Wouldn’t it be great if you could wake up every morning to a heart breakfast make with ultra-fresh eggs? Sounds fantastic, right? And, it is! At least until your fine feathered friends get too old to lay them. Then what?
The backyard chicken craze began over a decade ago, as flocks of foodies, preppers and urban homesteaders started setting up coops, raising hatchery chicks and, a few months later, harvesting superfresh, free-range eggs. But what casual backyard chicken enthusiasts didn’t realize then is getting some of them in trouble now: a few years later, egg production slows way down. But the hens can live another decade. Now what?
These same folks who loved the idea of fresh eggs, have started abandoning their birds once the egg production drops off. It seems that many owners are “too chicken” to slaughter the creatures. So, officials in areas across the NY Metro area now find the abandoned critters wandering the streets. Some upstate farmers say that disowned chickens are even being dumped onto their properties in the middle of the night.
Some people are even giving up their chickens before they stop laying eggs — they just didn’t realize how difficult and expensive, raising chickens can be. As with any pet, raising chickens requires time and money, and some folks just aren’t willing or able to provide either.
So, before you head out to get a chicken as a pet, make sure you can put the time, effort and money into them, and that you’re willing to provide your feathered friends a comfortable home, even AFTER they stop laying eggs.