After our dog died and the birth of our second child, I knew that getting and training a puppy would not be on the list of things to do in this season of our lives. I wanted to think of a way to bring a new pet into our family that would be cost effective and low maintenance. After going to a chicken swap with my neighbor, I knew exactly what pets we needed--chickens!
I know, you may be shocked by this. Dogs to chickens! Well, let me explain. Our neighbors have chickens as pets, and I had seen how successful she had been with raising them. Her young children were able to help with the chickens, and it was really fun and easy for them.
Inspired to get my own, I went to a chicken swap and was able to purchase three chickens to join our family. We live in a big city, but thankfully we are allowed to have as many chickens as we want as long as they are not roosters.
Here are the top reasons we like having chickens as pets:
- Inexpensive - After totaling up the cost of caring and feeding the chickens, 1 dozen of free range organic chicken eggs cost about sixty-six cents. You would pay about $4.25 at the store. Click here to see how much I've spent on my chickens so far.
- Environmentally friendly - Use recycled material to build a chicken coop. Use a rain barrel to collect rain water for your chickens and plants. It will lessen your carbon footprint.
- Chemical-free pest control - They love eating bugs.
- Free fertilizer - This year there has been a 30% increase on people gardening. If you are included in this, chicken poo is a great fertilizer.
- Low maintenance - You don't have to do much to keep a chicken. Once you have a chicken coop and nesting box, your chickens pretty much take care of themselves. I feed and give water to my chickens daily. You can make an automatic chicken feeder and use old 2 liter soft drink bottles to supply water for the chickens. They can pretty much sustain themselves for up to a week. They even put themselves to bed at night! If only my kids could do that!
- Fun and Friendly Pets - Hens love to be held, and each chicken has their own personality.
- City Chickens - Check your local ordinances first before taking the plunge.
- Educational - Check out backyard chickens to learn all things chicken related before buying an expensive book.