Chickens – Unusual but Delightful Pets
Many different birds and animals have started to leave lasting impressions on owners and have become quite popular as pets. One such an unusual choice is chickens. Seen mostly as farm animals and livestock, people seldom realize how affectionate and loyal chickens can really be. They are definitely wonderful animals and worth exploring as pets, as they are able to give back to their owners in their own unique way.
When considering chickens as pets, it is important to remember two things. Firstly, owners will need to find out if their zoning laws will permit chickens in a residential area. One chicken is often accepted, but in certain instances when more than one chicken is kept it is seen as farming stock. Secondly, chickens need to spend time in the garden. They want to scratch around, bask in the sun, peck at fresh sprouts and house training might be somewhat difficult.
Chickens come in a magnificent range of colorings and markings. There are also many different chicken breeds to choose from such as brahmas, sultans, bantams, frizzle cochins, cochins, polish, silkies, leghorns, houdans and turkens. When raising them from chicks, a close bond of loyalty and affection can often be nurtured. Cocks might get a little difficult when reaching maturity, but hens are known to be soft hearted and loving. Some will even come when called or respond at the mere sound of a familiar voice.
To keep your pet chicken as healthy as possible, a carefully planned diet should be followed. Fresh water should be available at all times. In the mornings owners can provide their chickens with pellets and a grain mixture in the afternoon. Corn, wheat and sunflower seeds can also be scattered around the garden for the chickens to forage during the day. Green vegetables, cabbage, lettuce and spinach also make tasty treats. In return for good food, the chickens will help owners keep their gardens free of slugs, snails and other insects that might harm their plants. Owners should ensure that all their plants are safe for chickens, some might be toxic to them, and use non-toxic organic pesticides to ensure the health and safety of their chickens. Poultry grit (such as crushed oyster shells) is also a vital part of their diet, as it assists them with digestion and to form good, strong eggshells. When kept in a coup, ensure that there is a small garden like atmosphere, or chicken run, for them to move around in, and a clean coup will ensure the health of the chickens. When hand-rearing chickens, it is always recommended to do some research in regard to their dietary needs and necessary care.
Owners who keep chickens as pets soon realize the benefits of keeping these loveable and vocal birds close to home. While sitting in the afternoon sun with a chicken in their lap or watching their animated way of going about their daily routine, chickens bring joy, laughter, love and the odd egg into their owner’s life.