Who needs a tiny purse dog, or a hairless alien-looking cat, when you can keep pet chickens? No, we’re not joking! Chickens actually make lovable and charming pets and are becoming much more popular as pets, as more is discovered about these birds.
A recent study shows that chickens apparently demonstrate “self-control”, which was a quality that was previously only thought possible in primates and humans. They are also believed to anticipate the future and even worry. Chickens are intelligent animals and are also very sociable creatures. They are excellent problem solvers, sometimes ranking in cognitive abilities above those of small children. Talk about a smart pet!
What is involved in having your very own pet Henny Penny? To start, check with your local city guidelines to see if there are any restrictions in your area to be able to keep pet chickens inside a chicken coop. Many local farms and feed stores sell young chicks in the springtime. You may also be able to get one off of a neighbor who raises them in his backyard, as this practice is becoming more popular every day. Be sure to find out the sex (often called getting the chicken “sexed”) of your new pet before you take it home. A hen makes a great pet, but your neighbors are likely to have a problem with the constant early morning crowing from a grown rooster in a chicken coop.
Get a cage and a heat lamp to keep your new pet chickens warm. Provide a dish of fresh water and feed made just for baby chicks. Once the chicken is older, you’ll want to get a chicken run to allow it some safe outdoor time, as all chickens need some sunlight and a place to run around in. If you are going to allow your chicken to roam your house, do understand that chickens aren’t the easiest pets to housebreak. If you have hardwood floors it isn’t much of a concern, and if you have the patience you may be successful with paper training your pet chicken. Otherwise, two seconds and a paper towel will become second nature to you, much like cleaning out a cat box. You can of course also keep chickens as pets outdoors. You’ll need a comfortable chicken coop for them to stay in, as well as a fenced-in chicken run. You can allow them to roam free in the chicken run when you are watching; understand, however, that chickens are prey to a great many wild animals such as raccoons and larger birds of prey. Be sure to spend quality time with your outdoors pet so that it comes to trust you. You’ll enjoy having this outdoors pet as they eat nasty pests and also seeds in the ground that will eventually turn into weeds.
Chickens can be very loving pets, especially if they are raised from eggs, and each will have its own distinct personality. Keep chickens as pets and enjoy the benefits of a fun pet, which also just happens to provide you breakfast in the morning.