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Just Food City Chicken Meetup NYC Message Board General Discussion › Aspiring chicken owners in Park Slope seeking advice!

Aspiring chicken owners in Park Slope seeking advice!

Kristen W.
user 40406462
Brooklyn, NY
Post #: 1
We live in Park Slope and are exploring the possibility of raising a few chickens in our backyard.

After reading through the message board (which has been really helpful!) we're left with a few questions/concerns and would love to chat with some of you about your set up/experiences/advice.

(The main things are 1. Predators: we had a rat problem in the past in our backyard - will chickens and their food bring them back? Have raccoons been a big issue for anyone? 2. Space: are they okay being left alone in their run all day while you're at work, etc? and 3. Cold weather: what do you do when it is freezing out?)

Any insight you could share would be really appreciated! We're also interested in seeing someone's coop/space to get a sense of what could work well in our small-ish yard. If anyone in/around the neighborhood is up for giving a tour in exchange for coffee/beer/etc, that would be awesome - please get in touch.

Kristen and Isaac

A former member
Post #: 20
Hi Kristen and Isaac,

To answer your questions:

1. Yes it's quite possible that rats will return if the food and/or chickens are available for them. You must keep the food in a totally secure container that neither rats nor any other animals can get into. I use a galvanized trash can with a strong bungee cord holding the lid down to store their feed. But more importantly you must secure the run and coop so nothing can get in, neither through the fence nor by digging underneath and getting in. If you're near the park (or not necessarily that close) you could get raccoons or possums. The latter have been seen in my backyard. Many chicken owners and their chickens have been plagued by raccoons.

2. Of course they can stay outside in their run but you need to allow enough square footage for each hen to prevent pecking, cannibalism, etc.

3. Cold weather: they are birds and have feathers to keep them warm. I use a 20-40 watt bulb for a few hours in the morning and evening but mainly to give them enough light so they will continue to lay eggs through the short days of winter. Otherwise there is a lot of fresh air circulating at all times through their coop and they are free to go out in the run at any time. In past years when it got really cold and was freezing for days at a time, I would rub vaseline on their combs and wattles to prevent them from freezing. It always worked.

Good luck. It's easy and rewarding, especially when they start laying eggs.
Noah L.
user 38103722
Brooklyn, NY
Post #: 1
Hi Kristen and Isaac -

I second all of the answers from the previous poster. I'm not sure if you've heard about Victory Chicken ( but we provide an all in one coop and hens package for people here in NYC, and I'd be happy to show you one of our model coops set up in a Brooklyn back yard. Our coop and run combos are secure against rats and other predators (including tunneling from below) and protect chickens outside through the full spectrum of NYC weather, including winter.

If you want to come visit, no need to barter for coffee or beer, but if you want to bring some lettuce for the chickens, I'm sure they'd appreciate that.

Victory Chicken
New York, NY
Post #: 8
We live in Flatbush (about 5 blocks from the park on the East side) and have not had any problems with racoons but I understand some folks closer to the park have had issues. They will kill your chickens. Cats seem to be scared of the chickens so not a problem.

We laways leave our chickens in the run as last year they ate our garden and I'm not doing that again! The cold was not a problem this year and last winter my girls were just little babies so we kept them indoors until the thaw.

If you do decide to order chicks we would love to piggy back on your order as we recently lost a chicken to illness (our other 2 are fine so no idea what happened with poor little Violet) and the minimum order from most places is 3 chicks and we only have room for 3.

Hope that helps and that you'll consider us if you order chicks.


Brooklyn Chicken F...
user 26927202
Brooklyn, NY
Post #: 3
If you are interested in getting chicks without having them shipped in box. The risk of getting a box with dead chicks is high and not the humane way to treat animals. I have chicks for sale that hatched in my incubator. They at Black sexed links or also known as Black Star for $8. I live in bushwick Brooklyn were I have 3 coops from small to extra large to give ideas if you are thinking of building your coop.

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