Backyard Chicken Flocks Bad for ... Chickens?

Backyard Chicken Flocks Bad for ... Chickens?

Stephanie Kinnear
Dec 16, 2009

We have this dream of owning a couple chickens. They'd live in the backyard, in an adorable coop, and we'd have enough fresh eggs to share with the neighbors. And we aren't the only ones—raising backyard chicken flocks is becoming a very popular idea. And that might be bad for chickens.

According to a recent press release we received from, the increase in backyard chicken flocks has lead to an increase in abandoned and unwanted chickens, especially roosters.

Hens are obviously much more desired when it comes to egg-production, but because identifying the sex of a chicken when it is just a baby is so difficult, many people end up with unwanted roosters. Now, it's becoming difficult for bird and animal sanctuaries to house or place the hundreds of roosters that are being abandoned at local shelters (or just abandoned on the side of the road).

And, abandoned roosters aren't the only problem—you can read Farm Sanctuary's full position statement on the issue here.

We're thinking twice now about our backyard chicken dreams. And, we know that if we do decide to eventually own a few chickens, we'll be doing a lot of research beforehand.

(Image: Flickr member Samdog licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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