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Chicken owners

Keeping chickens can be very rewarding, but there are a few things that all owners should know...

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Our top 10 tips for would-be chicken owners

1. Chickens have quirky and unique personalities

Chickens have a range of personality traits which differ wildly, so a flock can prove an interesting mix. This makes them more entertaining pets than you might expect.

2. You must keep their water clean

Chickens are less inclined to drink dirty water and as a result can become dehydrated, which quickly leads to illness or even death. Change their water daily.

3. Chickens can eat almost anything, except...
  • Citrus fruit
  • Large servings of meat
  • Avocado skins and stones
  • Long cut grass
  • Chocolate
  • Raw potato skins
  • Bones
  • Garlic and onion (this has an adverse effect on the taste of their eggs)
4. Avoid daffodils and morning glories

These flowers are poisonous to chickens and should be kept well away from them.

 

5. Chickens see in full colour

Colourful items will help to stimulate your chickens’ senses. They also love to run, jump and sunbathe, so colourful surroundings with differing levels and sunny spots will go a long way towards keeping them happy.  

6. Petroleum jelly protects chickens from frostbite

General advice in cold weather is to avoid heating coops as chickens adapt to cold weather over time and heating a coop means they never get used to the changing temperatures. Ensure they have somewhere enclosed with comfy bedding at night time, and rub petroleum jelly on their wattles and combs to protect from frostbite in very cold weather.

7. Chickens recover very well

Chickens are surprisingly resilient and can recover well from illness if you catch it early, so contact us if you see anything that concerns you. Be aware of symptoms indicating illness such as:

  • Mites
  • Abnormal stools
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • A sudden reduction in their pecking order position
  • Sneezing
  • Mangy appearance
8. First eggs are rather disappointing

The first eggs your chicken lays will probably be a little underwhelming. Many are small, with weak shells (or no shell at all) – but this is perfectly normal. They improve with time.

9. Chickens can live up to 20 years

The common life expectancy for pet chickens is 8 to 10, but chickens have been reported to live as long as 20 years. So, a pet chicken is a long commitment you need to be prepared for.

10. Chickens are easy to keep

Coops need to have bedding changed once a month and all faeces removed. The coop needs to be thoroughly scrubbed twice a year and rinsed of all cleaning residue.

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