Why Are Chickens The Perfect Pet For Children (and Adults) ?

The perfect pet for children, and for adults, is to keep chickens. Keeping chickens has a number of benefits including the provision of wonderful free range eggs for the fridge and the capacity of chickens to eat all those rotten bugs that are eating your flowers.

Many people assume that keeping chickens is just something that you can do if you live in the country. However nothing could be further from the truth and there are plenty of people living in the middle of suburbia who have the delight of keeping pet chickens, and eating fresh free range eggs.

Of course you need to check out the rules and regulations from your local council to see what you are and are not allowed to do when it comes to keeping chickens. For instance many councils don’t allow the keeping of roosters in built-up areas because of the early morning noise, and also have in some instances regulations about how many hens you can have and about the building and positioning of chicken houses.

Once you’ve researched the regulations and found out what you can and cannot do then there is no reason why the average suburban dweller cannot keep backyard chickens.

I am often asked how many chickens to have and what breed of chickens to buy.

There is a rough rule of thumb that a chicken will lay around 300 eggs in a year, laying more per week in summer than winter.

And so from this you can make a calculation to determine how many hens will supply sufficient eggs to keep your family in omelettes.

But it’s extremely rare that you should have eggs going to waste. If you do simply ask the neighbours, they will fall all over themselves to buy your free range eggs.

On that basis, for the average family, 3 or 4 hens is usually sufficient, though more is more fun.

And then there is the question of what breed to buy and this depends on why you are keeping chickens. Are you keeping chickens for their looks or their eggs or their companionship?

Our children love fancy looking chickens and so we are the proud owners of some pure white silky bantams. Whilst they look wonderful and are fun to have around they lay small eggs, and not as many as some other breeds, and so are really only there for looks.

But they do look great.

If you want chickens for their egg laying capacity then select Isa Browns, which we have. They don’t sit on eggs very well which means they won’t hatch chicks for you, but this means they lay plenty of eggs.

If you have chicks it’s just wonderful and the kids love it. But the downside is that you will have to find something to do with those roosters, and unless you want to find that your small brood of 3 or 4 hens grows to 10 or 15 you will also have to find something to do with the hens.

However these are small problems when compared to the delights of keeping chickens as pets, and also of having those wonderful, tasty and fresh free range eggs to eat every day.

Peter has a website about chickens and chicken houses at http://www.chickenhouses.net.au

Comments are closed.