As someone who loves animals, I’ve always wanted to have chickens. Not only are they great pets, but they also provide fresh eggs daily. After much consideration, my partner and I finally decided to take the plunge and get chickens for our backyard.
However, we quickly realized there was a major problem – my boyfriend is allergic to them! It’s been a challenging situation, but we’ve been able to find ways to make it work.
In this article, I’ll be sharing our experience and some tips on how to manage to have chickens when someone in your household is allergic.
Understanding Chicken Allergies.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand what causes allergies to chickens. Chicken allergies are caused by proteins found in chicken feathers, dander, and feces. When someone comes into contact with these proteins, it can trigger an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of chicken allergies include:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy skin
- Difficulty breathing
If your partner is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to take it seriously and find ways to manage the situation.
Managing Chicken Allergies
The first step to managing chicken allergies is limiting exposure to allergens. This can be done by setting up designated areas for the chickens, such as a chicken coop or fenced-off area in the yard. This will reduce the number of chicken feathers, dander, and feces in the air and on surfaces.
It’s also important to avoid bringing chickens indoors or allowing them to roam freely in the house. This will significantly reduce the chances of your partner coming into contact with the allergens.
Keeping a clean and tidy environment is crucial when dealing with chicken allergies. Regularly clean the chicken coop and surrounding areas to minimize the buildup of dust, feathers, and dander.
It’s also important to keep the house clean, especially if you have indoor pets that may carry the allergens around. Vacuum carpets and upholstery regularly and use a HEPA filter to trap allergens.
Use Allergy Medication.
Allergy medication can be an effective way to manage symptoms caused by chicken allergies. Over-the-counter antihistamines can help alleviate sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness. For more severe allergies, prescription medication may be necessary.
It’s important to consult with a doctor before taking any medication, as some may cause side effects or interact with other medications.
Consider Alternative Breeds.
Not all chicken breeds are created equal when it comes to allergens. Some breeds produce less dander and feathers than others, making them a better option for people with allergies.
Breeds such as the Silkie, Frizzle, and Polish have been known to produce fewer allergens. It’s important to do your research and find a breed that works best for your situation.
When we first got our chickens, my boyfriend’s allergies were at an all-time high. He was sneezing, had a runny nose, and itchy eyes. We quickly realized that we needed to take action to manage his allergies.
We set up a designated area for the chickens in the far corner of our backyard, away from the house. We also made sure to clean the coop and surrounding area regularly to reduce the buildup of allergens.
We found that using allergy medication was the most effective way to manage my boyfriend’s symptoms. He takes an antihistamine daily, and it has significantly reduced his allergy symptoms.
We also made the decision to get a breed that produces fewer allergens. We opted for the Frizzle breed, which has been known to be hypoallergenic.
Overall, managing my boyfriend’s chicken allergies has been a challenge, but it’s been worth it to have these amazing pets in our lives. We’ve learned a lot about managing allergies and have become much more conscious of the environment we create for our chickens.
It’s also been a great opportunity to educate ourselves on alternative breeds and chicken care in general. We’ve found that chickens are incredibly rewarding pets, and we’re so glad we made the decision to get them.
If you’re considering getting chickens and someone in your household has allergies, don’t let it deter you. With some careful planning and management, it’s possible to make it work.
Remember to limit exposure to allergens, keep the environment clean, use allergy medication if necessary, and consider alternative breeds. And most importantly, always consult with a doctor if you or someone in your household is experiencing allergy symptoms.
We’ve been able to successfully manage my boyfriend’s allergies, and we’re so happy to have our feathered friends in our lives. With a little effort and patience, you can too!