Be Sure to Visit
the 'Everything Chicken' Store
Pet Chickens -
What do they have in common with Teddy Bears, Psychologists, Omelets, and Happy Kids?
I'll explain in just a minute, but first . . .
Keeping pet chickens is an inexpensive and fascinating hobby your whole family can
It's popularity is soaring and claiming the attention of authors, students, and documentary film
artists . . . I've enjoyed hearing from a handful of them just in this past year. Always makes me happy, because
when I got started it definitely wasn't because it was popular - I just wanted to do it, still kinda stubborn that
I've been raising chickens now for thirty-plus years, so that's given me a pretty good perspective
on the question at the top of this page. I'm also totally addicted to this great hobby - raising chickens, taming
them, and showing them at fairs.
I've always been super interested in animals and loved to learn about them from the time I discovered the
existence of books. My first pets were hamsters, then I graduated to rabbits; had a beautiful pair of
white ones just before getting into chickens. We lived on the outskirts of town and just had a corner
After begging my parents to let me get some chickens for a couple of weeks, they relented, but there were
rules I had to follow.
I was allowed to buy 8 chickens, and only one of those could be a rooster. And, I had to buy them and
their feed, too. Fortunately, I had a paper route that supplemented my small weekly allowance for doing chores, but
I couldn't wait to get my raspberry picking check late that summer (7th grade). It was ear-marked for the
After I'd cashed it my mom drove me out to this lady's place; she had oodles of chickens and lot's of
different breeds. Making a decision on which ones to buy was really torture! There I
was with my raspberry picking money in my hot little hands, and my head was spinning. Of course, I
ended up with a good assortment (some of those in my first
flock are on the photos page), joined a 4-H club, and showed my chickens in the fair every year all the way
through junior high and high school.
Then, within days of graduation, I joined the Navy.
But I really loved my pet chickens . . . so
before I left for boot camp I asked my parents to keep my little flock so they’d be there when I came home on
leave. My Dad agreed to take on the chore . . . pretty reluctantly, though.
But, by the time I got out of the Navy he’d become rather attached to Cleopatra, Henrietta, Millie,
Penny, Mamasan, Jenny, Half a One, and the patriarch of the flock, Sheriff Feather Foot . . .
Probably because my chickens were a lot like Teddy Bears . .
My Dad became captivated and charmed by the personalities of the chickens in my little flock and learned
how fun and easy it is to tame and make pets out of them. When you get yours ( I can almost
guarantee) you'll be affected in the same way. Give them some snuggle time and some treats, then they'll begin
following you around and watching your every move. You can train them with snacks like bites of fruit, berries, or
bread. Some of mine fly up on my shoulders when I go outside to take care of them.
Chickens love to be held by their human masters; they’re soft, cuddly, and will fall asleep in your
arms. You can even hypnotize them . . . a girl in my 4-H group loved doing that as a practical joke . . . people
thought something terrible had happened to her pet rooster, then he'd all-of-a-sudden come back to life. She got a
kick out of seeing the look of shock on their faces.
You sure won't feel lonely when you have chickens as pets. And, you'll get that same relaxed and contented
feeling of security you had when you fell asleep with your teddy bear as a little kid. Only, I don't know anyone
who actually sleeps with their pet chicken.
Some people keep a couple of hens in their house, though. You can actually buy diapers for them. Some
people dress them up otherwise, too - not kidding! My friend Carrie saw a sign in a 4-H stall at a fair we went to
a few years ago announcing a contest. There was a prize offered to the member whose chicken costume was voted the
most creative and best looking.
She went home intriqued with the prospect of making clothes for chickens and couldn't get it out of her
mind. Within a few months she had made 8 or 9 different costumes! You can see those chicken costumes in a page or two if you're interested. Unfortunately, for me, I
got to provide the models 'cause she doesn't have any chickens. Awhile back, she wrote a book about making creative
chicken costumes for pet chickens.