Can I have a chicken coop in my basement? It’s something some people ask when they live in certain neighborhoods with HOA’s that don’t allow raising chickens, but still want to produce fresh eggs. If you are looking for a way to build and raise chickens without the neighbors seeing, then it’s an option that can work, But there are some issues.
The smell is an issue, Chickens are dirty!
Depending on how many chickens you have in your basement for laying eggs, you’re going to have a lot of smell wafting up from the chicken manure. If you have a small basement, it might be unbearable for some family members.
You will also need to ensure that your chickens have enough ventilation so they don’t start to produce ammonia gas, which can be toxic.
This doesn’t just affect the chickens either, you’ll need to make sure your family isn’t breathing these fumes as well. Certainly, your neighbors will also smell it!
For most basements, that means a huge overhaul to how the air is circulated, with old air being brought out and fresh air being brought in.
This can be a very expensive endeavor, and then you have to maintain it. The fumes can also be a fire hazard, so electrical work needs to be done as well in order to cut down the risk of any issues.
Overall the smell will be the biggest issue. If you’re trying to keep your basement backyard chickens coop on the down-low from the neighbors and HOA, the smell isn’t going to do you any favors.
Cleaning once a week without any sort of heavy equipment or easy access
When it comes to cleaning a chicken coop, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First of all, the coop should be cleaned out on a regular basis – at least once a week.
This will help to prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria and ensure that the chickens have a clean and comfortable environment.
Normally in a backyard coop, you have easy access to the coop for cleaning with a wheelbarrow or something similar. But in a basement, you have to carry everything up a flight of stairs, which can be difficult if you have a lot of chickens.
You’ll also need to be careful about the chemicals you use to clean the coop – since the chickens will be spending time in there, you don’t want to use anything that could be harmful to them.
Then you need to lug all that new bedding back down the stairs to replace the soiled bedding.
Dumping the actual waste can be a huge hassle
Farmers typically have a number of options when it comes to handling chicken waste. Some may choose to compost the litter, which involves breaking down the manure into an earthy, rich fertilizer that can be used in gardens and other agricultural fields.
Alternatively, some farmers may use chicken droppings directly as a natural fertilizer, applying it directly to their crops or storing it in order to fertilize next season’s plants.
And sometimes they just leave it in a giant pile somewhere on the property.
But for you? You can’t do that if you’re trying to hide the basement coop away from the world. So you need a way to dispose of a lot of bedding and chicken manure.
So you’ve got to figure out a way to dispose of all that waste without anyone knowing – and it’s not going to be easy.
You could try to sneak it out in small bags, but if you have a lot of chickens, that’s going to be a lot of trips. And it’s going to start to smell really bad, really fast.
Or you could try composting it yourself, but that’s going to take a lot of time, effort, and commitment, especially with so much of it (which still smells btw!)
You could try to work out a deal with a local farm or someone similar to have them take it off your hands, but that’s going to be difficult to do without anyone finding out.
All in all, it’s a smelly, dirty, and difficult task – one that you’ll have to figure out on your own if you want to keep your basement chickens a secret.
The lack of sunlight needs to be addressed artificially, which is expensive
That little half windows at the top of your basement aren’t going to cut it.
Chickens need access to a lot of sunlight in order to produce vitamin D, which is essential for their health. If they don’t get enough sunlight, they can develop health problems such as rickets and lower egg production.
In a basement, it can be difficult to provide enough sunlight for the chickens. You might be able to get away with it if you have a small number of chickens, but if you’re trying to raise a larger flock it’s going to be difficult.
You’ll either need to provide artificial light or find a way to get more sunlight into the basement – both of which are expensive endeavors.
The lamps themselves already cost quite a bit, But the electricity to run them could wipe out any savings you could have hoped to make vs just buying fresh eggs at your local farmers’ market.
Not to mention you may still need to use a heat lamp even inside unless you want to crank the heat up which will cost even more!
Chickens are flock birds and need 3 or more to be happy, so you can’t just keep one!
If you were thinking “well I might be able to handle all this if it’s just one chicken right?” You would be wrong.
Chickens are social creatures and need to live in groups in order to be happy and healthy. In the wild, chickens live in flocks of up to 30 birds, so a minimum of three chickens is recommended for keeping pet chickens.
Chickens enjoy being around other chickens and will have a much better quality of life if they are not kept alone.
When kept in pairs or small groups, chickens will establish a pecking order, with one chicken acting as the leader and the others following its lead.
This can lead to fighting and bullying, as the chickens compete for dominance. However, when there are at least three chickens, they will each take on a role within the flock and will get along much better.
So if you’re thinking of keeping pet chickens, remember that they need company! This will always increase your workload, as you will need to take care of more than one chicken.
You’ll need to build or buy a chicken coop anyway!
If you’re going to keep chickens in your basement, you’re going to need a place for them to sleep, eat, and poop.
This means you’ll either need to build a chicken coop or buy one – and both of those options are going to cost you money.
Building a chicken coop is not a cheap endeavor, as you’ll need to purchase the lumber, nails, and other materials needed to build it.
You’ll also need to factor in the cost of your time, as building a chicken coop takes quite a bit of time and effort.
If you don’t want to build a chicken coop, you can always buy one – but be prepared to spend quite a bit of money, as even the cheapest chicken coops cost hundreds of dollars.
You might be able to get away with a few plywood walls in your basement, but it’s still something you’ll need to account for in your budget.
It’s just plain unhealthy for everyone involved, including you and the chickens, even your pets.
Most people love chickens, although not your typical pets, they provide a great utility to the world of food.
But keeping chickens in your basement is just plain unhealthy for everyone involved – not just for the chickens, but also for you and your family.
Not only are the conditions down there often dark and dank, but there won’t be enough fresh air or sunlight to keep everyone healthy.
Between the off-gassing of ammonia, the smell, and the chicken dust, even your indoor pets like cats and dogs are at risk.
Plus, keeping chickens in your basement will most likely increase the chances of your family members developing allergies or asthma.
So think twice before you decide to keep pet chickens in your basement – it’s just not worth it!
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider if you want to keep pet chickens in your basement.
From the cost of the equipment to the increased workload, it’s just not worth it in the end.
In conclusion, while keeping chickens in your basement may seem like a good idea at first, there are many things to consider before making your decision. Not only is it expensive and time-consuming, but it’s also unhealthy for everyone involved. Chickens are social animals and need company to be happy and healthy – so if you’re thinking of getting pet chickens, make sure you have enough space for at least three birds, and invest in a chicken coop. In the end, it’s not worth the effort to keep chickens in your basement!