A Horse Lover’s Thoughts on Chicken Keeping: Chapter 2

The first and most pressing question that quickly emerges when you do research on chicken keeping is how best to house and, to use a horse metaphor, to corral them. This is a concern as far as I can see because it is important not only to the quality of life of the chickens but of the people.

One main difference between chickens and horses is that chickens can conduct bad things like salmonella and chicken poop is much “hotter” than horse manure. On the one hand, keeping chickens completely confined is not the best for them and makes for more intensive clean up. On the other hand, letting them roam completely free means that the droppings are more spread out but the chickens would be everywhere. I am not sure how my OCD will be with chickens. This is probably my biggest question.

Another thing I have learned that surprised me is that chickens do not really range that far. Chickens are imprinted on their humans and they love them. They want to be with you! Apparently many new chicken keepers start out giving the chickens free run of their yards and the chickens take over the porch or deck where they are willing to roost on anything that works just to be close to their people.

Shed for Chicken CoopI had already decided that I was not going to let them in the yard or keep them near the house because I have a great shed near the horse barn; but this confirmed my thinking on the matter. However much I come to like or enjoy my chickens, I certainly do not want them to be that close as companions!

It is good to know that if I leave a chicken gate open, they won’t go as far as the horses would…


About Pathfinder Pursuits

Camille is a licensed clinical social worker and writer. She is the author of the Quincy the Horse children's books.
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4 Responses to A Horse Lover’s Thoughts on Chicken Keeping: Chapter 2

  1. Michelle Spohn says:

    So you did the research, when r u getting your peeps!!!!

  2. The last line had me giggling all to knowingly well… My Arab in his younger days decided to gallop to the next county with a bug in his britches. Granted its only a few miles away, but chickens wouldn’t!

  3. Cindy Lewis says:

    some folks on the next road over had some chickens that crossed the road to go in the neighbor’s garden. i knew they did that so i always watched for them and slowed down. but one day a rooster ran in front of me. i hit the breaks and swerved but his head hit the bumper and that was enough. they weren’t home so i left him on the steps and went back later to tell them what happened. i hope your chickens are far from the road because that made me cry. been thinking of getting chickens too but have feral cats and coyotes out here. don’t know if that would be a problem. sorry no caps but i’m lazy when it comes to this typing stuff. enough work just to find the letters! good luck and enjoy. and that’s the main thing. if it’s too much work and you can’t enjoy them then they won’t be happy either. 🙂

    • Pathfinder Pursuits says:

      I wish I could go without caps too sometimes! Yes. I am worried about predators. We have a lot of
      feral cats and hawks. Probably other stuff that I have not even seen. I am not going to start them
      off running free. I am going to build a run beside the garden and horse manure area with what chicken
      wire.We have a fairly busy road as well….


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