How to Care for a Pet Chicken
For hundreds of years, people pet chickens not only for eggs, but for entertainment purposes only. Chickens are cute, and they are amazing pets as well. They have tiny diets, and are easy to take care of too. They are intelligent, lovable, and active enough to keep you busy. If you own a couple of chickens at home, all your family members will stay busy running after them all the time. Here at OneHowTo.com, we are giving you a complete guide on how to care for a pet chicken.
To care for a pet chicken properly, make sure that they have full and easy access to fresh water and food. Chickens do not drink dirty water, and when they do not get enough water, they become dehydrated and ill.
It is important to let them loose for a few hours during the day. Let them go out during the day and make sure to get them back in the coop before dusk. This will protect them from any possible predators eyeing on them.
Do not forget to change their bedding at least once in a month. If you don’t do this, ammonia will build up in their bedding, and they become susceptible to develop respiratory problems due to unsanitary conditions.
You will need to remove droppings and feces from the chicken coop from time to time. Trays or pans can be placed under the rooster poles to make the cleaning process easier. You need to just lift out these trays and clean them with a hose. The droppings and feces can be effectively used as a fertilizer in your lawn.
If your geographical area experiences very cold climate, it is important to choose the right breed for such conditions. However, chickens tend to change their metabolism and adapt to climatic changes, because of which it is not necessary to heat up your chicken coop. In fact, heating will make it harder for your chickens to adjust to cold climate.
If you are living in a hotter climate area, know that excessive heat can pose a real risk to your chickens. Provide them with enough shade and ventilation, and access to water and food all the time. Hens tend to lay fewer eggs during summers, and they return to their normal rate once the heat recedes.
Chickens are known to take care of your household leftovers, but there are certain foods that they should not eat, such as citrus fruits and their peels, bones, garlic, onion, spoiled meat, avocado pits and skins, long cut grasses, raw potato skin, chocolate, daffodils and morning glories. Although chickens themselves know what is good for them and what not, it is wiser to keep an eye too.
Most chicken diseases are communicable, due to which it is important to isolate the ill chicken as soon as you notice the first signs of illness. Look for symptoms like mangy appearance, abnormal stool, visible mites, sneezing, loss of appetite, loss of energy, stunted growth etc. Keep this chicken away from other chickens, and book an appointment with the veterinarian as soon as possible.
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