We always hear a lot of good stories about raising chickens, but little about the disadvantages of this business. As usual, there are two sides of a coin and today we are going to talk about the negative side of keeping a flock of chickens on your farm. The truth of the matter is that you will find it extremely difficult to maintain and raise a productive flock of chickens. So, what are the 5 disadvantages of raising chickens? Poultry farming has its own share of problems that everyone venturing into it must know. Some of these problems include the capital to start it, diseases and predators, the transmission of diseases from birds to humans, environmental conditions and zoning issues before starting your chicken keeping business.
Some people perceive this business in a way that portrays an image of several small birds confined into a small area or cage. Intensive agricultural practices differ greatly with the unethical ones and this is what brings confusion among poultry farmers.
Chicken products are consumed globally and their popularity seems to be increasing exponentially as more and more people realize their benefits. In our case, we shall dwell on the disadvantages of raising chickens as a way of creating awareness among the upcoming chicken owners.
This information will help them prepare adequately for any eventualities that may arise in the future. The truth is, nothing comes on a silver platter which is also the case with raising chickens. With that in mind, let’s narrow down our views on the top five disadvantages of keeping a flock of chickens on your farm.
5 Disadvantages of Keeping Chickens
1) It Requires a Substantial Amount of Capital to Get Started
- If you want to venture into meaningful poultry farming, you will need a large amount of money to get started. Likewise, this capital will have to cater to many things including the construction of the poultry structures, buying chicks, hiring some help and securing relevant documents that are necessary for this type of activity on your farm. On top of that, there are additional processing costs that you need to take into consideration before you even sell your first birds or chicken products. Luckily you can start with a family operation and grow to something bigger if you are ready to apply your patience.
- Why do we say that raising chickens requires a lot of capital? Here is a possible explanation; raising chickens in your backyard has its own expenses. The cost of each bird ranges from $3 to $30.
- Also, you will have to provide the same bird with a coop that suits its needs. This might cost you between $500 to $1000 depending on the number of birds and additional features you want to be included.
- In addition, you will find yourself spending not less than $15 on feed for 3 to 6 birds on a monthly basis. From these figures, you can work out the amount of money you should have before you start raising your first chickens.
2) Poultry Diseases are a Threat to your entire Flock of Birds
- Even though poultry diseases are somehow easy to manage, you don’t have control over them until the chickens are under your care. As a result, you will be in a better position to control and eliminate such diseases if you follow the right process.
- There are several types of health problems linked to chickens. However, these can be solved by simply improving their nutrition. Coccidiosis, fowlpox, fowl cholera, salmonellosis, and Newcastle diseases may affect your flock of birds during your time as a chicken keeper. But if you find the best way of solving this problem, you may end up saving your chickens in the long run.
- Furthermore, you should always be prepared to provide them with the right nutritional content in their diet to keep them healthy and resistant to diseases. In fact, this is the only possible way of managing common health problems in your birds. If you do it routinely and correctly, this issue will not be a disadvantage to you as a poultry farmer.
3) Risks of Chicken-to-Human Transmission of the Deadly Avian Flu
- The deadly avian flu strain is transmitted to humans from the affected birds. According to the World Health Organization, this strain is referred to as H5N1 and it’s highly infectious especially in chickens.
- The disease attacks the respiratory system of the affected birds and humans as well. Whereas, the transmission of this strain of avian flu from infected birds to humans is extremely rare. It may not impossible as you may assume. Even human-to-human transmission is a rare thing but when it happens, the outcome is something else.
- The mortality rate of avian flu to human beings always stands at 60 percent unless it is contained early enough. Hence, with proper poultry practices, the risk of chicken-to-human transmission of the H5N1 strain of the avian flu is virtually impossible.
4) Some Chicken Breeds May not Excel in Certain Environmental Conditions
- In theory, you can start your chicken farming business almost anywhere in the world today. But there is one major problem that may kill your dream of becoming a successful chicken farmer prematurely.
- This problem is the ever-changing climatic conditions. These alter nearly everything starting from the environment to weather conditions of a given location. Also, some breeds of chickens do well in cold weather while others thrive best in warm temperatures.
- So, you may end up experiencing some problems when it comes to the breeds of chickens you are intending to raise at a specific place. Therefore, if the weather conditions become too cold or too hot, some birds may develop health-related complications.
- Therefore, you must take into account the climatic conditions of the area you want to raise your chickens before you make up your mind about setting up your poultry farm. Check the optimal conditions required by each species or breed of chickens you want to keep on your new farm.
- Some chicken breeds are hardy and can survive almost anywhere. They don’t require much of your attention apart from water and food.
- Lastly, your chicken farming activities will only become successful if your birds can adapt well to their immediate environment.
5) Zoning Issues May affect Your Chicken Keeping Activities
- Depending on the size and reason for keeping your birds, some regions have a few jurisdictions.
- You must have evidence that your poultry farm meets each of the zoning and licensing regulations.
- Most of the regions or states require every chicken owner to follow all state, federal and local regulations. One of these regulations includes zoning requirements and any environmental stipulations available at the time of applying for the license.
- In addition, there may be a few best practices that you must follow. Failure to provide enough evidence about your compliance with the rules and regulations or an inspection. You will end up losing your poultry farming business faster than you started it.
What is the main determinant of the cost of producing chicken eggs on your poultry farm?
- The cost of producing eggs, especially from your chickens depends mainly on the type of care your birds receive. Therefore, this means that if you take good care of them, their productivity will show some improvement. But if you neglect them, their egg production will drop dramatically.
Does raising chickens on your farm or backyard consume your time and money?
- This depends on an individual and how best you can take care of your chickens. Therefore, you may reap great benefits from their products if everything falls in play.
Although many people think that raising chickens is a simple business, there is more than meets the eye. This type of investment needs commitment and enough capital to start. Just like any other investment, keeping chickens comes with its disadvantages. These can make you give up if you are the faint-hearted one. You should dedicate your time and capital to this business. You will stand a good chance to gain a lot in the future.
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