About Keeping Pet Chickens

Did you know that chickens can be kept as pets in some areas?  Some breeds of chicken, such as the Silkie, are not only really cute, but can be quite friendly too.

When we first moved to the farm we wanted a few hens for laying eggs.  My daughter became attached to one hen, whom she named Tess.  Tess was dark brown, of unknown breeding, but became friendly and would come for pats and to be picked up and carried around. 

Hens lay eggs even if a rooster is not around, depending on the breed they may lay one a day or one every few days.  Most hens stop laying in the winter.  Hens tend to make better “pets” than roosters as some roosters can be mean.  Nonetheless roosters are colorful and attractive and some people do keep them as pets too.

Chickens need proper food.  We feed ours laying ration.  They can also have chicken scratch; offer chicken scratch in the afternoon as a treat and a way to get them to bond to you and be more friendly.  Chickens will also eat insects, weeks, and kitchen scraps (even egg shells if you smash them up a bit). 

Myself and a chicken

Myself and a chicken

Chickens should have a coop, a shelter for them to go at night.  When you get new chickens they should be kept in the coop only to become familiar with your home, and after a few weeks can be let out to free range in your yard.

Of course if you are in the city always check local laws first.  Some areas do not allow chickens at all, others allow hens, but not roosters and may have a manxium number of birds you can keep.

Before you buy pet chickens, learn more about the different breeds so you find one suited to your liking.


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  1. thleather
  2. JGPangi
    • Brenda Nelson

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