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Chickens make great pets, they don’t need a lot of looking after and they also give you amazing fresh eggs to eat.

What you’ll need:

Chicken coop – this must be a safe and secure place for the chickens to sleep that foxes cannot get in. You can buy a coop or you could build one yourself. If you don’t want them free ranging in your garden in the day you will also need a run, an outside secure area for them to graze out of the coop in the day.

Food and water – chickens will eat your kitchen scraps but also need some chicken pellets to help them produce eggs.

Where to buy your chickens

Many markets sell chickens and also local farms often have them for sale. You need to decide whether you are going to buy adult chickens or baby chicks. Chickens don’t lay until approximately 5 months old so if you don’t want to wait for eggs or put in the extra work of looking after baby chickens then you should buy adult ones.

Baby chicks need to sleep inside for a couple of months and require a lot of looking after so buying adult ones is much easier, although kids will love rearing the baby chicks.

Check your council regulations, as city suburbs have a limit of how many chickens you can have, ours is 10.

Once your chickens are laying, you should get an egg a day from each chicken. Freshly laid eggs taste amazing and completely different to supermarket bought ones.

Chickens are friendly and I love sitting outside and watching them peck around, it’s very relaxing. We let our free range around the garden and they will follow us around if we are outside.

Do you have chickens? Please SHARE your experience or any tips below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • ohh how I would love to have chickens at home. my husband was so against it, my kids got a chicken each from my parents for their bday. my husband wouldn’t have them living here, he was making excuses for the 2 dogs that time, now its 1 dog and 1 cat. instead my parents took them back to their place and 1 is still there alive. I still wish we had some here, they will make a perfect pet, food giving and swapping. il def get some one day! just the cat is a problem.


    • Cats aren’t a problem – we have 2 cats and 7 chickens – don’t bother each other at all.

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  • We love our chookies. The eggs are the best and they eat all our scraps too so less waste.

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  • I had chooks as a child, and now I have them again! They make the BEST pets, as well as ducks. We have 2 muscovies and they’re like dogs! They wag their tails and sit on the sofa outside…haha! Some of our chooks make a mad dash for the back door as soon as it’s open so they can help themselves to the cat’s food. One also picks odd places to nest and lay her eggs. They’re incredible creatures.

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  • A few months ago, I heard an odd noise coming from under my house. It was about 2am, and I could hear this deep, guttural almost growling noise. Naturally, I sent hubby to investigate, koz forget that! Lol! He found nothing, so went back to bed. Two days later, I hear a scratching outside my front door, and what do I see, but a friggin CHICKEN!? On my doorstep! I live near the BEACH! LOL! Utterly ridiculous. I have no idea where she came from, or why she chose us. But we now have a chicken as part of our family. She won’t leave, so we adopted her.

    I call her Dinner. LOL! (She actually answers to it, which is pretty weird. :P) She made fast friends with the finch, they share their seed, which is adorable. But she loves my pumpkin patch.

    I cannot agree more, with the comment regarding a run for them.

    I didn’t realise she was staying, so by the time I figured out that I should get her a pen, she’d already worked out how to get around it! Lol.

    Ahh well.

    Life’s a funny old thing. :D

    Thank you for sharing this. Now I know she needs pellets. :)

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  • We used to have a movable chicken dome coop so we could move it around the garden. Worked a treat to get them to dig up different parts

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  • We have had chickens for 5-6 years but lost them last year (I won’t leave a description!). I have just bought a beautiful new (&safe) coop and am ready to go again. I miss having my chickens!

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  • We’re thinking about maybe getting some chickens – just need to double check our towns rules on them. Suspect that they won’t be that strict as we’re in a country town and where we are now has a fair few small farms nearby anyway – definitely one has a rooster (I hear it crowing at odd times, middle of the day, sometimes at night when the wind is going to be right way and our windows are open!)

    Just wondering how people that have free range chickens get them back into their coop at night?
    I’ve never had chickens before and don’t know if they come back on their own or do you have to chase them down or call them in?!

    Any breeds that are better for younger kids too – eldest is nearly 5 and very scared of animals, so we also hope having a few animals around will help her!


    • i always found that the chickens find their own way home to their roost. You just need to lock them in to keep them safe once it is dark.

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  • So many mums want chickens but have to convince hubby – whats with these men? Maybe they are like this about most domestic changes – I know mine is! Chickens are fantastic pets.

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  • Chickens and fresh eggs are simply wonderful.

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  • Lke hb

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  • I want some chickens. Still trying to convince my husband


    • Maybe show him on paper, the cost of eggs!

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  • They do make wonderful pets! I think it’s important to allow children the opportunity to learn to care for an animal, and to connect hands on with where our food comes from. Our chooks all have names and are very used to being handled, cuddled and carried around. They love grass hoppers and treats from the garden, and our garden benefits from their fertilizer too. These chickens hatched just after New Years, and they are bringing so much joy to our kids!

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  • In metropolitan council areas in SA you are not allowed roosters. I personally am pleased about that as one neighbour had some who didn’t only crow at the first sign of light in the morning, they crowed during the middle of the night too. Not too many people appreciate that. Like others have mentioned some councils do have limits. When we were children our house had a large yard. Dad divided a wide section across the back of the yard which he divided into 2 large runs. They had plenty of room to run around, scratch in the soil etc. without going close to each other. In the winter Dad mixed them up Bran & Pollard in warm water in large bowls in the morning. In Summer they just had wheat. They got the greens from home grown vegetables, vegetable food scraps including peels, grass that was suitable for them to eat. They were given fresh water every day. Every afternoon they were given wheat. They had nest boxes in which to lay their eggs which had shellgrit in them. Not only is it good nesting material but they eat it too. The nest boxes were in the sheds they slept in at night which had plenty of ventilation even when the door on it was shut to prevent attacks by cats or other pests. Their shed and yard were cleaned every week to remove manure and allow the air to freshen the soil which had been covered by it. We had to bear in mind that one of our neighbours had a tree that dropped leaves in April which were poisonous to them if they went in the hens’ water. That is one of the reasons why they had 2 runs and two sheds. I had 2 red bantams that I trained to eat out of my hand. One of them I could pick up, but the other one was more timid (that one took longer before it started to eat out of my hand too)

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  • We have and have had varying numbers of chickens at home ranging from silkies, Plymouth Rocks, Silver lace, White Sulfolks, Road Island Reds to the machine egg layers the Isis… we currently have 4 chooks that are regularly laying & some pullets that we haven’t quite worked out if they are hens or roosters.

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  • I am trying to convince hubby we should get some chickens! Hopefully we will have some soon!

    Reply

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