Whether you’re a cat person, dog person, or Pet Rock kind of person, it might be time to open the door to a whole new kind of pet. Chickens. Hens, more specifically, since most urban municipalities don’t allow roosters because of their crowing. They’re affectionate, trainable, and will always have breakfast ready for you. Can your dog do that?
Sharessa Garland, Founder of the non-profit educational farm, Sugar Roots Farm, is coming to the Farm to Table Experience to show the benefits and process of owning backyard chickens and we’re already sold. So if you’re considering a new puppy or kitten, we’d like to make a case for the good ole’ pet chicken.
1. Chickens have personalities. With proper training, just like dogs and cats, chickens can learn to recognize their names, play with children, and hang out in the kitchen.
2. Chickens live longer than gerbils, mice, and hamsters.
3. Chickens teach kids about where their food comes from. They teach important lessons about the circle of life, sustainable farming, and responsibility.
4. With proper shelter and fencing, chickens should spend their time outside. They’re sensitive to heat and cold, just like other domesticated animals, but if the idea of a litter box makes you shudder, chickens might be for you.
5. There are breeds, just like dogs and cats—so do your research! There are breeds known for docility and personality and others for egg production and size.
6. Even for you Pomeranian types, there are the Silkie Chickens. With gorgeous plumes and feathers rumored to feel softer than silk, this chicken will look right at home amidst your Oriental rug and grand piano. Pinkies up!
7. You can adopt chickens just like dogs! (A nod to Sarah McLaughlin and her notoriously tear-jerking ASPCA commercial.) There are a surprising number of retired factory hens available for adoption. They’re super egg producers and used to dealing with people.
8. If you’re a Sam’s Club addict, you can buy chicks in groups. It’s a fast way to start a flock but be warned! Even the best experts can’t be sure of a chick’s gender until later in life so you may end up with a few roosters.
9. They can help clean your kitchen! They’ll give you eggs and clean? What more could you want?! Chickens do need proper feed but they love most organic kitchen scraps. They have a more diverse diet than your dog and they can’t reach the table to beg.
10. You have an excuse to build a coop. Do you have a dream home in mind but no funds to make it real? Live vicariously through your new clucky companion and deck them out in their own chicken paradise. A safe coop that is well-built will provide safety from the elements and potential predators.
Still not convinced? Join us and Sharessa Garland at Farm to Table Experience on August 18-20 to see and experience the chickens for yourself.
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