The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

August 20, 2013

Backyard chickens? A hard-boiled assessment

“Eat local” is the foodie mantra, and nothing is more local than an egg from your own backyard.

That enticement has led many city dwellers and suburbanites to consider putting up a coop and keeping chickens. The online community BackYardChickens.com, for example, has more than 200,000 members, about half of whom have joined in the last two years.

But what’s the cost in time and money — and what will the neighbors think?

Sandy Schmidt of Silver Spring, Md., compares the time required for basic chicken care to that for a more familiar pet: “It’s about like having a cat,” she says. “Make sure they have food and water every day, scoop out the coop — like a litter box — and let them out of the coop.”

One big difference, though, is that your neighbors may never even see your cat, while many people worry about the smell and noise of chickens.

Rob Ludlow of BackyardChickens.com thinks these concerns aren’t usually relevant to the small size of the average backyard flock. After all, he says, “What if everyone thought owning a dog in your backyard would smell and sound like a dog kennel?”

Still, neither dogs nor chickens are silent, so consideration is important. Roosters make most of the noise and aren’t legal in most places, so be aware that if you decide to start with chicks, the sexes can’t always be distinguished at birth. You can avoid this problem by getting adult hens, or make sure you get a breed where the sex differences are obvious.

“There are about four or five breeds out of two or three hundred that can be sexed at birth, just by looking at the color,” says Tyler Phillips of Rent A Coop in Potomac, Md.

Even hens, however, can turn out to be more talkative than expected, as Lisa Sandbank of Santa Monica, Calif., found out.

Text Only
Lifestyles
  • Off to market: Fulton Buy-Way yard sales are Aug. 8 and 9

    Flea market fans and bargain shoppers will once again make their way to Fulton.

    July 31, 2014

  • The Clinton Herald Jim Miller Low-cost, free cellphone options for seniors DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling SeniorDEAR SELDOM: For financially challenged seniors who only want a cell pho

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • School supplies offered at events

    With students going back to school soon, Clinton families will have two opportunities to receive free back-to-school supplies.

    July 30, 2014

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • YWCA offers lifeguard training

    CLINTON — The YWCA will offer lifeguard training in August.The course will be held from Aug. 4 to 10 at the YWCA. This 30-hour class will meet from 5 to 9 p.m. for four weeknights and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. A possibility of adding a class from 1

    July 25, 2014

  • GPS race Teams race to complete challenges THOMSON, Ill. — A challenge in August will pit teams against each other to complete a series of challenges.The event will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Thomson. Armed with GPS units, teams

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Habitat for Humanity hosts fundraiser

    CLINTON — Habitat for Humanity will host a fundraiser in Thomson, Illinois.The Clinton County group will showcase Laid Back Luau from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at Heirloom Cafe in Thomson. The event will feature games, prizes, music train rides for

    July 25, 2014

  • Fire departments undergo grain bin rescue training OMAHA — The Goose Lake and Lost Nation Volunteer Fire Departments each have received lifesaving grain bin rescue equipment through a donation from Farm Credit Services of America.Goose Lake received its equipment July 14 and Lost Nation on July 15. E

    July 24, 2014

  • ADM donates $75K for fire boat purchase CLINTON — Archer Daniels Midland Company has donated $75,000 to the city of Clinton for a new fire and rescue boat for the Clinton Fire Department.The boat will help the fire department respond to fires, administer emergency medical services and resp

    July 24, 2014

  • Students get first-hand look at non-profits CLINTON — An upcoming event will showcase Clinton area’s non-profits to incoming Ashford University students.The second Fresh START (Serving to Achieve Results Together) event will be held Saturday, Aug. 16. Students and staff members will serve at v

    July 23, 2014

Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.