Chickens: Not the Ideal House Pet for Everyone

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I am a blogger for Backyard Poultry Magazine and this is an article of mine that they posted on February 26, 2014
IMG_5475(RH)You will be hard put to find someone that is as fanatical about their chickens as I am. I have gone to insane measures for my birds over the years. I have spent countless dollars on their health care, daily care and building materials for their living spaces.
I have been called obsessed, eccentric and even occasionally the crazy chicken lady. I take them to community functions and outdoor concerts on leashes.

I have even taken them to retirement homes as therapy for the residents. Many have slept on the night stand beside my bed and in one very unique case, even on the pillow next to my head. My photography features them and my writing chronicles them. I spend untold hours cleaning up after them. It is a never ending responsibility, but it is truly a labor of love. My chickens are my pets, they are my family and my life would lose much of its meaning without them. Every one of my birds has a name and a unique personality. My family and friends derive endless hours of entertainment from the antics.
Rarely an evening passes that I don’t have one on my lap and as I write this there is a sweet little ginger rooster asleep at my feet.
IMG_5106Often, ailing or geriatric birds are given a special place indoors to recover or live out their days in comfort. I personally cannot conceive of a time that I won’t have at least one house chicken. Frequently when people visit and have their very first experience with a house chicken, they are both amazed and amused. I can’t begin to say how many people have relayed a story to me about asking a parent or spouse if they too could have a house chicken.
They are a truly unique pet. But they are not a pet that is well suited to everyone.
They can be terribly messy, amazingly noisy and very mischievous. They will not respect you dinner arrangements, your house plants or your personal space. There is no hiding hole, small cubby or bag of fabric scraps that is off limits for a potential nesting space.
IMG_5249(RH)I love my birds, but I will be the first one to tell anyone that asks that house chickens are not for everyone. So we here at Rooster Hooch have started a VIDEO SERIES to illustrate some of the more unusual habits that we have captured on film. Reason number one is that house plants have a multitude of uses for a chicken. They can be food, bathtub or simply entertainment for a bored bird. This video is of a plant that used to be a geranium. When I found Lacey, there was no evidence of any plant left in the pot, but it sure looks like she’s having fun. Would you ever consider a chicken as a house pet? Do you have a unique or funny story about a chicken that has resided with you? If you do, I’d love to hear it!

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