Backyard Chickens can lay an insurance egg!
Being raised on a dairy farm one of my first 4H projects was having a flock of laying hens. I loved taking care of those hens and it taught me responsibility as a 10 year old. My dad even helped me build a new chicken house with an attached fenced yard for the hens to get outside and exercise. Fast forward forty years to when my college graduate daughter came back home to live with us, she and I decided to get a flock of chickens and build us a nice modern chicken house. She ordered the plans and one cold February the project took over the inside of our garage and we built the large chicken coop pictured above. I cherished that time with Brooklyn just as I had as a boy helping my dad build a chicken house.
Today, chicken coops and houses can be very complex and elaborate.
And they can cost upwards to $2000-$4000 to build. Brooklyn’s chicken house cost us $1500 not including our labor and it was a small project.
More and more folks are getting backyard chickens because you just can’t beat the taste of fresh eggs. But as we build these mini chicken castles in our backyard there is a problem that could surface unknowingly to us. Do you know if your chicken house was damaged by a storm or fire that it would be covered by your homeowners insurance policy? Many insurance companies (if not all) define poultry as an “agricultural exposure” and therefore any structure associated with poultry would not be covered. Claims on backyard chicken coops have been denied because of this reason.
So think about it. It may be that you could take the loss and not worry about it. Then again you might want to look at the option of adding a farm policy to specifically cover the structure. After all, if a fire destroyed it, I would hate for you to lose all that you had put into building that elaborate hen house!
And I didn’t even talk about the liability risk if your hens damaged your neighbors’ property…
…remember Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”?
Be safe and add a farm policy or an endorsement.