Why Chickens Should Be Legal as Pets

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 8th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2lzixlz-/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Chickens

Do chickens make good pets? Should cities allow chickens as pets? Why don't some cities allow people to keep pet chickens? What is it like to own a pet chicken.

My Experience with Chickens

We moved to a 10 acre rural property and were eager to get chickens for eggs. After we got the coop fixed up we bought 8 hens and for that summer we enjoyed a bounty of eggs. The following spring we bought some week old silkie chicks (a breed known for being friendly as pets) and enjoyed them.

Eventually we bought a pair of bantam (small) chickens and let them raise a clutch of chicks. It was fascinating to watch them. The hen and rooster would both catch grasshoppers and call their chicks to come get them. Sometimes they would just wound a grasshopper so it could not get too far and let their chicks go after it.

Yes, the roosters crowed in the morning, but I will say the sound is far less disturbing than a dog barking, or car horns honking.

Some Facts about Chickens

Hens do not require a rooster in order to lay eggs. They just need a proper diet, oyster shell, and nesting box.

Some breeds of chickens lay more eggs than others (averaging about 5 per week, per hen), and most do not lay in the winter. As they get older they lay fewer eggs.

Chickens can live more than 10 years.

Roosters will fight each other if there are not enough hens, but if there are no hens the roosters will get along with each other fairly well.

Not all hens will sit on eggs, a hen that wants to sit on eggs is called a broody hen.

Some chicken breeds are noted for being more friendly than others, some roosters can be mean, but others are nice.

If allowed to roam free chickens will eat grasshoppers, flies, slugs, and so forth, as well as many weeds. They will also, however, eat strawberries.

Unless too many birds are kept in too small of a space there is no concern with smell.

Should Chickens Be Allowed as Pets in the City?

After my experiences with keeping chickens I would say that "Yes, chickens should be allowed as pets in the city".

There needs to be a limit due to animal welfare concerns of course, such as 4 hens per house, with a minimum amount of space of 3 sq ft per bird for bantams (ideally more space for the larger birds).

I personally would allow one rooster per home, however I do understand the noise concerns so I do realize this would probably be an unpopular idea.

Hens are far less noisy than pet dogs, kids screaming, and so forth, so noise concerns should never be an issue.

The feces of birds breaks down very easy and will fertilize the soil, if not over crowded there is no smell.

They will reduce insect pests in the yard and around the home, the idea that keeping chickens will attract flies is quite false. They will also eat ticks and fleas.

As such I see no good reason why chickens should not be allowed as pets in the city.

I think the driving force against it is a combination of people who raise chickens to sell eggs to the grocery store, and perhaps the grocery stores themselves.

Click to Read More on How to Care For Chickens

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Tags

Chickens As Pets, Chicks, Friendly Chickens, Hens, Keeping Chickens, Laws About, Pet Birds, Pet Chickens, Roosters, Urban Chickens

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 Nancy Czerwinski
8th Sep 2015 (#)

Mark, I loved this article. My grandparents lived on a farm and had chickens and my neighbor want to get chickens for the eggs. I remember watching a segment of Martha Stewart and she said that you can determine the color of your eggs by the food you feed your chickens. I found that to be very interesting. I love the pictures of farm animals that Brenda shares.

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author avatar LifeisGood
9th Sep 2015 (#)

I work with someone who has a chicken in her own house.

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author avatar snerfu
9th Sep 2015 (#)

Well, cats okay but chicken seems a bit far fetched. After all, you cannot eat your pets which is what will happen in due course when some guests drop in unexpectedly.

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author avatar Carol Roach
9th Sep 2015 (#)

I tried to raise baby chicks but they died on me

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
9th Sep 2015 (#)

My wife refused to eat chicken, we do not eat our pets.

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author avatar LOVERME
18th Sep 2015 (#)

we all r human as pets adopt us first

very delicious piece
'tis been a long tyme u walked my way are u busy or angry do say

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author avatar Retired
9th Sep 2015 (#)

Very cool. When I was a kid on a ranch, we had our own free-range chickens, while the owner had a big chicken house where they were kept in single bird cages. What a difference!
We often had problems with predators. And, as for fleas, the chickens had their own type of flea, different from the dogs.
Having lived in the city for too long, I grew to dislike the environment for almost any kind of animal.

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author avatar Helena
10th Sep 2015 (#)

Great information, I love the picture of the rooster with the chicks!

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author avatar Retired
10th Sep 2015 (#)

Good one, Mark. Informative, I must say.

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author avatar jak2010
11th Sep 2015 (#)

I can't eat my pets and since chicken are juice and tastier meat birds, I rather not look after them as pets. Very interesting argument.

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author avatar Peachpurple
12th Sep 2015 (#)

If hens n roosters are suitable to be pets, then fast food centre will close down

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author avatar LOVERME
18th Sep 2015 (#)

we all r human as pets adopt us first

very delicious piece
'tis been a long tyme u walked my way are u busy or angry do say

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
10th Oct 2015 (#)

That roosters are not needed for hens to lay eggs made me ponder and think..

Very interesting is the way nature works, so protective of us in a way - siva

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author avatar Souvik
2nd Nov 2015 (#)

Very well written Mark, chicken are really useful. Many people have concept of poultry, rearing as pets is a new concept.

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