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Pros and Cons to Having a Chicken Pen When Selling

by Tammy Emineth on Mar 23, 2020

Have you been noticing a lot of people getting chickens in their backyard lately? It's a growing trend even in metro places like Seattle and Chicago. While there are some city ordinances and rules, having a chicken pen, with chickens, of course, may or may not be a good idea if you're planning on selling your home. Let's discuss some of the pros and cons of a backyard chicken house or pen and the ramifications when selling the property.

In most cities, even smaller cities, there are rules about how many chickens one property can maintain. Typically that's around 4 to 6 chickens and usually, roosters are not allowed. Roosters are the loud ones and most of your neighbors don't want to be woken up at 4 AM by a roosters crow. But, hens, the ones that lay the eggs, can be a great addition to any backyard as long as it is protected. While some homeowners may not follow the rules as closely as others, some considerate as more of a guideline. You know, those people that get into the 10 items or less checkout stand with 11 or 12 items. If it's not violating homeowner association rules or bothering your neighbors, most people don't mind if you have a few chickens wandering in your backyard but here are some things to know.

Protection.

Whether you are planning on staying in the home for years or looking to sell your property, homeowners and potential buyers will want to know that the chickens are protected. They should have some sort of protected, raised chicken coop that they can comfortably feel safe and to sleep every night. Better yet, if this housing unit can be closed up, your chickens will feel even safer and warmer, especially on cold, winter nights.

Be aware of predators in your area. Raccoons, rats, and opossums all can be a nuisance and/or predator to your chickens. Raccoons will tear up a chicken in no time and unless your yard is completely fenced, coyotes can come in and snatch a chicken in the middle of the night and take off leaving no trace.

Benefits.

Of course, the main reason most people get chickens is because of the eggs. There's nothing like having farm fresh eggs every morning, so long as your chickens lay. Chickens under stress tend to give up laying until they are unstressed so protection from predators is essential to keeping them feel safe and secure. If you buy your chickens as babies, you'll need to wait at least five or six weeks before you get your first egg. These baby chicks will need to be protected and warm until they can either incorporate with the rest of the flock or make it on their own.

"They're fun to watch. Sometimes it's just fun to sit in your backyard and watch your chickens preen themselves, dig up little worms, and peck around the backyard. Don't just get chickens for the eggs but enjoy them as backyard pets as well.

Downsides.

As I mentioned before, rats can be not only a predator depending on the size of the chicken and the size of the rat, but they can wreak havoc with neighbors as well. The last thing anyone wants is rats running around their property so at the first sign of any rat or vermin, set down traps but keep those traps covered or protected from the chickens. Consider putting a milk crate over a rat hole perfectly positioned to catch that little sucker.

The smell. Chicken pens, over time, can lead to some off-putting odors wafting throughout the backyard and depending on how big your backyard is, this could be a problem for neighbors. Position the chicken coop or house as far away from neighboring fences as possible. If one of your fences borders a driveway, this is more favorable than to someone else's backyard where they might be enjoying a backyard bench or garden. To enjoy your backyard chickens, it's best not to be offensive to anyone around you.

Now, what about selling?

Having a backyard chicken pen or chicken coop is perfectly fine if you need to sell your house but you don't want it to look run down, broken, and trashy. The cleaner, neater, and more organized your chicken pen and the coop is, the more attractive it will be to potential buyers. And, if you are taking your chickens with you, this gives a perfect opportunity for the new homeowners to start a flock of their own or take the entire thing down and go back to grass or build a garden. Remember, if you had a chicken coop for several years, all of that chicken manure has created amazingly rich soil, so putting in a garden where a chicken coop has been a great idea.

Additional: Is a Home Garden a Good Selling Point?

Will it add to the value?

Probably not. This is one of those things that unless you find the right buyer that is looking for exactly what you're offering, it probably won't add much to the home price but, if you want to leave it while your home is on the market, it better be clean and pristine.

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