I myself have raised chickens in my own backyard for over 7 years. We have always had a mixture of chickens in our coop. I have raised the common Australorp, barnevelder, cornish and the Brahma Chickens. In my view, The Brahma Chicken makes a wonderful pet. The regular Brahmas are one of the largest chicken breeds. They are very nice to cuddle because of their fluffy type feathering. The Brahma chicken also has feathers on their legs and toes and their combs, are very small. Here are some little facts about the Brahma Chicken:
- Size: This chicken weighs in at 9 to 12 pounds.
- Temperament: This chicken is generally calm and docile. Loves to be petted.
- Lays egg: Will lay about 3 eggs per week.
1. Give the Chicken It's Home
Chickens love the outdoors and enjoy their freedom a lot. They are birds which partially fly and spend 99% of their life on the ground. They love to be in the yard, scratching away at the dirt and simply picking up one and two bugs and insects as they go along. But when the night draws, they do need somewhere to go where they are safe. They also need a shelter where they can protect themselves from the heat of the sun or the freezing temperature of winter. So once you begin to think of raising a chicken or two as pets, you will need to build a coop for them. A chicken coop can be made out of treated lumber, wire mesh, and in some part, bricks and concrete. If you are not the masonic type, then you can hire someone to build a coop for you or go acquire one from a store. If you are building or buying a coop, it should maintain certain standards which will make your chickens safe and comfortable.
- It should be spacious and allows for good ventilation.
- It should have some form of secured lighting inside to help warm the chickens during cold times
- It should be sturdy and secure. The coop must not be easily shake-able and allow easy access to predators such as foxes, mongoose, etc.
- The coop must be elevated. Coops should not be built ground level and the floor where the chicken stands should be at least 4 inches from the ground. If you live in flood prone areas, then the coop should be at least 12 inches off the ground.
2. Give Your Chicken the Right Feed - No Antibiotics or Growth Hormones
Many people who own chickens do so because of production purposes. Meaning that they want them to lay eggs to sell or consume, or they plan to grow and sell the chickens. With that in mind, they will feed the chickens certain items such as rapid growth feed and huge amount of antibiotics in their water to keep them alive in the inhumane conditions such as what boiler chickens live in. That is why it only takes five - six weeks for those chickens to weigh over five pounds today as compared to 1925-early 70's when it took chickens at least 16 weeks to reach such a weight. With better breeding and better living conditions, slower-growing chickens are typically healthier, suffer less, and may be less likely to transmit food borne illnesses.
How Much and How Often Should You Feed Your chicken
- Never over feed the chicken. What I used to do is to pour some feed in a measuring container, mark that amount and then give to the chicken. Then i simple watch the chicken feed, if the chicken consumes that amount entirely and looks like it is searching for more, I would pour out some more, measure that amount and let the chicken feed again. When it stops feeding and leaves the feeding pan, it has had its fill. If there is an excess amount of feed left, pour it back in the measuring cup, mark that amount and subtract it from the total figure you calculated. Then use the answer as the amount of feed your pet chicken will consume daily to be filled. Simple mark that measurement and use that to feed your chicken daily.
- You can feed your chicken it's fill at least twice daily. Ensure that the chicken also has fresh water to drink.
3. Clean Up After Your Chicken
Chicken do poop, and they poop a lot. If your chicken spends a lot of time in it's coop, its natural for it to do a lot of pooping inside there. You should ensure that the coop is cleaned of poop so your chicken can remain healthy. For Coops with dropping boards, the bedding under the boards can be changed at least twice weekly. One good thing about the chicken poop is that it can be mixed with saw dust and used as fertilizer if you have a nice vegetable garden. But it will not grow egg plants. (Did you get that, chicken poop plus garden, equals egg plants?) Laughing yet
4. Give Your Chicken a ToyDo you believe only cats and dogs enjoy having fun time by catching a Frisbee or running after a mechanical mouse? No my friends, chickens do like to play a little every now and then and it all depends on the right toy you give the chicken to play with. A chicken uses its beak and feet mostly and when buying a toy for your chicken, you have to consider its feasibility when it comes on to play time. Some good chicken toys include, fake mice, small balls, tunnel and chicken perching or climbing places. What i recommend for this is to build a simple sawhorse with various levels for you chicken to maneuver. You can also hang balls from the sawhorse too to make it more fun. I can assure you, the chickens will be perching on the saw horse daily.
5. Give Your Chicken Some You Time
Remember that your chicken is your pet. All pets need you time. You can take your chicken and have it sit on your lap and stroke it down just like you would do a pet dog or cat. The chicken will love this and this helps to create a bond between you and your chicken. One other way to build trust and love between you and your pet is to allow the chicken to feed directly from your hands. It will feel a bit funny having a chicken peck at the middle of your hands, but it is pretty cool. I once had a pet chicken named Janet. She was a good pet, she would always run to me every time the back door was opened. But she served a very unusual purpose to me, she was my personal floss! If i had anything stuck between my teeth like pieces of vegetables or such, i would just open my mouth and she would stick her head in and pick out anything she saw between my teeth. It was really fun having her around.
6. Name Your Pet Chicken
Don't name your chicken chick or chicken little or even chicken. Personalize your pet chicken and give it a name as any other pet. You can use names like, fuzzy, pecker, scrambles, sweet-pea, blossom, James, trump, anything but chicken. Once you associate that name with your pet, and after the name resounds in its little head, it will eventually know when you call.
7. Stop Eating Chicken
Come on now, you can't be having a chicken as a pet and roasting his second cousin the next day. Don't be a hypocritical pet owner. Your pet chicken will know if you had chicken and that bond you created with it will simply decapitate. Now all your pet chicken sees when he looks at you his cousin mike being cooked. Pet owners don't eat their pets, nor any other animal of that species.
So the next time you are out pet hunting, don't just bypass my feathery chicken friend, take one home, pet them, give them love. Remember chickens are much more than poultry, they are pets.
? OK, i guess you don't like chicken jokes then.