, they can be pretty loud, but as you’ve already found out, you’ll be fine having only hens. 

Chickens will attract rats

Chickens themselves will not attract rodents to your garden, mice and rats are in fact often scared of chickens and their sharp beaks. The problem here is the food; chicken feed and corn left on the ground can be difficult for pests to resist. You can prevent them from getting interested in your chickens’ home by keeping feed in airtight containers and giving your flock snacks in treat holders and peck toys that are more difficult for other animals to get to. We’ve written a whole other blog about how to keep rats away from your chicken coop.

This entry was posted in Chickens

3 replies on “Chicken Keeping Myths”

Astrid Beck says:

Chickens are a true pleasure to keep. It is extremely rewarding to have them around. They are funny, entertaining. They are friendly and really happy yard workers.

Michael Lennon says:

I was crawling with rats until I started feeding wild cats they have moved in now .they get on great with chickens

Ann Brookes says:

I thought chickens couldn’t be moved at the moment because of bird flu.

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