After a pet a little out of the ordinary? What about chickens? Pet Chickens are easy to look after, will provide eggs to feast on, and are great for children.
What do you need?
- Chickens need a safe place to retreat to where they won’t feel threatened. A chicken coop is where your chooks will lay their eggs, sleep and be safe from any predators. It should include nesting boxes. The boxes should be elevated and contain hay or pine shavings.
- Remember that you will want to be able to get in there yourself to clean and remove eggs. So make sure it’s at least at a height that you can enter comfortably.
- Chicken coops can be purchased, ready-made, or you can make one. Unused sheds or outhouses can be converted into great chicken sheds too! If you don’t have the skills call a local builder or handyman and see if they can help you out.
- In addition to the chicken coop, your chickens will need a place to roam during the day. Let them out during the day in an enclosed area of the garden. Daily free roaming is important – they will be far healthier and happier for it. You can use additional chicken wire to fence off an area of the yard if you like.
- Always take your chickens into the coop at night time where the will be safe from any predators.
- Chickens sleep on hardwood roosting bars at night, so make sure you include this in their coop.
- Create a floor covering inside the coop for the chooks. Use sawdust or hay. This can also eventually be used as compost.
- Remember to keep an eye on the weather. Wild wind, rain and very hot weather can be a threat to chickens.
Chickens make great pets and can bring much joy with their individual personalities. They are especially great for families and can help children to get involved by collecting eggs and caring for the chooks. Here is another article on keeping chickens in your backyard