Choosing a Chicken as a Pet
More and more people are making the decision to become a little more self-sufficient and keeping Chickens is a great way to do this! Not only will their eggs taste great, but keeping Chickens is a fantastic hobby!
Chickens are very sociable animals and like company. The male is called a roosters (do not lay eggs), while females are called hens (lay eggs).
It takes a hen twenty four twenty six hours to lay an egg – with an average of three hundred eggs a year laid, but, as your hen gets older she will produce fewer eggs.
The eggs can be different colours white and brown. Young female chickens are known as a pullet, chickens have no teeth so they swallow their food whole. It is important to note that you should only have one male in a group as they will fight for their place.
What to feed your Chickens
A good food for young chicks is crumb, while layers pellets are good for hens and roosters. Hens love red foods such as plums, strawberries and tomatoes. The male is a good provider of food for the female, often getting a spider or a caterpillar and calling the hens to him so they can feed first.
A chicken has a different call for when it is been approached or attacked by a predator. Chickens are best kept in a chicken coup with a nesting area available for the hens at night time, in order to prevent foxes and other predators from eating them.
Your chickens will be smelly, and you will need to clean their coup regularly – but their waste makes for fantastic fertiliser so add it to your compost bin and your vegetable patch will benefit too!
Beginners Poultry Classes
For those who want to learn a little more about keeping poultry, we are delighted to recommend Hunters Lodge Living which give family orientated beginners classes on poultry keeping. A 10% discount is available to Petmania customers, so be sure to let Fiona know we sent you when you call. Find out more at: www.hunterslodgeliving.com
The Beginners Poultry Class is designed for those who are considering keeping some chickens and would like to gain a little hands on knowledge before they get started. The class, which takes place in Fiona’s garden, amongst her own chickens and ducks, gives you an opportunity to see firsthand what keeping chickens is like. Topics covered include:
- Benefits of keeping chickens
- What breeds to choose ( eggs or meat )
- Chickens basic needs
- Housing (how to keep the fox out)
- Food and feeding
- Handling chickens
- Q&A (over a cup of coffee)
Children of all ages are very welcome on this course, once they are accompanied by an adult.
Your visit to Hunters Lodge can take up to 2 hours. Remember, you are visiting an ordinary family garden, complete with weeds and grass that should be cut! But you will find this an excellent opportunity to see what keeping chickens is really like.
Wellies are a good idea if the weather is not good!
Cost: €20 per person (10% Discount for Petmania Customers)
Booking: See www.hunterslodgeliving.com
Please Note: This course is offered by an independent provider and Petmania hold no responsibility for the content, facilities, costs or other related matters. Any discounts offered to Petmania customers have been negotiated at September 2011 and are subject to change or withdrawal at any time.
Take Me Home Checklist
At Petmania we carry a full range of all the equipment and food you will need to keep your poultry happy and healthy. For more information about any of these items, please contact your local Petmania store.
- Secure coup and pen
- Nesting box for laying
- Feeding bowl
- Water bowl