There’s a growing trend among chicken keepers that has raised many questions. One, in particular, is can you have a chicken as a pet?
Some chicken owners seem to be creating a strong bond with their specific flock of chickens and this looks really fascinating. Chickens are currently the newest friends to several family members among the kitchen-keeping communities.
You too can have one or two of your favorite chickens as friends. If you are wondering how then read on to find out more about his latest development in the world of chicken keeping.
Is it true that you can have a chicken as a pet? Yes, it’s absolutely true that you can have one of your chickens as a pet. The practice of rearing chickens as pets started way back in the 2000s especially among urban residents and it has been kept alive till today
The main reason many people raise chickens is for the production of eggs and meat. But some of them go to the extent of naming and treating them just like other pets. Why is this the case? This is because chickens are more or less the same as other pets at home.
They provide companionship besides displaying individual personalities that their owners find attractive. Even if they don’t cuddle, chickens can eat from your hands, respond promptly when called and even follow you around, not to mention showing you some amount of affection.
What are the Traits and Needs of Chickens When Kept as Pets?
They will do well when in the company of at least three or more chickens so they don’t feel lonely. In case you decide to keep a single chicken, then you will have to give it your company. This way, your chicken will not get bored or lonely and in the end, it might become your best pet.
The way you raise your chicken will determine its behavior, particularly the temperament. This means the more you handle a chick as you raise it, the more it will get accustomed to you even when it is grown into an adult chicken. You can achieve this goal by talking and giving treats to your little chick as a way to make it get used to you.
In general, you need to keep a close eye on your chicks as they grow. If you commit a little of your time monitoring and interacting with these little birds, you will notice a huge difference as they develop into hens and roosters.
For instance, you will notice that roosters have a tendency of being aggressive and protective, especially when they are around the hens. Their work is to provide protection to the entire flock and that’s why they display all defensive tactics to deter any potential threat coming their way.
Just like the rest of the other pets, chickens too have their special needs. Make sure that you take great care of your pet in the most appropriate way and in return, it will turn out to be your best friend.
What diet is appropriate for Pet Chickens?
Nothing changes when it comes to taking care of your pet chickens. These adorable birds deserve every aspect of care given to other flocks of birds under your care.
To begin with they need enough water. Their water should be clean and fresh all the time. In simple terms, your pet chickens should have constant access to clean water in their coop.
Not only water is necessary but the containers with which they drink need to be kept clean regularly to prevent your lovely birds from contracting waterborne diseases. On top of that, they should get water even in cold weather conditions to aid in the digestion of food.
The containers in which your pet chickens are provided with water should have adequate safety features. This will prevent chicks from climbing in and eventually drowning. Most importantly, change the drinkers as often as you can, keeping in mind that you should provide the same type of drinkers that your chickens are familiar with.
Food is essential for the growth and general health of your pet chickens. For that reason, make sure that you provide your chickens with a suitable diet in relation to their respective breed and age. The diet needs to be well-balanced with all necessary nutrients for their growth and good health.
You must observe hygiene within and around your flock. Make sure that the food dispensers are cleaned and sanitized regularly. Given that chickens should have a good digestion system.
You should go the extra mile to give them insoluble grit such as hard flint grit or oyster shell that not only helps in digestion but also provides them with calcium for the development of strong bones.
What is the Ideal Environment for Your Pet Chickens?
Here, the best environment to keep your pet chickens should comprise of a proper shelter or housing (coop). The coop should be warm, dry, clean, and well-ventilated. Ventilation plays a crucial role in ensuring that your chickens get access to fresh air all the time.
Everything inside the coop must be cleaned on a regular basis and then disinfected to get rid of all parasites. Apart from that, make it a duty to provide your birds with enough food and water at the right time.
Inside the house or coop, the floor should be dry and covered with materials like straw, wood shavings, saw-dust, and so on. Doing so will allow foraging as well as dustbathing.
A common practice among chickens when they are out there free-ranging. Keep the floor conditions ideal for your pet chickens by topping up or replacing the dry materials when it is necessary to do so.
The space inside the coop where your pet chickens are kept should be enough to allow free movement and other activities that chickens engage in from time to time.
Normally, chickens love to stretch their wings, exercise, carry out their normal behavior and even preen. All these activities require adequate spacing inside the coop.
On average, you must provide a coop that is 12 square meters in size to hold well up to 30 birds at once. But you can choose your own measurements depending on the number of chickens under your care, the breed and whether they are free-ranging or confined.
Perches play a critical role in the coop. As such, you should provide your chickens with about 3-5 centimeters (width) of perches for roosting whenever they want to. Make sure that the perches are well-spaced to give each bird enough room to roost comfortably or get up and down without injuring themselves.
Sometimes you may also include nest boxes to meet all the needs of your egg-laying hens just in case. These hens need enclosed nest boxes in a quiet and peaceful environment.
Where Will They Lay Their Eggs?
The nest boxes should be enough for all layers available and make sure that they are draught-free by lining them with clean, dry nesting materials such as wood shavings and straw.
The entrance to the coop should be designed in such a way that it allows your pet chickens to go through easily without causing them to crouch. Alternatively, you may provide them with two or more entrances so they may have an easy time getting in and out of their living space.
Other areas of great interest include the outdoor area and the fence around the coop. When all these features are included, you can rest assured that your pet chickens will stay happy, comfortable and healthy throughout.
What are the Best Chicken Breeds for pets?
Most of the pet chicken breeds are always friendly, accommodative and likely to sit on your lap as well as eating out of your hand. And you can tell that they are happy through their “purring” behavior.
These breeds display their intelligence in many different ways. For example, they will move closer to you when you call them by their names. They will do some strange tricks when signaled in a way that sounds familiar to them. So, when choosing the best chicken breeds for pets, the following names should appear on your list:
Moderate or poor egg layers:
- Excellent Layers:
- Barred Plymouth Rock
- Buff Orpingtons
- Easter Eggers
The above-mentioned breeds have what it takes to meet all the requirements for the best chicken pets. This is based on their social behavior with humans and their level of intelligence.
What is it that makes certain chickens excellent pets?
What makes a chicken a good pet is the same that makes a puppy or kitten one too. These animals provide you with the company and you can even play around with them. All these make them good pets just in the same way as your chickens.
Where can you find the best pet chickens?
Once you identify the best breeds that can make good pets. You can acquire them when still chicks and raise them to become what you want. When trained in the early stages of development, some breeds can grow to become the best pets ever.
- By now you are aware that chickens can be good pets. They can react like dogs, cats or any other domestic animal. Your chicken can become a pet if you are determined to train it right from when it is still a chick.
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