You can keep chickens in a lot of urban areas, but there are certain chickens that may not be welcome in these neighborhoods. If you want to keep a chicken as your pet, you should know that this is an acceptable practice. Many people are opting to keep reptiles as pets, but just to make sure that everything is copacetic, find out what the local regulations and laws are before bringing your chicken home.
You can get in contact with the animal control office in your area to find out just how many chickens you’re legally able to keep and whether or not roosters are allowed. One of the main problems with roosters is that these birds often fall under local noise ordinances so be sure to find out first, given that you can quickly become emotionally attached to your birds. Ordinances tend to be a bit more relaxed in urban areas that were once farming communities. In either case, you do not need any special licenses in order to keep a chicken in the city.
Once you have dealt with the question of local ordinances, find out what kinds of chickens you wish to keep and why. If you only want a pet, then look for a bantam. Bantam chickens are approximately 1/4 the size of regular chickens. It is a lot like owning a breed of toy dog. Some of the best bantam breeds for pets include Rhode Island Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks given that these chickens tend to be generally good-natured.
A Cochin could be the way to go if you are looking for a decent layer bantam. With the Buff Orbington, you will get a bigger bantam breed and a pet that is quite friendly. These are all great choices. You can surf the web to find some additional options that would also be good for this purpose.
You might want to have a pet chicken that can roam your home or even sleep in your bedroom, but chickens tend to prefer their own coops and like to roost and in their own nest boxes where they can lay eggs. It is pretty easy to build a coop and nesting area with the tools that you have on hand, or you can pick up some materials at a hardware store or farmers market.
When building your coop, give each bantam two feet of space. These pets will also need a good place to roam about given that they can get quite cranky when they lack this and it’s also bad for these birds to become too sedentary. Give each bird eight square feet of roaming space. You will find that chickens are quite sociable.
Your chickens might prefer to huddle next to one another. Bearing this in mind, try to keep two chickens at the very least. Also, double the space that you give your pets because even though chickens are sociable, feeling crowded can make them cranky and they may begin to peck at one another. You should additionally keep in mind the fact that chickens don’t need roosters in order to make chicks. Expect your birds to make do and know that they will start to multiply if you aren’t using all of their eggs.
City chickens can attract predators. Bantam chickens do not have any resources for defending themselves against stray cats. If you happen to be a cat lover, you should make sure that your cat isn’t going to attack chickens and can live happily alongside yours. Rodents are another matter entirely. When making your chicken coop, make sure that this is designed to keep all rodents out.