What are you looking for in a pet? Intelligence? Loyalty? Affection? Something clean that’s easy to take care of? You may assume that rats, cats or guinea pigs are the best choice for your home. But if you’re prepared to think a little outside the box, you might just find that the perfect pal is one that’s unfortunately more present on dinner plates in the UK than in our hearts. We’re talking, of course, about chickens.
You may be surprised to learn that chickens are better suited to your home as pets than as poultry. Here’s why…
They’re intelligent and full of personality
Many of us don’t get to see chickens unless they’re bones, filleted and smothered in barbecue sauce. But when we spend time with them on the farmyard or in the back garden, it becomes plain to see that they’re intelligent creatures who can be trained to come when called and can even learn their own names. They’re full of personality and about as intelligent as a human toddler.
They’re easy and affordable to look after
Spending money on our pets is a guilty pleasure for many of them. We like to give them toys, treats, and even dressing them up. However, the cost of spoiling our pets can quickly add up. And given that most of us are feeling the pinch given the current climate, it’s understandable that you might gravitate towards a more cost-effective pet.
Fortunately, chickens are very affordable to keep. Their needs are simple, and once you’ve bought (or built) a chicken run,there’s very little expense incurred. Take a look at Little Peckers to see how affordable it is to feed a chicken. Chickens actually work harder for you than you need to work for them. For instance…
They help you to maintain your garden
Insects and weeds are a bane for many keen gardeners. Thankfully, these are also a big part of a chicken’s natural diet. When they are having free range time they’ll be only too happy to rid your garden of unwanted weeds, slugs, snails, crickets and the like. If you grow fruit trees, they will also happily gobble up any fruit that has fallen from them before it gets the chance to rot and attract insects to your garden. Pet chickens can even help you to reduce the amount of food waste that goes into landfill. Feel free to send any leftover salads, veggie peels, grains, fruits, nuts or seeds their way.
They’re a source of fertiliser
Eating unwanted bugs and weeds isn’t the only way chickens help out in the garden. Their manure is also a fantastic fertiliser for both outdoor and indoor plants. It’s rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Add it to your compost and you’ll find that need never spend good money on fertiliser again.
You need never run out of eggs
Finally, a dozen eggs ain’t cheap these days! Especially if you want free range eggs of good quality laid by happy hens. When you have pet chickens, you’ll never have to worry about running out of eggs!