How to Care for Indoor Pet Chicken?
Raising an indoor pet chicken can be thrilling and fun, especially if you are fond of pet birds. However, raising an indoor chicken can be demanding because your indoor pet chicken won’t be foraging outdoors, so it requires proper care.
Pet chickens also need plenty of attention from their owners. Most importantly, pet chicken owners must consider the environment, upkeep, and care when raising indoor pet chickens.
Is it Legal to Keep a Pet Chicken?
Laws about keeping pet chickens vary from one state to the other. Some states’ laws allow people to keep pet chickens. Overall, there aren’t any federal regulations about keeping indoor pet chickens, so raising a pet chicken is somewhat legal. It’s also legal in most states to raise more than one pet chicken.
Choosing the Right Breed as Pet Chicken
Not every chicken breed can make an excellent pet bird. Some breeds are too aggressive to be pets, while others don’t thrive in confinement. Consider these essential things when choosing the right chicken breed to raise as a pet bird.
An excellent indoor pet chicken should be small in size. That’s why small-sized breeds like Silkies make good pet chickens, particularly for urban dwellers with small living spaces. Although they are some large friendly breeds, such breeds can be intimidating, particularly for those with small kids.
Temperament is an essential consideration to make when choosing a pet chicken. A good pet chicken must have a friendly temperament. The pet chicken also needs to get along with its family.
An aggressive chicken won’t make a fantastic pet chicken because it won’t accept human handling and will also not tolerate confinement. A docile chicken can make an exceptional pet chicken because it won’t go against its owners.
As mentioned, not all breeds make extraordinary pet chickens. Some breeds can live indoors with their owners. Other breeds have pleasant, friendly, and calm temperaments, making them exceptional pet chickens. Some of the best breeds to raise as pet chickens include-
- Wyandottes– These chickens are incredibly friendly and some of the most intelligent chickens to raise as indoor pet birds. Wyandottes are tamable and strikingly beautiful, thanks to their heavy plumages and rose combs. These chickens are especially great chickens to raise as pet chickens in cold climates.
- Cochins– Cochins are teddy bear birds with stunning plumage, and beautiful feathered legs-These chickens are quiet and calm. They are also easy to manage and handle. They make excellent pet birds for kids because of their friendly and charming personalities. Furthermore, Cochins are also lovely, an attribute that makes these heavily-feathered chickens extraordinary indoor pet chickens.
- Australorp– Although Australorps seem too large to make extraordinary indoor pet chickens, these chickens are pretty friendly and can thrive independently as indoor pet chickens. Australorps are also sweet birds that are easy to handle. They are also dependable layers, meaning you can get many eggs from your Australorp pet chicken.
- Sussex– Sussexs are extraordinary indoor pet chickens for all good reasons. These chickens, for instance, are sweet and gentle. Roosters are also incredibly calm and graceful. Sussexs have pleasant personalities that make you fall in love with these chickens while living with them.
- Silkies– Silkies are little chickens with gentle and funny personalities. Their soft and gorgeous plumage makes them extraordinary indoor chickens for children. These chickens are slow-moving and friendly. Furthermore, Silkies are incredibly quiet and also enjoy human handling.
- Polish chickens– Polish chickens are sweet birds. They have feathered crests on their head, making them fun indoor pet chickens, particularly for kids. Polish chickens like cuddling with their owners and will always walk around with you in your house as you do your household chores. They are friendly and easy to handle.
Housing and Environment
Indoor pet chickens need suitable housing and an environment. Although your indoor chicken will be living in your house, you must ensure you provide the chicken with proper housing conditions.
For instance, you must create a cozy indoor environment for your pet chicken. You can install an indoor enclosure for your chicken. The enclosure should have warm bedding and be spacious for the bird. The larger the bird, the bigger the enclosure it will require to keep it comfortable.
The enclosure should give the chicken enough space to exercise, stretch its wings and conduct normal chicken behavior. Approximately 3 square meters is enough for the average pet chicken.
Making the Coop Comfortable
You should use bedding in the enclosure to make it cozy for your chicken. Bedding will keep the pet chicken warm and clean. You can try several bedding options for your indoor pet chicken. For example, add a straw, hay, sawdust, or wood shaving bedding to the enclosure. The enclosure for indoor pet chickens also requires some perches.
The perches should be between 3 and 5 cm wide. Place the nests at a height that suits the size of the indoor chicken. Kindly refrain from placing the perches too high because your pet bird will have problems getting up and down the perches. Indoor pet chickens also need light like their outdoor counterparts.
Since your enclosure will be indoors, it’s paramount to ensure the enclosure has good lighting, especially if you want your pet hen to continue laying while living indoors. You can place the enclosure close to a light source or install some lamps in the enclosure to provide the bird with enough light.
Ventilation is also vital for indoor pet chickens, so you must ensure the enclosure has good ventilation to avoid your pet bird suffocating, especially during hot months.
Nutrition for Pet Chicken
Pet chickens need a diet suitable for their size, breed, and age. Your pet chicken needs various foods to provide it will proper nutrition. For instance, birds should consume grains, vegetables, leafy greens, and fruits. Vegetables, leafy greens, and fruits will give your indoor pet chicken an array of nutrients and vitamins.
For instance, vegetables like chard, broccoli, and lettuce will provide the pet with plenty of vitamins C, K, and A, which are vital for chickens’ overall health and well-being. Cooked beans and legumes can provide the pet chicken with loads of protein. Kindly understand that pet chickens also need protein for growth and muscle development.
Indoor pet chickens need treats to keep them happy. Some special treats for your indoor pet chicken include mealworms, which are tasty and full of protein. Seeds like sunflower seeds are suitable for all chickens, including indoor pet chickens.
However, provide treats to the pet bird in moderation. Again, avoid fatty and sugary treats because they can have profound health implications for your chicken.
Besides considering nutrition for your indoor pet chicken, you should also have a feeding routine when feeding your pet bird. For instance, feed the bird thrice daily and provide it with water.
You can feed your pet bird with a formulated feed that provides the indoor bird with a balanced diet. Put the feed in a feeder or bowl but ensure it’s clean before feeding your chicken.
Health and Hygiene
Observing proper health and hygiene is vital while raising an indoor pet chicken. For instance, regular health checkups are crucial for ensuring your pet bird remains healthy. A pet chicken may seem healthy, but underlying health problems could be troubling the bird. Regular health checkups by a professional avian vet can help diagnose such health issues in advance.
Proper cleaning of the environment is crucial for maintaining good hygiene. Clean the pen daily to keep it odor free and ensure the bird doesn’t suffer from hygiene-related diseases such as fowl cholera. Change the dirty, worn-out bedding frequently to keep the enclosure clean.
Parasite prevention and control are crucial for pet chicken owners. Parasites can be disastrous to indoor chickens. Kindly use pesticides to treat your pet bird from parasite infestation. You can also prevent parasite infestation by spraying pesticides around the indoor enclosure to deter parasites from getting to your pet.
Behavior and Training
Training a pet chicken is vital because it helps make the bird your long-term companion. Training starts with how you handle and socialize with your indoor pet chicken.
For instance, keep checking your pet chicken regularly, handle it gently and avoid making sudden movements lest you scare the bird. You should also train the bird for basic behavior like eating and cuddling. Try bonding with your indoor pet chicken by spending a couple of hours with the bird per day.
Moreover, try petting the chicken to create a bond and make the bird friendly towards you. Get a litter box to stop the bird from pooping in the enclosure. Keep the litter box in one place and clean it regularly to prevent those nasty smells. Alternatively, you can buy chicken diapers to avoid the difficult task of cleaning chicken poop all the time.
The safety of your indoor chicken is imperative, so it helps to make safety a priority when raising an indoor pet bird. For instance, supervision will help ensure the pet chicken doesn’t engage in any mischief that will likely jeopardize its safety, such as getting too close to the fire and electrical equipment in the house.
Furthermore, protect the indoor pet chicken from hazards like rainstorms and snow. Most importantly, keep the pet bird away from other pets like dogs and cats since they can attack or kill the bird.
Indoor chickens need quality outdoor time to exercise, flap wings, and breathe fresh air. Thus, allow your indoor chicken to roam outdoors for a couple of minutes to get a sense of freedom and find other fun things to do to keep it happy.
Common Health and Behavior Issues in Indoor Chickens
These are a few common health and behavior problems in indoor chickens to know when raising indoor pet chickens.
- Boredom– Indoor chickens spend time indoors, becoming victims of boredom. You can provide the indoor chicken with toys to help it have fun and beat boredom.
- Feather-picking– This is a common behavioral problem in indoor chickens. Feather-picking in indoor chickens usually results from boredom.
- Egg-laying problems-Indoor chickens have egg-laying problems because they don’t get enough light, unlike free-range chickens, ultimately suppressing their laying capabilities. Indoor chickens also don’t have a chance to forage and eat many foods outdoors, which eventually affects egg production in indoor chickens.
- Aggression –Indoor chickens can become aggressive due to boredom and experiencing a sense of isolation. Aggression can also result from a lack of indoor chickens interacting and bonding with their owners.
Having an indoor pet chicken can be thrilling, especially if you cherish the idea of having a pet bird living together with you in your house. However, indoor chickens need excellent care. This guide will help you care for your indoor pet chicken.