It’s been a while since my last article.
I’ve been receiving many enquiries if I have chickens or eggs for sale etc.
Nope, sorry, I do not have any.
And before you get into keeping chicken as pets, (in case you have not read any of my infographic guides here), here’s some pointers that you may want to read and consider seriously.
1. Chicks are cute. Roosters are not.
All baby animals and even human babies are always adorable and cute. But what happens when the chick turns out to be a rooster? Even if you have bonded well with them, they can turn out to be mean and aggressive too. And this is my personal experience, even though he is cuddly and friendly to outsiders, he always jump and attack me until I pick him up.
I have countless injuries from this particular boy! From pecks, to bloodied scratches, bruises, even swollen ankle and knee. The injuries from him is worst than those I get from Muay Thai/Karate/Taekwondo sparring sessions!
2. Are you ready to clean SHIT ?
Do you know that chickens poop 12 to 15 times a day ? Just one chicken can produce 60 KG of poop in one year!
We do not use a deep litter system as it may stink when wet, so we clean and wash their tray EVERY single day. And when they are out, we also rinse and wash our floor and garden every day.
3. Money for Vet Visits
Like humans, they also do fall sick or get injuries from fights etc. Do set aside some funds for their vet visits. Each visit cost at least $100 to $250. Make sure you understand the cost of keeping a pet.
4. Do you have a garden for them to destroy?
Yes, they love to forage and scratch for bugs and eat grit to aid in their digestion. Chickens also love to sandbath and sun themselves.
It’s a joy watching them do that! Why deprive them of their natural environment and behavior? It’s just sad to see them being kept in concrete flooring, unable to forage and have fun. And while chickens have their fun, they also destroy our grass turfs! And they love to peck at our plants and yes, we have some precious plants being destroyed by them. In fact, our entire grass turf is gone too.
5. Do you have time?
There are 2 kinds of chicken owners. One prefer to have chickens in their backyard and just enjoy the “kampung feel” with their morning crowing.
Whilst the other prefer cuddly, whiny chickens. That come running to you when you call their names. And obviously, I belong to the latter.
However, that means more work, time and commitment required! You can read more about how I bond with them here.
6. Do you have any other pets at home?
Do you know our miniature pincher, Kiki, has killed more than 20 wild birds in her lifetime? We were initially very worried with her killing our chickens, and constantly monitor her when we started to introduce chicks to her.
Always monitor your dogs or cats, and make sure you do not end up raw feeding them.
7. NEVER Abandon them in the wild!
Many people regret after keeping chickens as pets and “oh, that’s a lot of work to do! Let’s just throw them in the wild, they will survive. They are just chickens.”
Firstly, yes, they are chickens. But that doesn’t mean they can survive in the wild. They have been domesticated by you and used to being fed by you. They are unable to fend for themselves, unable to form their own group, and have a new pecking order.
Some breeds such as polish and silkies are highly susceptible to predator attacks due to their vision being blocked by their plumage. And they are not hardy to wet weather. That’s the reason why I always blowdry my chickens when they are drenched.
Secondly, did you know our red jungle fowls are protected species in Singapore? By abandoning domesticated chickens and mixing with them, you will be diluting their RJF gene pool. And jeopardize with the conservation efforts that NUS and NParks is doing.
8. It is a FAMILY AFFAIR
In my opinion, Chicken keeping is NOT a hobby. It is a lifelong responsibility just like keeping cats and dogs.
Did you know that our family took 1 year to decide if we should go back to keeping chickens as pets? Yes, one full year of constant research, reading, discussion and debates!
Keeping any pets for us is always a family decision, make sure everyone know their roles and responsibilities. It’s not just throw everything to the helper or maid at home.
And I also do not blame or abandon my temperamental rooster. We just accept it, medicate our injuries, and continue to love and cuddle him. (of course, also continue to get attacked by him. LOL)