Click here to learn more.
I have 10 good reasons to pen a post on chickens . . . and they all live in my backyard.
Yes, I happen to be one of those urban chicken keepers you may have read about. In particular, I’m one of a tiny but growing number of micro-farmers who put lots of eggs on the table — partly as an exercise in sustainable animal agriculture, but mostly because it’s a ton of fun.
In fact, a large percentage of the backyard chicken keepers I know are devoted to their birds not as farm animals, but as pets. These chicken lovers don’t keep roosters, and nor do I, since I don’t need babies or a 4 a.m. wake-up call. They have little interest in their hens’ egg-laying potential, and they would rather die than slaughter their beloved girls.
Although I tell my friends, neighbors, clients and readers that chickens are the coolest, easiest and most entertaining pets ever, everyone always acts like I’ve made some kind of lame joke. So this is why I'm offering five concrete reasons why you may just want to rethink your skepticism!
If you’ve never lived with a bird and you’re considering one as a pet, the domesticated chicken is the best starter bird. They’re fairly inexpensive, easy for even the greenest newbie to raise from chickhood through adulthood and they can teach you lots about avian behavior and basic biology.
The only downsides: You’ll need a little more space than you would for the average cockatiel, and zoning can be an issue — i.e., you may need a special permit or a zoning variance.
I once met a young rooster who'd drape his head over my arm. It was really sweet. And although I’d enjoyed the company of one truly bonded pet bird in the past, this one became especially attached to me quickly, which is not uncommon for hens. At times, they can be even more solicitous and affectionate than dogs and cats.
Chickens are very funny. Whether they're observed individually or as a flock, their behavior offers the best kind of slapstick.
Mine are hilarious first thing in the morning, when some of them congregate clucking near my front door. Once I step outside, the entire flock runs headlong toward me at warp chicken speed in advance of a handout. (And there is nothing funnier than a chicken on a mission.) Post-feeding, more high jinks ensue. With them, every movement and every interaction offer an opportunity for extreme silliness.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
A baby squirrel who fell 75 feet from her nest is being nursed back to health at a rehabilitation center in…
Jan Jeffries, Jr., was working at a miserable jobsite when he encountered a dog who would change his life forever.
With their adorable matching outfits, best friends Zoey and Jasper have quickly become the new darlings of the…
With Easter on our minds, we combed our database of rabbits names to find out the 10 most popular monikers of 2013.
Dentistry used to be the outcast of the veterinary world. Now many vets dedicate tons of time to oral care for…
Our friends at JeanKnowsCars.com reveal cars that are great for pet owners, from versatile minivans to rugged SUVs.
With Easter coming up this weekend, we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the holiday's most iconic species.
The Abyssinian, who wears a beautiful ticked coat, is an intelligent and athletic feline who stays in constant…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.