Chickens As Companions

Do chickens make good companion pets?

 

 Yes, Virginia, chickens can be great companions.
They really do have cute personalities. They are great garden companions, as they are very curious and will follow you around in your garden.
Of course, they will peck the seedlings, so you will want to keep them away from your tender veggies.
Chickens will eat insects in your yard. They love scratching the earth.

Kind of like small tillers–ever heard of Chicken Tractors?

 

Chickens are becoming very popular and accepted in many areas today. People are realizing how important it is to have fresh food and how important it is to know where your food comes from. There are many really cute coop plans if you want to build your own.

There is no reason to have a chicken shack in your yard that is an eyesore to your neighbors. That does not win friends .

Explore the Different Poultry Breeds

There are many breeds of poultry.
Some are exotics, domestics and rare breed poultry. It’s always fun and informative to go to Agricultural Fairs and see the poultry. Also, fancy poultry shows are great.
This is a great way to see exotic and rare birds. Many of these may be like what your grandmother may have had on the farm many years ago.

The large egg farms that we have today do not have the rare or near extinct birds.

Chickens For Meat or Eggs?

You may want a few chickens for eggs or meat.
TIP: If you are going to raise meat birds, it is probably not a good idea to name them. If you name your food, it might be hard to eat.
Some chickens can live up to 8 years. My chickens are not for meat, only eggs and enjoyment.
Once you have your own chickens laying eggs, you’ll NEVER want to be without chickens.
It is so much fun to find fresh eggs in the nest box, still warm.
The freshest of the fresh!

Have You Ever Seen Colored Eggs?

No, I am not referring to Easter Eggs. I am speaking about chickens that lay colored eggs. (The shells are tinted, not the inside itself)
The breed of Araucanas lay eggs in shades of olive, cream, blue and tan. These chickens can be purchased from dedicated breeders.

These are the chickens that Martha Stewart has raised.(it appears that their egg shell colors influenced her paint color line.)

Farm supply stores and hatcheries sell Easter Eggers or Ameraucanas which are mixed breed chickens and they also lay the colored eggs.
Not only are the shells beautiful, but the eggs themselves are also. The yellow of the yolk is the deepest yellow, not the pale, weak looking yolks that you are used to seeing in grocery store eggs.( How long have they been in that carton, anyway?)

 

Chickens in the Back Yard

If raising a few chickens in your back yard sounds like something that interests you, then you should read up on the many different breeds and what is involved in raising them.
A great family project would be to build a chicken house or coop.

Of  course, before you get chickens, make sure that you can do this in your neighborhood. Any restrictions?

Chickens are very quiet. They may cackle a little, but not loudly. You do not have to have a rooster to have eggs, so there is no early morning crowing! Don’t want to upset the neighbors!

Get the kids involved –Taking care of a few chickens is a great way to teach responsibility.

An important tip: If you have dogs, please do not let them chase your chickens, as stressed out chickens will not lay eggs.

Also, dogs can and will kill chickens.

So, train your dog to BEHAVE properly!