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Keeping chickens indoors?

 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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I have a small 8x8 loft closet that I am not going to be using in my house, I was thinking that I could get three inches of light weight soil and make a 3x8 mini chicken run. I could bring in clippings of grass and have red wiggler worms in the soil to decomp anything the chickens dont eat so it doesnt rot. The chickens love to eat the worms as a protein snack! As for the breed of chickens I have a liking to the silkie bantam on a socially acceptable level. (it looks like a ball of puff, not a chicken) their eggs are small and they arent the fastest layers, but Im not raising a family, Im a single guy, so 1-2 small-medium sized eggs from 6 chickens is a pretty good fit. I could keep a rooster outside the run and bring him in when the hens egg production bottoms out to make new chicks, let the chickens brood on their eggs and raise the new chicks. When the chicks are independant I can remove and eat the old hens for healthy organic meat!

What do yall think about raising chickens indoors with this setup?




 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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Egg size comparison, #11 is a white silkie bantam, coin is a quarter.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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My son has raised silky bantams. They are cute, well behaved, and quiet. Raising them indoors is going to be dependent on YOU and how well you maintain the litter.

I wouldn't be using soil, I would use pine shavings or sawdust (especially if you can find a FREE source) and change it regularly. Very similar to hamsters, rabbits, etc., in a colony/group setup.
 
Adam Old
Posts: 18
Location: Miami, FL - Zone 10b
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I recommend against it. Chickens and the mites that live in their feathers can be super allergenic--inside is much worse than outside.
 
Marsha Richardson
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As someone who has kept a few chickens in the house, I would not recommend it either -- the dander from chickens gets everywhere and clogs up everything, including lungs. Providing the correct amount of light in the right spectrum, and a balanced diet is also difficult in complete confinement. Not that it can't be done, just isn't much fun for you or the chickens. Fresh chicken manure will burn earthworms and our chickens don't even like to eat earthworms so that might be a problem as well, not to mention the smell. In some areas it is illegal to keep chickens in the house but I have friends that have pet chickens they keep in the house using a big parrot cage to roost in at night and chicken diapers for during the day (don't laugh, you can buy them on line). The hens make fabulous pets.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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I agree as well. No chickens in the house. I had the bright Idea to raise a flock of chicks inside while the weather was still cold this March and April. My biggest issue was DUST. I had a nice layer of pine shavings and all the amenities for happy chickens, but every time one of them would ruffle it's feathers or attempt to fly, the entire room would immediately be filled with dust. After 5 weeks I had enough and we put them outside in the new coop. Thankfully they were in the laundry room with an exhaust fan in the window so a lot of the dust immediately went out the window. Even still, there's a quarter inch of dust behind the washer and dryer as a reminder of the "trials of homesteading". I think if they had to stay in there another week my wife was going to flip out.
 
John Polk
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The number 1 cause of chicken illnesses and premature death is respiratory problems. Besides breathing, their lungs also perform other functions, including keeping them from overheating in warm weather. Living in an indoor environment could drastically effect their health, especially if dust was allowed to accumulate.

Most creatures also need a certain amount of sunshine. Windows do not provide their requirements.

I would not raise chickens indoors.
When chicks mature to the point that they can survive outside, that is where they should be.

 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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well phooey, I guess I am going to have to wait for the chickadees then
 
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