Why Chickens Make Great Pets.

Mrs Writer By Mrs Writer, 17th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/f7_._vj5/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Chickens

Have you got a garden? Are your children pestering you for a family pet? Do you strive to eat fresh healthy produce? Are you watching the pennies in these difficult times? Do you care about animal welfare? Would you like to reduce your food miles/carbon footprint? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then chickens may be answer for you!

Are Chickens for Me?


The answer to that is most probably yes!

In today’s current economical climate and with increasing emphasis on our carbon footprints, keeping a handful of chickens in your garden is an achievable and enjoyable way of saving the pennies and contributing to a healthier, happier planet.

Chickens are pets that earn their keep. Not only does a chicken provide you with a delicious fresh egg each day, but they will also very happily re-cycle your kitchen and garden waste, eat your garden pests and provide you with plenty of fertiliser to put on your garden!

If you have children, chickens are a great family pet to consider. They are very easy to keep, low maintenance and with your help and guidance can be a great educational tool. Not only will your children love to collect the eggs and feed the chickens once a day, but they can learn more about the natural world, responsibility of caring for an animal and how to cook an egg too!

If more people kept chickens there would be less battery chickens in the world, and that can only be a good thing. And those poor chickens that were unlucky enough to become battery hens? Well, you could save yourself a few pounds and rescue ex-battery hens when their egg production rate is considered too slow to be financially viable.

What Do I Need to Keep Chickens?


Chicken Coop

Chickens need a place to shelter, roost and lay eggs. When choosing housing for your chickens make sure it has a next box, it is easy to clean, it is well ventilated, and is big enough for the amount of chickens you plan to keep.

Bedding

Straw, sawdust and wood chippings all make suitable bedding for chickens. Bedding needs to be changed on a regular basis to keep it fresh and poop free. Changing the bedding and cleaning the coop with a chicken friendly sterilising solution once a week is recommended. Old bedding materials can be thrown onto the compost heap.

Food and Water

Make sure your chickens have a daily supply of fresh water in a plastic or galvanised drinker which is available from many good pet stores. Similarly use a plastic or galvanised feeder to dispense layers pellets or mash.

Your chickens will also need grit which they use in their gizzards to grind up food because chickens don’t have teeth! There are two types of grit; hard, for digestion, and calcium, which is needed for egg production. Crushed oyster shell is the most common calcium grit available.

Your chickens will love mixed corn, vegetable peelings, fresh grass and any pesky caterpillars you may find chomping through your garden as an addition to their diet.

Which Breed?


So you've decided that chickens are the pets for you. Great! Now for the most important part...the chickens!

There are many different chicken breeds available, and quite frankly it can be pretty confusing for a beginner to know where to start when choosing a suitable breed. Finding the breed best suited to you is a lot simpler when you have made a few important decisions. The size of the bird, rate of lay, colour and size of eggs, temperament and ease of care are all things to carefully consider. Once you have a clearer idea of what you are looking for use the wealth of material available on the web to find your perfect breed. Keeping chickens is becoming increasingly popular and there is plenty of advice and help readily available.

Tags

Agricultural, Agriculture, Animal, Bird, Chicken, Cock, Cockerel, Coop, Coops, Country, Egg, Eggs, Farm, Farming, Hen, House, Pen, Pet, Pets, Poultry, Run, Rural

Meet the author

author avatar Mrs Writer
I'm a 20-something living in England with my husband, dog and hens. I've had CFS for 10 years and over this time have developed many interests. When I am not studying biology at the Open University you will find me spending my time baking, knitting, ...(more)

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