Are Backyard Chickens Dangerous? (My Experience)

Backyard chickens can be a delightful addition to your home, but are there any risks involved? In this article, we’ll delve into the potential dangers of backyard chickens and provide guidance on how to minimize these risks to ensure the safety of both your family and your flock.

We’ll also explore related backyard concerns, such as the noise levels of backyard chickens and bee control. Join us as we reveal the facts about backyard chickens and help you make informed decisions about raising these feathered friends.

You Should NOT Get Backyard Chickens
Raising backyard chickens can be a fun and rewarding hobby.
However, there are potential health risks associated with handling chickens and their waste.
Proper hygiene practices can help reduce the risk of illness.
Chickens should be kept in a clean and well-maintained coop.
It is important to follow food safety guidelines when handling eggs from backyard chickens.

Do Chickens Smell?

The answer to this question is no!

The truth is that chickens are very clean animals, and they don’t smell like a barn or manure. Chickens have an amazing system of cleaning themselves by preening themselves all day long with their beaks, using their claws on the ground, drinking water and bathing in dust baths. 

The dust gives them a coating which helps protect them from parasites and other problems caused by bacteria. 

This natural process is called self-cleaning because it doesn’t require human intervention or any special tools to maintain it; all you need to do is make sure your chicken has access to food and water, as well as surfaces on which she can scratch her claws (like straw).

If you’re wondering whether backyard chicken eggs are safe to eat, you can rest assured knowing that they are! According to our guide on the safety of backyard chicken eggs, there is little risk of contamination as long as proper care and handling practices are followed.

Where Do You Get Chickens?

How To Get Chickens

Chickens are not difficult to find, but if you’re looking for a particular breed then you’ll need to do some research. If you want birds that lay eggs, they can be purchased at your local feed store. 

Chickens that lay brown eggs tend to be more expensive than those that lay white or other colored eggs, and some breeds fight less than others. Your best bet is probably the grocery store; by shopping online you can find deals on chicken supplies and even get free shipping!

Best Practices for Raising Backyard Chickens

Best Practices
Keep a clean and well-maintained coop
Practice good hygiene when handling chickens and their waste
Provide proper nutrition and care for chickens
Follow food safety guidelines when handling eggs
Monitor chickens for signs of illness

Where Do I Buy Them?

There are several types of places where one can purchase chickens: feed stores, farmers markets and even Craigslist (although it may be illegal). 

A good source of information regarding these locations is this website which has links to listings throughout the United States as well as contact information so anyone interested in buying their own backyard flock doesn’t need waste time searching.

How Much Does It Cost To Have Backyard Chickens?

The cost of having backyard chickens is largely dependent on the size of your flock. A small flock consisting of 2 or 3 hens can be maintained for $150 per year, while a larger flock will run you closer to $500 annually.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Feed: This can be one of the most expensive aspects of backyard chicken keeping, but there are ways to cut costs by purchasing in bulk and saving leftovers from dinner pastas or soups. 

You’ll need about 1 pound feed per week for each chicken at a cost around $5 per bag (about 8 pounds). With 10 hens, this adds up to an annual bill just under $200—but if you buy more than one bag at a time, that number will go down considerably!

Coop and run: The average coop costs between $500-$800 depending on its size and design; however, some models may include automatic door openers which can drive up prices significantly. 

Your run should be sized according to how many birds you want so they don’t feel overcrowded a good rule of thumb is 1 square foot per bird inside their house with 2-3 times as much space outdoors depending on weather conditions.

Such as heat or cold climates where large amounts would mean freezing temperatures during winter months might cause health problems among poultry inhabitants so keep that in mind when determining how much room they’ll need outside before building any structures

Are you considering raising backyard chickens? Our guide on the benefits of backyard chickens outlines the many advantages of keeping chickens, from a sustainable food source to a natural pest control method.

Can Chickens Catch Diseases I Can Catch?

Chickens can carry a few diseases that can be passed to humans. The most common is salmonella, followed by campylobacter and listeria. They can also carry toxoplasmosis, which is caused by a parasite that can cause flu-like symptoms in humans.

While these are relatively rare when compared to the more common diseases chickens spread among themselves (like coccidiosis), they do happen from time to time. 

In addition, chicken owners should be aware of other viruses and parasites that affect both humans and animals alike: avian influenza (bird flu) is one such example.

Health Risks Associated with Backyard Chickens

Health Risks
E. coli
Avian influenza

How Much Time Do You Have To Spend On Backyard Chickens?

Backyard chickens require a lot of care, so it’s important to know how much time you can realistically devote to them. 

If your schedule is packed and you rarely get home until after dark, then consider adopting a few hens for a friend or family member who has more time than you do.

Looking for ways to make your backyard more environmentally friendly? Consider raising chickens! Our guide on the benefits of backyard chickens for the environment explains how raising chickens can reduce waste, promote healthy soil, and even reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What Are The Legalities Of Having A Flock Of Backyard Chickens?

The legality of having a flock of backyard chickens is not just a matter of whether you have enough room in your backyard, or if there’s an ordinance that prohibits animals in your town. 

There are actually many laws that come into play when it comes to the keeping of animals and farmers should be aware of their local laws.

In some areas, you may need a permit for raising hens in an urban setting. Even if it’s not required by law, consider checking with your local zoning board as they may have restrictions against livestock like poultry being kept within city limits.

You’ll need to make sure that any fencing around your yard is high enough (at least 6 feet) so no predators can get inside and attack the chickens while they’re on their nests or while they’re out walking around looking for food (they might also try to scratch through fences).

What Sounds Do Chickens Make?

You might be surprised to learn that chickens are not noisy at all. They can make a variety of sounds, but most often they’re quiet, especially when compared with the squawking and crowing of other types of birds.

The main reason for this is that chickens do not have a vocal box like we do, so they don’t actually talk in human language. 

Instead, their calls are made by air flowing through their trachea (a tube connecting the mouth to the lungs) and out through modified feathers on their chests called “hackles” hence why some breeds have these feathers longer than others!

Did you know that there are many animals that can be raised in a backyard setting? From chickens to rabbits to bees, our guide on 11 animals that can be raised in the backyard provides an overview of the best animals to raise for food, fiber, or pollination.

Do Hens Lay Eggs Without A Rooster?

Yes! Hens are able to lay eggs without a rooster. That being said, chickens need a rooster to fertilize the egg and hatch them. If you decide to keep your hens without a rooster, they will continue to produce eggs but they will not be fertile and will not hatch into chicks.

It’s important that you know that you can have chickens without a rooster because some people don’t want them around their children or other pets in their backyard.

Will A Chicken Eat My Cat Or Dog Or Child?

Chickens are omnivores and will eat anything. They have been known to eat mice, snakes, insects, frogs and slugs. 

Chickens are not very smart so it is unlikely that your cat or dog would be on the menu for a chicken but if you have one of those fancy roosters that do kung fu and challenge cats to fights then maybe you should keep them locked up in a cage.

The bottom line is this: chickens are not predators so they won’t attack your child or pet unless it has been bred to fight other animals (which shouldn’t be happening anyway).

Will The Neighbors Complain About Odors, Noise, And Flies From My Flock Of Backyard Chickens?

If your neighbors are close by and you have a small flock of chickens, their complaints about odors, noise and flies from the flock may be warranted.

It’s not just the smell of chicken poop that will bother them; it’s also the odor of chicken feed and bedding (i.e., straw), which can last for several weeks after they’re removed from the pen. 

Both smells can be especially strong during warmer months when animals are more active outdoors and produce more excrement.

The good news is that these complaints will probably be limited to those living directly next door to you, as most people don’t mind the occasional “chicken chatter” or “rooster cry.”

Dealing with deer in your backyard can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to raise chickens. Luckily, our guide on how to keep deer out of your backyard provides practical tips and strategies for deterring deer from your property.


Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into how to raise chickens in your backyard. If you’re considering getting hens, we encourage you to do so! They are fun, easy to take care of and will provide you with eggs for years to come.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to learn more about backyard chickens and related topics:

Are Backyard Chicken Eggs Safe to Eat?: This article discusses the safety of eating eggs from backyard chickens, covering topics such as salmonella and nutritional benefits.

11 Animals That Can Be Raised in the Backyard: This article provides an overview of various animals that can be raised in a backyard setting, including chickens, goats, and bees.

Are Backyard Chickens Good for the Environment?: This article explores the environmental benefits of keeping backyard chickens, including reduced food waste and fertilizer production.

CDC – Backyard Poultry: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on the health risks associated with raising backyard poultry and offers tips for reducing the risk of illness.

Minnesota Department of Health – Backyard Poultry: The Minnesota Department of Health provides guidance for backyard poultry owners on how to protect themselves and their families from illness.

WebMD – Backyard Chicken Coops Can Pose Viral Threat: WebMD reports on a recent study that found that backyard chicken coops can pose a risk for spreading viral infections to humans.

How to Start a Backyard Chicken Flock: This guide from Backyard Chickens covers the basics of starting a backyard chicken flock, including choosing breeds and providing adequate housing and care.

Raising Chickens 101: How to Get Started: This HGTV article provides a beginner’s guide to raising chickens in the backyard, covering topics such as feeding, watering, and egg production.


Here are some frequently asked questions about backyard chickens:

Q: Are backyard chickens dangerous?
A: Backyard chickens can carry diseases such as salmonella and avian influenza, and they may also pose a risk of injury or property damage.

Q: What do backyard chickens eat?
A: Chickens require a balanced diet of protein, grains, and vegetables. Commercial chicken feed is a common option, but they can also be fed kitchen scraps and garden produce.

Q: How many chickens can you keep in a backyard?
A: The number of chickens you can keep in your backyard will depend on the size of your yard and any local regulations. Generally, it is recommended to provide at least 2-3 square feet of indoor space and 8-10 square feet of outdoor space per chicken.

Q: Do backyard chickens need a rooster to lay eggs?
A: No, hens can lay eggs without a rooster present. However, if you want fertilized eggs for breeding, you will need a rooster.

Q: How long do backyard chickens live?
A: The lifespan of a backyard chicken can vary depending on breed and environmental factors, but on average they live 5-10 years.