Pet ChickensHatching a plan
Keeping chickens is no yolk! As well as being a great hobby it’s also a simple, funny, and wonderful way to guarantee a steady supply of lovely tasting, deliciously fresh eggs.
Training and taming chickens is easy, even as adults, with positive reinforcements and food rewards. They will come running and clucking when they think you have a treat. They’ll even learn to eat out of your hand and allow you to stroke them. Pet chickens have a surprisingly long life and can live for about 15 years. If you talk to them, treat them well and handle them gently you'll have a healthy brood of faithful followers.
Pet chickens spend most of their time foraging and pecking around for food and provide very effective natural bug control for your garden. They can also be a prime target for predators themselves, especially foxes, so you will need a chicken house or coup where they can roost safely at night.
There are lots of different chicken breeds to choose from, with hundreds of colours and styles: brown, gold, red, white, gray, silver, speckled, spotted, checkered, dappled, smooth, fluffy, silky, grizzled, whiskered, bearded, bare legged, feathered legged, booted, high tailed, bushy tailed, long combed, rose combed, bare headed or with fanciful headdresses. And that’s just to name a few.
Hens, with their subtler colours, lay eggs and cackle and cluck. Cockerels (roosters) are much more colourful and flashy. They fertilize the eggs and crow loudly and often – just the thing to make you popular with the neighbours. Unless you want more baby chicks, and want to wake the street up at 4am every morning, don't get a rooster as a companion for your hens. Hens don’t need a rooster to lay eggs, and without a male around, like humans, are less stressed and harassed!
The best laid plans
Most people who keep chickens like to enjoy the fresh eggs they provide. If it’s a free daily omelette you’re after, you might not want to put all your eggs in one basket. Getting a variety of hens from different breeds increases your likelihood of a regular supply to dip your soldiers in. Some hens lay blue or green-shelled eggs, some spotted, some dark brown and others pearl white. Some lay every day while others only lay a few months of the year. Most hens start laying in their 5th or 6th month and are productive up to their third or fourth year with some hens producing well into old age.
Take a look at the latest advice and information on caring for your pet chickens. Cock-a-doodle-do.
- Latest Article › Fancy Feeds
As adults, feed your chickens good quality Pellets in the mornings and Fancy Feeds Mixed Corn in the afternoon, with clean, fresh water available at all times. Pellets can be given in a feeder from which they help themselves, while the grain can be scattered on the ground so that they can enjoy scratching for it. Table scraps are a welcome treat, but... Open