Why Chickens Make Perfect Family Pets

Why Chickens Make Perfect Family Pets

If your little one is asking for a pet, look a little further than cats and dogs. Today, the chicken has become more popular as a household pet. These farm animals are finding themselves at home in cities and suburban backyards. If you’re wondering why chickens make a perfect family pet, take a look at some of their most endearing qualities.

Fresh Eggs Taste Great

Whether you have one chicken or you plan to build a coop together with family members, it won’t take long before you’ve become picky about the freshness of your eggs. Pale green, blue and brown, the eggs from your backyard will look beautiful and taste delicious.

Chicken Deposits Make Good Manure

You might get tired of cleaning up after the dog or frustrated when all of the plants around your cat’s preferred toileting spot die. Neither of those situations will be a problem with chickens. Their deposits are good for your yard. If you can train them to go in specific areas, you’ll have some really fertile soil.

Chickens Eat Pests

Think of your backyard nemesis: June bugs, cabbage beetles, cucumber worms, etc. Chickens love to eat the insects in your yard. They might even kill mice in the yard.

Baby Chickens Are Soft and Fluffy

It’s true that they won’t be little forever, but neither will a puppy or kitten. There’s nothing quite like holding a tiny, warm chick in your hands.

Their Personalities Are Entertaining

Some chicken owners insist that chickens have personalities as complicated and unique as humans. You’ll definitely recognize characteristics such as curiosity, bravery, shyness, friendliness or bossiness. As you and your family come to know each chicken better, you’ll find that they are a constant source of entertainment. They might even prompt some laughter on a regular basis.

Chickens Are Good Companions

Hens are social creatures and when they get a lot of interaction, they’ll be as friendly as a pet dog. Your kids might carry chickens around just like a cat or spend time playing with them in the yard. In general, chickens are less work than dogs and more loving than cats.

Selling Your Excess Eggs

Selling Your Excess Eggs

Once you’ve established a flock of chicken, there’s a good chance you’ll find that you have more eggs than you could ever eat. What can you do with those extras? One profitable solution is selling your excess eggs. Your successful venture will begin with a handful of important considerations.

What Are the Local Laws?

Some communities have restrictions on how many animals you can have in your yard and others may prohibit chickens all together. Many communities allow backyard chicken hatcheries to sell eggs to friends, family and neighbors without any requirements. If you want to move beyond that point, you may find that it’s necessary to meet FDA guidelines. Before planning to make a lot of money selling the extra eggs, be sure you understand your local laws.

Who Are Your Most Likely Customers?

If most of your potential market are individuals who are focused on sales, you might struggle to keep your prices low enough to entice buyers while making a profit. Are there other people in your neighborhood who are selling eggs? These and other factors will affect the price you can set for each dozen.

How Will You Package the Eggs?

If you’re selling enough eggs that you’re dealing with legal requirements, you probably won’t be able to reuse egg containers. If you’re only dealing with a few leftover eggs, you might not want to invest in packages. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to grow your business, a new carton with an attractive label can be a good source of advertising.

Will You Work With a Large Retailer?

If you have enough eggs, you might consider working with a larger retailer who will turn around and sell the eggs again. If you hope to reach this point, you’ll find that the legal requirements are much stricter and the risks are also greater. Create an emergency plan and look into applicable insurance plans.

Selling your extra eggs could be a great way to make a bit of profit without too much additional work. With a little bit of research, you may find that your backyard chickens are wonderful business partners.

Most Popular Back Garden Chicken Breeds in the UK

Most Popular Back Garden Chicken Breeds in the UK

With the current interest in organic foods, local sourcing, and sustainability, it’s no wonder that more and more people are starting to consider keeping a fowl or few. Whether you’re looking for a reliable source of fresh eggs, a garden guardian against plant devouring pests, or you’d just like to have a novel outdoor pet, chickens can be quite useful, and often make remarkably charming companions. Here’s an introductory list of some of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom.

Plymouth Rock

Large, black-and-white checkered chickens with a friendly disposition, Plymouth Rocks are an excellent choice for a novice keeper. They are comfortable with human contact, and easy to tame. Hens lay once every other day, and produce about 200 eggs per year.


These birds are crosses between pure-bred parents. While their pedigree may be mixed, hybrids are bred to obtain the best qualities of their stock. They tend to be especially alert, robust, have a good egg yield, and are usually less expensive: all attractive qualities for those new to raising chickens.

Rhode Island Red

A well known favorite among beginners, Rhode Island Reds are beautiful russet birds with a hardy constitution. Their temperaments is generally good, and they are prolific layers. The average hen may be able to lay up to 300 eggs per year.


The iconic white bird with brilliant red crest, the Leghorn chicken is another popular breed. As with Rhode Island Reds, they produce about 300 eggs per annum, though they are a bit smaller. Those on the skittish side might want to avoid Leghorns, however, since they can be a bit nervous and difficult to control.


The Light Sussex is probably the most commonly kept of this breed. As with the other chickens on this list, they are an easy bird to care for. They enjoy foraging, (making them excellent pets for the garden), are reliable egg producers and good meet producers. For those with space considerations, Sussex chickens are also available in bantam size.

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Top 5 Hardy Chicken Breeds for Cold Weather Climates

Top 5 Hardy Chicken Breeds for Cold Weather Climates

Whether you raise chickens commercially or recreationally, if you live in a cold climate you’ll know that not all birds can survive the bitter winter temperatures. Here are five of the top cool-weather breeds that do well in northern regions.


A dual purpose breed of chicken, Sussex chickens are good producers of meat, and can generate between 240 and 260 eggs each year. These birds are alert and adaptable. They are at home in confinement and enjoy being around people, but they are also vigorous foragers who will gladly hunt outdoors.


These adorable little chickens do lay small eggs, but they are also extremely broody, and mostly kept as pets. Their distinctive pom-pom plumage isn’t just attractive, it forms a warm barrier against the cold. Silkies are also some of the most friendly chickens around, and often enjoy snuggling up to a human companion.

Rhode Island Reds

This prolific layer can produce an impressive 280 medium to large eggs annually. Male and female adults weigh about 8.5 pounds and 6.5 pounds respectively, making them a respectable meat bird as well. With their robust build and thick plumage, they do well indoors or out.

Plymouth Rocks

Plymouth Rock chickens were specifically bred to be outdoor foragers, and they do well in colder regions. They weigh between  7 and 8 pounds, and are quick to mature. The original Plymouth Rock, developed in late nineteenth-century New England, is now available in a wide range of breed variations.


A bird with its origins in the Netherlands, Welsummer chickens lay large, healthy eggs at about 180 per year. They mature slowly, but are sturdy birds that can handle the cold. Active and intelligent, they enjoy foraging outdoors. However, they do have a reputation for being on the noisy side.

Whatever breed you’re caring for, during the winter months you should be especially vigilant that your coop is kept clean and dry, and that your chickens are well fed and watered.

Best Chicken Breeds for the Absolute Beginner

Best Chicken Breeds for the Absolute Beginner

If you are completely new to the world of poultry, you may think that, except for size and color, one chicken is much like another. Nothing could be further from the truth! When choosing the right breed, you will want to consider what you want out of your efforts. Characteristics to weigh include egg production, meatiness, and even temperament. Your expectations may be much different if you’re looking for a pet than if your looking for a meal. Here are a few of the easiest birds for beginners with a range of qualities.

White Leghorn

Producing about 300 eggs per year, the White Leghorn is a great choice for those looking for high yields from their hens. The eggs themselves are naturally large and creamy white. However, this bird is also known to be somewhat temperamental and nervous, and does not carry much meat.


Cornish hatchlings grow to adult size quickly, and are heftier than the average chicken, making them popular with those raising poultry for food. While they do not lay frequently, hens can weigh up to 8 pounds, and roosters 11 pounds.


This diminutive ornamental breed is probably one of the best for those looking for a pet. While the hens do lay about 150 small eggs each year, they are very broody. However, their downy, attractive plumage and friendly demeanor make them perfect for children; they even enjoy being held.

Rhode Island Red

In recent years Rhode Island reds have become increasingly common on small-scale farms and in backyard coops. They require relatively little care, and can tolerate cold and heat well. They lay about 200 eggs a year, are generally friendly, and don’t require much space.

Barred Plymouth Rock

One of the most popular backyard breeds, Barred Plymouth Rocks have distinctive checkerboard plumage that makes them stand out. Whether you are looking for a meat bird or a layer, these birds are a great choice for a beginner. They grow quickly, have a long lifespan, and are generally quite docile.

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