Grafton Animal Hospital wants to wish everyone a Happy Easter. The weather is finally improving and the signs of spring are all around us. One sure sign that I have recently seen is the baby chickens and ducks at the local feed stores. If you have been to one of these stores and hear the “peep peeps” the minute you walk through the door, you may find yourself considering the acquisition of some feathered friends. Here are a few things to remember:
- Those little chicks and ducklings grow REALLY FAST. So, if you have them in your house right now under the heat lamp, you should be looking to purchase or build a coop very soon. We have had our new chickens a little over 2 weeks and some of the chicks have easily doubled in size. If you are considering having ducks, make sure you can provide a water source, such as a pond. Also, make sure you are allowed to have chickens or ducks in your neighborhood. York County, Gloucester County, and the cities of Hampton and Newport News have all recently clarified their rules of keeping backyard chickens. But even if the town you live in allows these pets, your homeowner’s association may not.
- There is a great local resource right in Yorktown, VA for anyone interested in keeping backyard chickens, and it’s FREE! The Peninsula Chicken Keepers, or PeCK, has monthly meetings and works to educate local leaders on the benefits of keeping chickens. PeCK’s founder, Carol Bartram, recently traveled to Gloucester County to provide information to aid in the revision of their ordinances on keeping chickens. If you are interested in becoming a member or would just like some information, visit the PeCK website at http://peninsulachickenkeepers.weebly.com/.
- The veterinarians at Grafton Animal Hospital see backyard chickens and ducks. Both Dr. Raiffe and Dr. Frost have experience treating chickens and ducks, and the staff of Grafton Animal Hospital have the knowledge to answer many of your questions. Give us a call at 898-8433 if we can answer any of your questions on keeping chickens or ducks.
Keeping backyard chickens or ducks can be a lot of fun and provide many benefits from fertilizing your yard and garden, to eating excess food scraps and the unwanted bugs in your backyard. These pets are very different from cats and dogs so be sure to do your homework and prepare yourself. Have a great Easter and if the bunny happens to deliver some baby chickens or ducks, know that you have some trusted sources for information.