Chickens are Better Pets than Dogs

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 1st Dec 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/10b-eq9a/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Chickens

My wife and I do not own a dog, although both have had lots of experience with dogs. Since moving to the country we have had a different pet, one that many people might not have considered. Yes, Chickens make better pets than dogs. Let us compare owning of a pet dog to owning pet chickens!

Problems with Pet Dogs

Dogs make great pets, for some people, and I don't want to knock them, but they do have some problems, particularly when people do not care for them properly. They can be loud, they can be destructive, and if not handled well, they can be dangerous.

Dogs left alone in the backyard can bark for hours, disturbing the neighborhood peace. Not everyone words 9 - 5, some people work nights, and sleep days, having a neighbors dog barking even for part of the time is annoying.

Dogs require walking, some need one walk a day, other breeds need more. This is fine when their owner is healthy, and has lots of time, but if their owner is ill, or very busy, the dog might not get the walks it needs, causing the dog to suffer, if even only for a few days.

Dog feces take a long time to break down, and can spread disease, as well they are rather nasty to step in.

Dogs require a lot of expense in terms of feeding, and veterinary care. They cannot be left home for a periond of days without somebody checking them or attending them - ideally they should be taken to a boarding kennel. As well most dogs need regular grooming, some need special grooming such as hair cuts.

Dogs (particularly poorly socialized dogs) can be dangerous, to you, your family, and other pets. Even the small Pomeranian dog can be vicious, and one was known to kill a human infact.

photo - By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons

Now to Compare Dogs to Chickens

I have had my hens lay eggs, almost one a day. These eggs are a great food source and when we have extra we can give them away. Dogs generally do not provide you with food, and if they do it is either something they killed, or regurgitated.

Hens are considerably more quiet than dogs, and will annoy the neighbors far less than a high strung, or loud, dog would. Roosters can be loud, but roosters are not required to get eggs, or to enjoy hens as pets.

Hens do not require a vast array of toys. Dogs can be expensive because they need many toys for teething and to keep them occupied.

Hens are quite happy if allowed adequate space to roam around in and a few branches or logs they can hop up onto. Even a small back yard can house a few hens, in contrast a dog would still need regular walks to maintain mental health.

Hens are cheap to feed, a bag of feed, and chicken scratch, as well as all other requirements are far cheaper than dog food. Plus the hens, if allowed to free range in your yard, will eat some weeds and bugs, they love dandelions and slugs.

Chickens do not require costly trips to the groomer or veterinarian. This is not to say their care should be ignored, but keeping a few birds in good shape is a lot cheaper than proper care for a single dog.

Keeping Pet Chickens

It may surprise you to know that chickens can be friendly and can bond with their owners.

They may even follow their owners on short walks (although not advised should a dog with a high prey drive be near).

More and more cities are seeing the value of allowing people to keep hens as pets.

Roosters are still usually not allowed, and, as mentioned, are not needed for egg production anyhow. When they are allowed they can be quite beautiful, and will even attempt to act as a "Guard animal". Some breeds being more friendly than others.

Despite the bad publicity about smells, if not kept in overcrowded conditions, chickens are less smelly than dogs. Specific breeds of chickens are quite friendly and make great pets.

Most backyards can easily accommodate three to five hens. These should be fenced to keep the birds safe.

Chickens require a safe place to sleep at night, a chicken coop, and this is also where they will lay their eggs. If given enough food and water they can be left for a few days (however eggs that are not collected fresh should not be eaten).

When no rooster is kept - the eggs will not contain baby chicks - have no fear (or guilt) in eating them!

Links

Keeping Pet Chickens

Best Breeds of Chickens for Pets

Bantam Chicken Breeds

Why People should Eat Only Free Range Eggs

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Tags

Bird, Birds, Breeds, Chicken, Chickens, Compare, Dog, Dogs, Egg, Eggs, Exotic, Hen, Lay, Pet, Pets, Rooster

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
1st Dec 2010 (#)

Every now and then,
when I'm sitting on my
porch in the morning and I dont hear the rooster down the way.
I look at Bugg and say, they ate good last night.
hmmm a chicken huh?
Maybe that's the kind of friend I should get Bugg,
instead of another dog.
Good article Mark, I really enjoyed it.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Ydre
31st Mar 2011 (#)

u @ss

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author avatar christopheranton
1st Dec 2010 (#)

We always had hens at home
when I was growing up, and I was rather fond of them, especially when one had chickens.
I dont think my landlord would
like it if I kept hens now.
Thanks for the delightful reminder
of one of my favourite animals.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Dec 2010 (#)

I think it's an individual's choice Mark. Just about any animal can be kept as a pet if they appeal to the people involved. One of my neighbors up here keeps rabbits as pets, another has an old Billy Goat as a pet. People can become attached to any animal if they allow themselves too. Personally, chickens are for eating and laying eggs.

A wonderful article none the less.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
1st Dec 2010 (#)

Interesting! As a vegetarian, all animals are potential pets. Personally, I'm fond of toads!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
1st Dec 2010 (#)

I have a hard time eating chickens after keeping them as pets. I will say that.
They free range happily with my cats, sheep, and so forth. Its quite fun to watch.
For those who own dogs - Chickens will eat fleas and ticks. Some breeds, like BUGG would be safer with chickens than those breeds bred to hunt and kill.

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author avatar aesoplado
1st Dec 2010 (#)

Chicken don't bark in the middle of the night!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Dec 2010 (#)

My Huskies get along fine with my seven cats when I bring them in the house. Actually they get along well with most farm animals, they must because none of my neighbors have ever complained about the and they run free up here on the mountain. They don't like our black bears though. .I filled my one freezer last year with bear steaks without stepping foot in the woods. Eileen and I were having dinner one night when all hell broke loose in my backyard. I look out the backdoor to see Sergeant Preston and Major Barbara going after a full grown black bear. No time to waste. I shot him.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
1st Dec 2010 (#)

wow. I would not want a bear that close to my house.
Rather amazing that your dogs are good with cats, as a breed Huskies are often labeled Cat Killers.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
1st Dec 2010 (#)

I live on a mountain Mark. Bears, deer, rabbits, woodchucks, you name it and we have it. One morning, a few days after when we moved up here, Eileen and I found a black bear cub sitting in our driveway. She thought it was a big dog and wanted to pet it. Not a good idea because where there's a cub, momma bear isn't too far away. I didn't want to kill him so I just put a few rounds in the driveway close enough to him so the flying gravel pelted him hard enough to start him moving.

I had both of my Huskies since puppy-hood and they grew up around cats. They were both a few months old when I adopted them from a shelter.

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author avatar ghazala zafar
3rd Dec 2010 (#)

Hens do not bite :)
Dogs do not lay eggs :)
A brilliant article !!
Mark Gordon Brown

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author avatar krrymarie
13th Jan 2011 (#)

A great article!

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author avatar Mr. Clucky Chicken
27th Dec 2015 (#)

Chickens are great pets, specially Bantams. You can hold them in your lap.

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