When considering a pet, many people think of animals like cats, dogs, fish, or small rodents, but chickens are often overlooked. Although you may be accustomed to finding chickens on a farm, they can also make good companions in your back garden, too.
Like all animals, chickens have great personalities and can also be a great educational tool for learning more about being sustainable. They’ll also reward you in ways that other pets can’t.
Here’s why we think chickens make great pets.
- They’re fun
Chickens have great personalities. If you’ve ever watched them, you’ll have noticed that they have many great, unique quirks. Plus, there are different breeds, so they come in all shapes, sizes, and colours.
- They provide you with an endless supply of eggs
Yes, chickens provide you with hearty, protein packed eggs meaning you no longer have to trapse to the shops because you forgot the eggs for breakfast or for that cake you were making.
You’ll also feel a great sense of achievement that you’ve raised the chickens that provided the eggs for you, with the help of some green grass and sunshine! Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin A.
- They’ll gobble your leftovers
That’s right, if your conscious of the amount of food you’re throwing away, it’s possible that you may be able to feed it to the chickens.
- Chickens are low maintenance
If you’re worried about the clean-up mission and the expense that comes with a domestic pet, then chickens are perfect for you.
Chickens don’t need grooming or daily walks; you can even buy gravity feeders and waterers that will feed your chickens automatically!
- Great if you have kids
Chickens are a great way to help teach small children about responsibilities and the value of hard work. That’s because they can be involved in the day-to-day care of the chickens as well as collecting eggs.
Before you rush out to buy an entire flock of chickens, here are some things you need to know first.
Do Your Research
Before you buy a chicken, you’ll need to do your research first. Not all chickens are the same and there are an enormous number of breeds to choose from which can affect their size, temperament, and even the number of eggs they lay.
There are plenty of online resources, as well as chicken breeders, vets, and charities who are able to offer advice.
Keeping Chickens in Your Garden
In the UK, you are allowed to keep up to 50 chickens in a garden without registering with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). If you plan to have more than 50, then you’ll need to sign up to the Poultry Register.
However, you should check with your local council to make sure there are no by-laws which would stop you from keeping chickens in your garden. It is also nice to let your neighbours know that you are thinking about getting some chickens. Remember chickens can be vocal but the offer of some free, fresh eggs might do the trick!
Invest In a Hen House
Just like humans and other domestic pets, chickens need a safe and secure home. They also need a run which is predator proof, so do your research about how best to keep chickens in your back garden.
Just like any other pet, there are things you need to take into consideration when thinking about keeping chickens in your back garden. Chickens are a rewarding pet and can even help you to lead a more sustainable life, but it’s important to do your research first.