Pet chickens are usually thought of as more of a farm animal, but many suburban homes have opted for pets that provide health benefits and fresh eggs. Chickens are pretty low maintenance, make little noise, and don’t require much besides a place to lay their free range eggs.
Chickens even provide a little country style living within city limits.
What Is Needed To House Chickens
Pet Chickens should always live outdoors in a secured chicken coop with enough backyard space to roam around during the day. Be sure to secure your chickens by building a fence and applying some chicken wire so they don’t wander onto neighbors yards. Chicken wire is also important to keep away any unwanted visitors like raccoons and foxes.
A secure chicken coop can be a shed with a ramp for your chickens to come in and out of or can be hand-made out of wood. The chicken coop will be a place for your backyard chickens to retreat to during the day and be locked up at night for their protection.
Pet Chicken Supplies
Keeping chickens happy and healthy in your backyard will require some work. As a chicken owner, your main duty is to provide your egg layers with the appropriate supplies to ensure their health and safety.
A water and feeding dish should be available at all times in an area that is easy for them to access. Chicken food or what’s known as chicken feed can be found at any farm supplies store or online.
Unlike the typical dog and cat, chickens don’t need comfy cushion beds to sleep. Nesting boxes should include a ton of straw and make sure to provide more of it during the colder seasons to keep them warm and comfortable.
Different Chicken Breeds
Believe it or not, there are many different breeds of chickens that are kept as pets.
Some of the most popular chicken breeds are:
Orpingtons: Orpingtons are perfect for backyard chicken coops. They can produce up to 200 eggs each year and like dogs and cats, they love to be held and enjoy some good cuddles.
Wyandottes: Wyandottes do very well in confinement and have very interesting personalities. They make for amazing mothers and are extremely gentle making them candidates for great pets.
Australorps: If you have children, Australorps is a great chicken to own as they do well with small children. They are great layers and are beautiful to look at with their gorgeous glossy black feathers.
Some other options to consider are Brahmas, Buff Orpingtons, Cochins, Easter Eggers, and Rhode Island Red chickens.
Interacting With Chickens
Chickens don’t mind company and prefer a little socialization with their caretaker. Feel free to interact with your backyard chickens to get an insight on their personalities and behaviors. Just remember to keep the peace when it comes to pecking order.
Pecking order is a hierarchy status that is usually common amongst hens. This is also something to be aware of when introducing new chickens to your flock. Most chickens will do well with newcomers but it can be tricky, so make sure you introduce new chickens on a “look, but don’t touch basis” for a few moments before a true introduction.
Make sure the fencing keeps your family pets away from the chickens to not frighten them or cause them any stress. Over time, your chickens will become familiar with you and your family pets and live a happy life all together.
You’ve Been Warned
Although chickens make for great outdoor pets, it’s not recommended that you bring them into your home. Chickens not only need space to roam, but they can be quite messy. Chicken’s poop. Alot.
Like most birds, they leave feather dander everywhere which is why they should be left outdoors. There are some companies that make chicken diapers, but they’re not recommended as they can be a hassle to change and clean.
Overall, we give chickens as pets a 10/10 rating! Besides finding or building the right chicken coop, chickens seem to be low maintenance and can have a lot of benefits like organic eggs, cute baby chicks, and new feathery friends.
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