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  #1  
Old 01/24/12, 11:52 AM
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Chickens in the basement?

Has anyone ever heard of raising chickens in the basement? My husband was reading a book recently that talked about this. He got excited and was talking about giving it a try. He wanted to keep three birds, with deep bedding that would be changed weekly. I told him that we will not be trying this. (I seldom put my foot down, but I am NOT doing this.) It sounds unsanitary, and I would feel bad for the birds being trapped in a dank dark basement all the time. I am just curious to know if anyone else has tried this or heard of this.

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  #2  
Old 01/24/12, 12:00 PM
 
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I guess it would depend on what else is in your basement. I think I've read that same thing, and my thought was about the lack of sunlight those poor birds would get.

Also, I've had chicks up to 2 weeks old temporarily housed in my basement, and the 'chick dust' was awful; it got on everything. Not good when my laundry area is also in my basement!

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  #3  
Old 01/24/12, 12:02 PM
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yeah...all I can think about is that dust! I don't think it would be healthy for you or the birds!

I could see doing rabbits, in a basement though, if they are kept clean and given light.

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  #4  
Old 01/24/12, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickieL View Post
yeah...all I can think about is that dust! I don't think it would be healthy for you or the birds!

I could see doing rabbits, in a basement though, if they are kept clean and given light.
We're actually thinking of doing rabbits. We'll keep the hutch outside in the nice weather, and for winter move them into our mud room.
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  #5  
Old 01/24/12, 12:15 PM
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All creatures deserve sunlight - DO NOT PUT THEM IN A BASEMENT FOR LIFE! In an emergency sure, but not forever! Also, you would quickly realise just how much chickens can smell without adequet ventilation. Tell your husband he crazy!

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  #6  
Old 01/24/12, 12:16 PM
 
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I had a friend who kept rabbits in the basement. The urine vapors seeped up through the floor and into the main part of the house. It was horrible. However, she had a lot rabbits. Either way, tell him to put the chickens outside. Three chickens are easy to take care of, the problem is predators so he'd need a coop and fencing.

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  #7  
Old 01/24/12, 12:18 PM
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Why in the basement and not outside?

I agree that the dust is awful.. we have chicks inside for a while and it gets messy really fast.

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  #8  
Old 01/24/12, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Maura View Post
I had a friend who kept rabbits in the basement. The urine vapors seeped up through the floor and into the main part of the house. It was horrible. However, she had a lot rabbits. Either way, tell him to put the chickens outside. Three chickens are easy to take care of, the problem is predators so he'd need a coop and fencing.
We thought about keeping rabbits in the basement to help keep them cool in the summer. We've had rabbits before though and that was outside in a shed, so we know how stinky it can get. Once I started thinking about that smell working it's way into our house through the air ducts.. yuck! Nixed that idea.

With only three chickens you could make a chicken tractor with an attached and insulated hen house.
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  #9  
Old 01/24/12, 12:21 PM
 
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Done it quite a few times. You don't need to let them roam the whole basement, just pen off a spot and place a heat lamp. Sawdust to keep the dust down to nothing.

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  #10  
Old 01/24/12, 12:26 PM
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We live in town, and there is an ordinance against chickens in the yard. SO, I think he was hoping to circumvent that ordinance by putting them in the basement. But I'm not going to let it happen. I think the smell would quickly overwhelm the house, and I agree that animals deserve to be in the sun. I have some neighbors who want to raise chickens too, maybe at some point we'll all get together and get the ordinance changed, they recently did that in a neighboring town.

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  #11  
Old 01/24/12, 12:41 PM
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Ah okay. When we lived in the city we had rabbits - much easier and quieter than chickens. They are easier to butcher too if you were thinking of keeping them for meat.

We had chickens too.. 6 civilly disobedient chickens (no roosters!) but we were on 1/2 an acre. They had a chicken coop attached to a dog run as their pen. We kept the neighbors supplied with eggs and everyone was happy. I *was* always waiting for Mr. Code Enforcer to come knocking on our door though.

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  #12  
Old 01/24/12, 12:44 PM
 
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A bit of thread drift here, forgive me blynn but so many made comments about the dust from chicks in the house I thought I would share this. My bff's grandmother, savvy old lady, had a wonderful method of brooding baby chicks in the house for a couple of weeks until they are old enough to go outside in the "big house". I am going to try this myself this spring.

Put them in the fireplace! Clean it out, take out the firedogs, put down a bed of shavings and hang a heat lamp. Place the fireplace screen up against the fireplace (mine is one that bows out and the edges go against the brick so this will work). Viola! When you take the chicks out, all you have to do is scrape out the bedding then start a small fire to sanitize the fireplace. The draft from the chimney provides ventilation and the most important part--the dust goes up the chimney instead of in the house. Smart old lady, was Clytie Coker.

End of drift back to OP. As to chickens in the basement--no way would I try that. Too smelly, too dusty and no sun for the poor things.

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  #13  
Old 01/24/12, 12:48 PM
 
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I would be afraid of keeping them in the basement, not just because of the smell and the chicken dust, but for health reasons. My Mom has all kinds of respiratory problems and scarring on her lungs from working in chicken houses when she was younger, imagine breathing in all that 24 hours a day.

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  #14  
Old 01/24/12, 01:14 PM
 
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RebelDigger!

Must be a Suthern Thing cause our Mammy did the same thing!
Word of warning though, that cleansing fire will STINK like no tomorrow so be prepared to lay on some dried herb like lavender, rose petals, or preferably pine needles. No pinecones, they explode and then you have a bigger problem

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelDigger View Post
A bit of thread drift here, forgive me blynn but so many made comments about the dust from chicks in the house I thought I would share this. My bff's grandmother, savvy old lady, had a wonderful method of brooding baby chicks in the house for a couple of weeks until they are old enough to go outside in the "big house". I am going to try this myself this spring.

Put them in the fireplace! Clean it out, take out the firedogs, put down a bed of shavings and hang a heat lamp. Place the fireplace screen up against the fireplace (mine is one that bows out and the edges go against the brick so this will work). Viola! When you take the chicks out, all you have to do is scrape out the bedding then start a small fire to sanitize the fireplace. The draft from the chimney provides ventilation and the most important part--the dust goes up the chimney instead of in the house. Smart old lady, was Clytie Coker.

End of drift back to OP. As to chickens in the basement--no way would I try that. Too smelly, too dusty and no sun for the poor things.
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  #15  
Old 01/24/12, 02:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonshine View Post
I would be afraid of keeping them in the basement, not just because of the smell and the chicken dust, but for health reasons. My Mom has all kinds of respiratory problems and scarring on her lungs from working in chicken houses when she was younger, imagine breathing in all that 24 hours a day.
This. I think it would be very bad healthwise to have chickens full time in your house. I can hardly stand having chicks in the house for a couple of weeks. Makes an awful dust, bad for the lungs, and it gets on everything.

Also, what good are chickens without daylight? They need a good amount of light for laying.

I love chickens, but I'd put my foot down, too.
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  #16  
Old 01/24/12, 05:18 PM
 
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I know someone who hatches quail for a major hatchery who's name you all know. Sometimes she has 3000 quail in her basement!

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  #17  
Old 01/24/12, 05:37 PM
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Just nasty. That's all.

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  #18  
Old 01/24/12, 05:38 PM
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Brooding chicks is one thing, I have done it in the basement and upstairs in the house, too. But for hens to be "cellar dwellers" for life isn't a good life for them at all, and probably creates air quality issues for everyone in the house, too. Send hubby to the city council meetings to work on getting the ordinance changed!

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  #19  
Old 01/24/12, 05:41 PM
 
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Somewhere in my stuff I have a book from just after WWII where a couple raised chickens to butcher in their garage. Kind of one of those metal stacking deals like they have in feed stores sometimes. Each age moved down one level til they were in the largest one in the bottom, then butchered. I think the book is 'The Have More Plan'. If your hubby plans on keeping them in the house forever, I'd think it would get pretty stinky, too.

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  #20  
Old 01/24/12, 07:37 PM
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My father-in-law did it. Done correctly the biggest problem is the noise.

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