- Chickens lay nutritious and delicious eggs packed with protein and beneficial vitamins and minerals. They are the perfect ‘superfood’ and eggs from your own flock are fresher and tastier than anything you can buy in a shop or supermarket.
- Chickens only cost £1 per bird per week to feed even with the best quality GM-free and soya-free varieties. This makes them considerably cheaper than almost every other pet. You can enrich their diet with dark leafy greens from your garden too if you wish.
- Chickens don’t need to be taken for a walk in all weathers. Walking a dog is great fun when it’s dry but it can be hard work when it’s cold, wet and windy and the days are so short. Chickens like to exercise and they benefit from a generous area to stretch, flap and scratch the ground.
- Chickens are incredibly educational for all ages. Did you know chickens don’t wee? Did you also know you DON’T need a cockerel to get eggs? It’s endlessly fascinating to watch feed going in one end and eggs coming out the other. You could even hatch your own if you want the full learning experience.
- Chickens are far from being ‘bird brained’. They are intelligent, have social hierarchies and can be trained to do an amazing array of tricks. They are extremely motivated by food, especially live meal worms, fruit and seeds. They use a broad range of vocalisations which you can learn too.
- Chickens can be extremely affectionate and most love a cuddle and will fall asleep on a willing lap when stroked. They recognise faces and are very aware of who brings the food every day and are much more appreciative at mealtimes than children often are. Those cuddles are good for you too and release stress busting serotonin.
- Chicken’s poop and bedding such as straw, shavings or similar can be composted and reused in the garden. If you free-range your birds then they will fertilise your lawn for you as they go as well as scratching out weaker grass. They are like a free lawn maintenance service! Some people even use their flock as chicken tractors to remove unwanted weeds and insects like leather jackets from their borders and vegetable beds.
- Chickens don’t need ongoing vaccinations or visits to the groomers. They need their food and water replenished daily and need cleaning out weekly. Obviously it’s advantageous for you to check for eggs daily and this can be a great reminder to attend to their food and water too. They are very low maintenance so even the busiest family should be able to fit them into their lives.
- Chickens are one of the only pets that can live outside of your home. If the hair and detritus of cats and dogs has put you off keeping these, good news, chickens live outdoors all year round. You don’t need to compromise your pristine surfaces or if you are like most people, you just can’t face adding more chaos to the mix. Chickens don’t scratch your furniture or chew shoes up either!
Follow these steps to ensure your chickens have access to liquid water even on the coldest winter days:
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