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Raising chickens a combo of work and fun

Raising backyard chickens for fresh eggs and meat requires more than simply buying a few and putting up a fence behind the house. There are proper ways to house them, feed them, take care of them and keep them safe.

Hope Hutchinson, a master gardener with the Merrimack County Cooperative Extension, will discuss all of these things, as well as the fun aspects of owning chickens, at the Boscawen Town Office on Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Hutchinson said raising chickens is becoming more popular, but its important for people to research their own town ordinances on the number of chickens allowed before going out and purchasing them.

What’s the appeal of raising chickens?

First of all they’re quite fun. They’re comical, they’re great to watch. The people who want the fresh eggs also want the manure for the gardens, so they’re twofold.

Can they get rowdy/loud?

Roosters do tend to be loud and some breeds of chickens tend to be more boisterous. Your biggest problem with having chickens in your neighborhood is all the sudden the predators come around. It could be a hawk, it could be an owl, a weasel, your neighbor’s dog.

Can kids handle them?

Just like any animal they need to be supervised around chickens, especially small children; they tend to put their fingers in their mouths, and chickens tend to be a little dirty.

Are there health risks?

There’s internal and external parasites that come along with chickens that people need to be concerned about; there are other communicable diseases that can be transmitted. It’s a house keeping issue.

What else should people know?

Most (people) don’t understand that come winter time they’ll realize ‘Oh no we have to traipse through snow’ or ‘Oh no we have to worry about frozen water.’ People who get these chickens really need to think about the year round problems, and joys, that come with owning chickens.

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