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Adventures in Urban Homesteading

About Chickens and Ducks

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Size

“Standard” hens weigh 4-6 pounds, and “bantam” hens weigh 1-2 pounds. Duck weight varies based on breed, but is typically between 2-6 pounds.

Diet

Kitchen scraps, most garden waste, commercial feed mixture, and grain. Fowl are omnivores.

Space Requirements

chicksAdequate shelter must be provided during the day and predator-proof shelter must be provided at night. At least 10 square feet of permeable ground space per bird is preferable. Fence should be at least 4 feet tall. Fowl will typically not fly over their fence because they prefer to stay with their flock, but their wings can be clipped if necessary.

Waste

Fowl manure is not toxic (unlike the feces of cats and dogs), and can be safely composted.

Risk to Humans

Female fowl do not bite or act aggressively toward humans. There has never been a case of avian flu in the United States, and chickens and ducks do not carry any diseases that aren’t also carried by wild birds.

Eggs

Sustainably produced eggs have numerous benefits over commercial eggs, including more omega-3 fatty acids and less cholesterol.

 

 

 

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