Are chickens good pets? With chickens becoming more popular even in city backyards, some people may have visions of large flocks in stinky coops. However, chickens make great pets!
If you can handle having a dog or a cat you can absolutely raise chickens as pets. In fact, in some ways I think chickens make even better pets. Your cat won’t make you breakfast. Dogs require lots of training and time, plus they’re noisy.
Are Chickens Easy To Keep?
Chickens require a similar amount of care as a cat. They need regular food and water and their coop scooped at least weekly. Like a cat, they don’t necessarily NEED a lot of attention, but they do appreciate it when drop by with a tasty treat or some entertainment.
Chickens are much easier to keep than dogs. They don’t need to be walked or let out of the house multiple times per day. Hens won’t bark at midnight! In fact, even my little rooster is quieter than the dogs next door.
The most difficult part of chickens is the initial setting up of their coop and run. Once you have a good home for them, everything else is a piece of cake!
Are Chickens Intelligent?
Chickens are not the smartest of animals, but they can be trained. Chickens are highly motivated by food and can learn to come when you call them. They can also learn some fun tricks and other useful behaviors.
Chickens also have some innate behaviors that are beneficial to their survival. They often will run for shelter if they see a large shadow overhead. Chickens can also be very good about putting themselves safely in their coop each night. Sometimes they get distracted by high trees, but generally they know where home is!
Which Chickens Make The Best Pets?
There are some breeds of chickens that tend to be more friendly as well as other breeds that may be more standoffish or active.
Astralorps tend to be good layers as well as friendly birds. We have had several and our bantam astralorp we have currently lets my kids tote her around the yard!
Cochins are not typically fantastic layers, but they do make great pets and are very attractive birds. Our current rooster is a bantam frizzle Cochin and he’s just a hoot.
Orpingtons are another great choice as a pet. They are very calm and friendly and decent layers as well. One of our very first three hens was an Orpington!
And then of course there are several fun breeds such as frizzles and silkies that have opulent and distinctive feathering that are pretty much eye candy for your flock!
If you want a multipurpose pet that can contribute to the family, doesn’t take a lot of space, and still provides interaction and entertainment, chickens make great pets!
If you want more details on how to raise chickens, check out my book Backyard Chickens: How To Have A Happy Flock!
Want To Raise Happy Chickens?
Subscribe for our newsletter and get the free email course Intro To Backyard Chickens as well as a free printable checklist to walk you through step by step!