7 reasons why keeping chickens at home can make great pets
On an average day, if someone asked you if you wanted to have chickens, you’d probably laugh at them. Most people think that the tending of farm animals ought to be left to the farmers, and are content to merely eat them. This is kind of sad, because not only is it not that hard to keep chickens, but they are actually fine pets, on par with any of the standard animals that people like to own. Everyone knows that the dog is man’s best friend, but the chicken will not only be a dearly beloved pet, but will also pay its way at the breakfast table! What more could you ask for?
1. Chickens pull their weight
Chickens can provide
- Wonderful fresh eggs – from humanely kept birds in far happier conditions than most famed birds
- Compost for the garden from their nitrogen rich waste
- Natural pest control – chickens devour insects, slugs and other pests
- Low fat and healthy meat
- Intriguing pets
- Low maintenance and easy to nurture
- A great talking point for you and the neighbours
2. You dont need lots of land to keep chicken.
“More space for chickens” may be the common cry of most chicken lovers, but a few little bantams can do the trick in quite compact spaces. Successful chicken houses and runs can fit into the majority of gardens and back yards. Outbuildings or even old sheds can be transformed to perform the task. All that the chickens need is to nest in the day, space to move around and to perch at night safe from predators .
Understandably, some tenancy and housing agreements or deeds can have exclusion clauses to the keeping of poultry and specifically cockerels in urban areas. Even though in many cases you don’t need permissions or registration to keep a small flock, it is still advisable to recheck this aspect before you plan to bring some chickens home.
3. There’s no time needed to look after them
Is there just not enough time in your busy work schedule to walk a dog? No worries! Consider a chicken. Chickens never need you to stimulate them or exercise with them as long as you have them for company. Chickens will even put themselves to sleep as long as you leave some clean drinking water and chicken feed around. Plus, they’re a real treat to watch, especially the daily, after-sundown roosting ritual. A tame chicken, though, is one that gets the occasional care and attention of a caring owner. With some time and offerings of food, you’ll be able to feed them straight from your hand. Just my walk to the chicken run through a squeaky gate will trigger those chickens on a near stampede in hopes that I have some bread for them, even though we like to believe that the chickens are happy to see us.
4. Raising chickens is not expensive
Keeping any pet does have its expenses but chicks are very inexpensive unless you start getting into the fancier varieties. They are a relatively cheap pet to have and not to mention also that you will enjoy some of the best freshly laid eggs that you have ever tasted.
5. Building a chicken coop is not hard work
Well you can build yourself a chicken coop from scratch using one of the many plans available. Better however to purchase a coop ready made. There are now some very good coops and runs on the market (e.g Forsham, Taylors and Amazon to name a few) and they are widely available. Check online
6. Chickens can be tamed and are no good as pets
Chickens are intriguing. They will come to you when they see you in the morning with a spring in their step. As if they are expecting you. They will follow you around the garden and keep your company as long as you are there. They are surprisingly interested in your attention with them and you will be surprised and probably will disagree with their headless chicken reputation after you have cared for them for some time.
7. Chickens are not prone to illness
Chickens are quite robust creatures. Properly cared for, they will remain happy and healthy. If you ensure clean housing, freedom to roam and a healthy diet, they should only need minimal medical attention. The better you know your chickens, the quicker you would notice any issues they contract though it is fairly rare for them to become seriously ill. It would be advisable to research chicken husbandry to have knowledge of health concerns that affect chickens, i.e. red mite, scaly leg mites and worms. One constant danger is that of avian flu and you should monitor the DEFRA website as a safeguard. Our hope would be that you would consider chicken keeping as it is not as onerous a task as many think. The benefits include always having a conversation piece and with free-range eggs to offer, you will find your popularity soaring!