Chickens as pets

Chicken

Chickens were one of the first animals domesticated by man. The main attraction for many potential owners is the prospect of fresh eggs, although they also make great pets and add character to any garden.

Normally they’re very inquisitive and friendly, and each one has its own unique personality. They may even allow themselves to be picked up if they trust you.

They will usually live between four to seven years. There are many different varieties of chicken, but if you are keeping them for their eggs, then the larger breeds or hybrids are probably best suited to you. Hybrids will each lay one egg per day, although this will slow during winter and when they get older.

Virtually any garden, however small, can house chickens. However, in some rare cases there can be local restrictions. Since chickens are an important commercial animal, there are regulations but these don’t apply to pet owners who eat or give their eggs away. The Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) encourages pet owners to register their chickens with them, there is also lots of information available on their website. www.defra.gov.uk