Can Chickens Make Good Pets?

There are those of us that love our cat and snuggle with him every night. Some of us love running around with our dogs. And yet there are some of us that prefer the company of our pet chicken. Wait, a pet chicken? Is that possible? As a matter of fact, it certainly is. Here are a few things to consider if you want a pet chicken.

While the idea of a chicken being your new pet and best friend may sound appealing, and rest assured that it can be, keep in mind one of the biggest limitations: Chickens just don’t make very good house pets. That’s not to say that they’re bad pets, just that keeping them inside your house will quickly lead to messes for you and troubles for your chicken. Your feathered friend is best kept outside in the yard with a warm coop and plenty of space to run around, depending on the breed of course.

Most poultry owners choose to go for the clucking variety in pets not simply because of the birds themselves, but also because they can provide more than just companionship. Yes, we all know that chickens can give us eggs, and if you think you can handle it, they can become dinner as well (though just consider how hard it will be to cook and eat your pet when the time comes). Beyond this, depending on your involvement with your chicken you can easily start taking it around in the poultry show circuit and start trying for trophies and ribbons.

Still, chickens aren’t dogs or cats. They don’t really learn tricks and can’t be trained to do much beyond come when it’s feeding time. However, they still show affection in their own way. Depending on the breed’s temperament and the specific attitude of the bird, your pet chicken may allow you to hold it, carry it around, and may even just hop on your shoulder and ride around there for a while.

In terms of longevity, chickens do actually live relatively long, especially when considered next to a rat or hamster. Chickens can live to be over ten, meaning you can have many years with them as they lay eggs and ride around on top of your head. And best of all, hatching chicks with an incubator gives you a special connection to your pet that you likely don’t usually have with a more traditional animal.

Anyone who tells you that chickens don’t make good pets is probably misled. Chickens make great pets, though just not the sort of pet you’re used to. If you have a farm and the desire, why not give it a shot today?

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