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Keeping Chicken as Pets – Part One

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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If you’re looking for a different kind of pet, you might like to consider a couple of chickens. Though not necessarily trainable, they are easy to tame, and you have the added bonus of fresh eggs every day.

Image courtesy of Ikuni / Freedigitalphotos.net

Chickens are inexpensive to purchase and to care for; the greatest expense is in providing shelter. If you’re going to allow them to roam free in the yard, all you need is a small enclosure to lock them in at night. However, if you have manicured gardens and don’t want them scratched up by curious claws, then you will need a contained area for them.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Chickens can become quite affectionate if bribed with food. They will eventually let you pat them, scratch their backs (they love this!) and even pick them up, but beware – if you hand-feed them, then every time they see you, they will assume that anything you have in your hands is fair game. I once had a close call with a hot cup of coffee. I had no idea chickens could jump that high! She was fine, but the look of shock was priceless. She is much more cautious now.

Having said that, a couple of chickens can bring endless hours of joy, and my grandchildren love throwing bread and watching them chase after it. They also get a thrill out of discovering a freshly laid egg in the nest.

Image courtesy of Khunaspix / Freedigitalphotos.net

If you’re pressed for space, why not look at the bantam breeds of chickens? They’re half the size of regular breeds and easier to manage but still produce lovely little eggs.

I wouldn't recommend having a rooster unless you live in the country or a distance away from your neighbours. Not only do you have to contend with him crowing at all odd hours, but instead of nice fresh eggs for breakfast, you’ll find yourself with broods of baby chicks.

My children grew up with chickens among a variety of other animals, and as adults, still keep them as pets.

Check with you local council on any restrictions or regulations on keeping chickens in your area.

Want to know more about keeping chickens as pets? Read Part Two of this article.

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#Unusual Pets
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