Angelo Santabarbara appears on the Schenectady Today Show.
Photo by John Purcell.
continued “They become very domesticated and the kids are able to handle them,” he said. “They react like any other pet, in the morning they kind of squawk and they are happy to see you.”
Typically the chickens lay about one egg a day usually in the morning or afternoon. Getting to see the chickens from their small size to growing up and laying eggs has been a fun process, he said.
“Watching them grow and see the process is a really neat thing,” he said.
When he started feeding them he used a mashed form of food and then switched to a pellet form as they got older, because the chickens tended to dig the mashed food into the ground after it falls out of the feeder. He buys a 10-pound bag of feed for around $10 and he said it lasts several weeks.
Before he decided to purchase the chickens he made sure he lived in the proper district and zoning laws wouldn’t ban him from owning chickens.
“It is important to check with your local officials … to make sure that this is allowed,” he said. “It is good to talk to the neighbors anyway even if it is an allowed use … let them know there is not going to be any problems.”
He said taking care of the chickens is no different than talking care of a dog.
“I have never had any problems with my neighbors … I happen to have a large lot,” he said. “Before you set this up and spend a lot of money you want to make sure it is allowed.”
As far as having chickens outside of the currently zoned property, as the case in Niskayuna for a family, he said didn’t seem to approve of it on a general basis.
“There are reasons the zoning is in place and I think people should abide by the zoning,” he said. “It is a nice pet to have, but if it is not allowed by zoning there is usually a reason … if it can be done by special permit maybe that is the route to go.”