How to Care for a Pet Chicken

Are you thinking about having a chicken as a pet? Do you see them in the markets and think about adopting one as a new member of the family? Here you will find some very useful guidelines and tips for having a chick as a pet.

How to make the decision to have a chicken pet?

To begin with, we must take into account that the chicken is not an animal that behaves with a pattern of owner-pet interaction. They are very dirty animals, both babies, and adults. They do not control their sphincters, so having them on a floor would not be viable.

Before or later you will have to look for an open space for them, like a patio or a small garden. The chicks will grow and become roosters or hens, and you will have to think about what your future will be. If they are roosters, in addition, to waking up very early with their singing, you can cross them to have more chicks. If they are hens, you could have fresh eggs. To know if a chick is male or female, the most reliable is a DNA test. DNA analyzes are performed in hatcheries to determine the sex of your bird, quickly and economically.

What does a chick need?

The chicks are very delicate animals, and as such, they need special care. It is recommended that they have a sufficient enough cage so they can move freely. We must bear in mind that they grow rapidly, and it is likely that in a short time you have to change its cabinet for one greater. The place where we put the cage has to be disinfected and clean and must have a bed made of materials that absorb moisture (straw or paper shavings, for example, although pine and cedar shavings we must avoid).

pet-chicken-care
Image credit Wonderpolis

The chicks must be at a temperature of 37 ° C. Not receiving the heat they need can be very harmful to them, hence their great delicacy. We can put artificial light, preferably a red bulb of 250 watts, as it will give them the heat they need and help them relax. It is best to place it in a place that heats them from above, which is how it would give them heat their mom hen. We can put hangers or toys to entertain them. The chicks love to peck and scratch, this means that we have to count on ourselves to fill us with dust all the area around their cage.

How to know if my chick is comfortable?

If a chick is fluttering through his cage, he eats and drinks regularly, and is distended is a sign that he is comfortable in his new home. What can awaken our alerts is when I ponded a lot or opens the peak, this means that it is very hot, this is something that can be solved by climbing the bulb. On the contrary, if you spend a lot of time under the bulb it means that it passes cold, so we must lower the light bulb a little.

What do the chicks eat?

When they are very babies, it is necessary to start with a special feed for chicks or “starter feed”, which can easily find it in pet stores. We will have to change your diet as you grow. After your first month of life, we ​​can offer leaf or cabbage vegetables, and bread (in a short amount) that will peck with great pleasure. Its diet should be on-demand, at least until your veterinarian recommends something else. It is important that we change both water and your food regularly.

What medical care do you need?

As any pet must have a periodic checking. It is important to be informed of the vaccines you need. They are very simple to administer, they are usually a few drops that we throw in your eye or nose. In the Veterinary Clinic, we can indicate what type of power you should have according to your age and in case you need medication feed. Deworming is important to avoid red mite, a very common ectoparasite in chickens that transmits multiple diseases and can cause the death of the bird.


Having a chick as a pet is an experience. If these baby birds are characterized for something, it is because of the tenderness they transmit. But, as you have read in this post, raising a chick is a great responsibility, so if you adopt one, you will have to take into account all these tips so that it grows healthy, strong, and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions on Raising Chickens as Pets

Are chickens easy to keep?

As mentioned previously, keeping chickens is a relatively easy job, so long as you establish a strong routine. Here are some of the things you’ll need to do for your flock each day… Ensure that they have plenty of food and water. Spot check the coop to make sure it is clean and sanitary.

How long does a pet chicken live?

How Long Do Chickens Live? Chicken lifespans vary widely, with most hens generally living between 3 and 7 years. However, with ideal care, they may live even longer. If a chicken is kept safe from predators (including dogs) and doesn’t have genetic issues, it can certainly live 10 to 12 years old.

What breed of chicken makes the best pet?

Chicken Breeds Ideal for Backyard Pets and Eggs

  • Partridge Silkie
  • Golden Campine
  • Easter Egger
  • Golden-Laced Polish
  • White Bantam Brahma
  • Golden-Laced Wyandotte
  • Australorp
  • Speckled Sussex
  • Delaware
  • Buff Orpington
  • Barred Plymouth Rock
  • Red Star
  • Serama
  • Do chickens like to be petted?
  • Many chickens love being given affection and one key way you can give it to them is by petting them. However, they usually only allow this type of contact once they get used to you and if you interact with them calmly and gently.

Are chickens easy pets?

Chickens can be good pets for children who are able to be gentle around them. Are chickens hard to take care of? Chickens are fairly easy to maintain once you get their housing set up, requiring daily feedings and regular cleanings.

Do chickens bite humans?

Chickens peck to investigate their surroundings and while looking for food, but they are unable to “bite” you since they don’t have teeth. A chicken’s beak is hard and is capable of breaking skin if they feel threatened. However, tame chickens don’t typically peck at humans, including kids, or pets.

Do chickens like to cuddle?

Chickens that get a lot of attention can become very affectionate with their owners, even cuddling with them to show their love and affection for them. Be sure to Check out a sweet cuddling rooster, snuggling chickens, and chickens who hug their people friends.

Are chickens noisy?

It is true that some breeds are more chatty than others, but at their loudest, chickens have the same decibel level as a human conversation (60-70 decibels). Compared to a dog’s bark which can reach over 90 decibels, chickens can hardly be called a noisy animals.

Do chickens attract rats?

Do Chickens attract rats? Rats are not attracted to chickens. However, they are attracted to chicken feed and love stealing a freshly laid egg. Rats are also attracted to nice, warm, cozy places to live, especially if there is a reliable food source nearby.

Can chickens be left alone for a week?

You can leave your backyard chickens alone for a few days so long as you see to a few basic needs. 1. They need enough food and water for the duration of your trip. That should be a no-brainer.

Do you need permission to keep chickens?

Chicken coops and runs may require planning permission if they are bigger than regulations allow. It is unusual for the average-sized coop to need planning permission, but you may have to check if you are in any doubt.

Do you need a license to keep chickens?

Poultry keepers with 350 or more birds must be registered with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Those with 50 or more birds only need to register if they are selling the eggs at local public markets.

How many chickens should you have?

How Many Chickens Should I Keep? Chickens are sociable creatures, so plan to keep three to six birds. With this amount, you’ll always have a steady supply of eggs, since an adult hen lays about two eggs every three days, on average.

What do you do with chickens in the winter?

Here are seven steps to help ensure your birds are protected from cold weather.

  • Minimize drafts
  • Keep your coop well ventilated
  • Use the ‘Deep Litter Method
  • Use sunlight to trap heat
  • Make sure your chickens can roost
  • Make them a sunroom
  • Protect against frostbite

How many chickens should a beginner have?

Chickens are extremely flock-oriented, so a good starter flock size is no fewer than three chickens. You should collect about a dozen eggs from three laying hens. A flock of five or six hens is a good choice for slightly larger families.

Do I need a rooster with my chickens?

Hens will lay eggs with or without a rooster. Without a rooster, your hens’ eggs are infertile, so won’t develop into chicks. If you do have a rooster, eggs need to be collected daily and kept in a cool place before being used so that they won’t develop into chicks.

Do chickens recognize their owners?

Surprisingly, yes – chickens really do seem to recognize their owners. In fact, research has shown that chickens are capable of recognizing up to 100 human faces, so it won’t take them long to learn who their owner is.

How many hens do you need for one rooster?

The generally accepted ratio is 10 hens for every 1 rooster. However, the exact ratio for your flock will depend on the particular breeds you have and the number of hens you have. Breeds that are lightweight and active (such as Leghorns and Fayoumis) can have a higher hen to rooster ratio (12:1).

Can you have 2 roosters?

With multiple roosters, you will need more than the bare minimum of space. You’ll want to double or even triple the minimum space per bird for your flock. If you get too many roosters competing together in a confined space, testosterone-fueled aggression and territoriality can boil to ahead.

What is the friendliest rooster?

  • Sussex
  • Polish
  • Buff Orpington
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Brahma
  • Barbu D’Uccle
  • Delaware. Delaware roosters are well known to be docile and gentle with their humans
  • Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rocks are old favorites
  • New Hampshire. The New Hampshire breed was developed from Rhode Island Reds.

How many eggs does a chicken lay a day?

A hen can lay only one egg in a day and will have some days when it does not lay an egg at all. The reasons for this laying schedule relate to the hen’s reproductive system. A hen’s body begins forming an egg shortly after the previous egg is laid, and it takes 26 hours for an egg to form fully.

Are chickens happier with a rooster?

Chickens, even those who have been living together for years, will sometimes squabble or pick on those lower in the pecking order. What is this? Having a rooster around does seem to keep peace within the flock. Also, in the absence of a rooster, one hen will often assume the dominant role and become a bit of a bully.

Can you eat eggs if you have a rooster?

If you have a male chicken, you will have fertile eggs. So be prepared to eat them. If you don’t like the thought, don’t have a male chicken. You’ll still get eggs, but there’s no chance of them being fertile.

How does the rooster impregnate a chicken?

A rooster often employs a type of foreplay by prancing around the hen and clucking before mounting her. The transfer of sperm happens quickly without the penetration normal in mammal mating. The cloaca, or vent, of the male and female touch and sperm, are exchanged.

Can a chicken lay 2 eggs a day?

Chickens will sometimes release two yolks at the same time. This is most common with young hens who are maturing or a sign that a bird is being overfed. Therefore, a chicken could potentially lay two eggs a day, but no more.

Can a chicken survive alone?

There is no evidence that chickens can die of loneliness. However, if they are very stressed, which can be caused by being alone, it can shorten their life span and decrease egg production. Like all animals, if they are highly stressed, they are not thriving.

Do they make diapers for chickens?

Most chicken diapers are machine washable and intended to endure for months (the industry is nothing if not sustainable). Pampered Poultry pricepoint of $18 per diaper is fairly standard. Purely Poultry’s zebra, daisy, and pink camo designs go for around $17, while My Pet Chicken offers custom-made diapers for $30. Here are the cheapest chicken diapers.

Do chickens get mad when you take their eggs?

Will your chickens be upset if take their eggs? No, for the most part, your hens will not care when you take their eggs. When you have had them a while and they are tame and used to you even slipping a hand underneath them and plucking the egg from under a hen won’t bother them.

Do chickens know their names?

Yes, if they are handled and told their name over and over from a young age, they have the ability to learn their name. They won’t always come when called like a dog, but they will turn around and acknowledge when called by name. Chickens are not your typical domesticated pets like cats or dogs.

Can chickens be indoor pets?

Chickens are generally outdoor birds. They need lots of space to run around, and they love to forage. However, they can also enjoy staying indoors. Having a chicken living with you inside the house might seem like a whole lot of trouble, but if done the right way, raising an indoor chicken can be fun and rewarding.

Can I kiss my chickens?

“Don’t kiss or snuggle the birds, as this can spread germs to your mouth and make you sick,” the health agency said. It warned that poultry, like chicken and ducks, can carry salmonella germs even if they look healthy and clean, and these germs can easily spread in areas where they live and roam.

How do you play with chickens?

  • Bales of Hay or Straw. Putting a bale or pile of straw or hay in the chicken coop or run will keep your girls entertained for hours – they are not a fan of piles!
  • Make a Pinata
  • Get a Chicken Swing
  • Add a Mirror to Your Chicken Run
  • Make a Chook Crumble
  • Extra Perches

How do I keep my chickens warm in the winter?

To help small coops retain heat, cover them with blankets or tarps during the coldest months. In a huge coop, you might lower the ceiling or erect temporary walls to shrink the space occupied by your chickens. Finally, provide a warm, dry floor with biodegradable bedding.

What should you not feed a chicken?

Hens should never be fed food scraps that contain anything high in fat or salt, and do not feed them food that is rancid or spoiled. Specific types of food that hens should not be fed include raw potato, avocado, chocolate, onion, garlic, citrus fruits, uncooked rice or uncooked beans.

Why are chicken coops raised off the ground?

Not all chicken coops need to be off the ground, but there are many benefits to having an elevated coop, including the prevention of high moisture in the coop (particularly in areas with run-off or flooding), protection from burrowing predators and rodents, an extension of the size of the run, and shelter in the run from.

Do chickens destroy grass?

Will chickens kill your grass? Chickens will ruin grass if there is not enough room for them or they are kept in the same spot all the time. Chickens have a habit of producing hard-packed ground where they stand around. Below: Chickens can kill lawns and leave bare patches.

What do chickens do all day?

Being very social creatures, hens tend to stay in groups even as they roam. Mostly hens love to forage. This means keeping moving, looking under trees for bugs and grubs. They do interrupt their search from time to time, taking time out to dustbathe or to get into the sandpits and have a bit of fun.

Do chicken coops need windows?

Ideally, a coop needs at least one window to let light in. Chickens are light-sensitive animals and daylight regulates both egg-laying and molting. Windows really ought to be of such a size and position that the sunlight can reach every part of the floor space during some part of the day.

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