Somerzby > Blog > Kids Keeping Chickens - The Perfect First Pet

Kids Keeping Chickens - The Perfect First Pet

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Chickens & Children

Chickens have long been an addition to many family homes, not only do they provide eggs for their families, reduce food waste and fertilize the garden, they are the perfect pet for educating your children on nature, responsibility and health.

With this in mind...

...it’s easy to see why the popularity of pet chickens is rising, and there’s people like Summer from @Chickens2love to thank for spreading the message of why chickens make great pets.

Summer, who was recently featured on channel 7, runs a program called companion chickens, which involves training and socializing chickens for up to four hours every day.

The end goal of all this training is, in part, to ready chooks for service as therapy chickens.

Therapy chickens have been shown to help calm patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia and Autism.

In her own words, Summer says her pet chicken makes her feel “happy, needed and special” and she wants others to feel the same.

In case you need any more, here are some more reasons why you should consider introducing your children to chickens:

They Are Great Educational Value

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Chickens are a great way to teach your children where their food comes from.

If you live in a city area...

...it’s likely your kids have never seen a chicken outside the supermarket shelves.

Keeping chickens safely in your backyard will teach them about real food, and also instill a level of self-sufficiency into the family by providing you with fresh, organic eggs.

Using these eggs in the kitchen when cooking with your children is a particularly easy way to build an appreciation for where their food comes from.

This self-sufficiency means that you get to determine how the chicken is treated throughout the laying process and you can teach your children about nurturing animals.

You can even take the opportunity to rescue an ex-battery Hen and teach your children about humane living conditions for animals.

They Provide Companionship And Happiness

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Probably the most obvious benefit of keeping chickens is the bond that can develop between your children and the chickens.

If you and your children socialize and interact with your chicks from day one by stroking them, picking them up and letting them know you aren’t a threat; you will encourage strong bonds between you and your flock.

This bond is great for children as it teaches them to be involved and care for another living thing, how to be gentle and generally how to love their pets.

Dr Tony Tanious from House Call Doctor states “Children Learn many essential social skills, such as non-judgmental companionship and empathy, by interacting with family pets”.

An easy way to establish this bond from the start is to allow your children to name the chickens, this way they will feel a real connection the to ‘their own’ chicken, especially as its personality starts to show.

Chickens Are Fantastic First Pets

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If you’re looking for an inexpensive and relatively low maintenance first pet for your children, then chickens are a great choice.

Their coops require cleaning just once per week (a lot less than the twice per day required for a kitty litter tray) and love to socialize with other chicken friends.

Chickens have their own personalities and will interact with children, most don’t mind being picked up and stroked and can even be taught to come when called.

They can help reduce waste by being fed food scraps from the dinner table and are great soil fertilizers.

They will even take care of any pest problems you have too!

They Are A Healthy Choice

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Looking after chickens requires interaction with the outdoors and is a way to bring country life to you, wherever you live.

Instead of lounging around indoors, on smartphones or watching television nonstop...

...which is known to cause a variety of health problems, your children will be out in the fresh air, learning about nature and how it works.

This will continue for as long as you have the chickens, and does not have to fade out as the novelty of a new pet wears off.

There are multiple projects and crafts your children can do to keep the chickens entertained and healthy throughout their whole lives.

Some examples of such crafts include:

  • creating food dispensers such as cabbages,
  • installing climbing perches,
  • hanging CDs,
  • tunnels and even a swing for your chickens.

 

There are also a number of ‘games’ you can play with your chickens including teaching them how to run an obstacle course and chase after or find hidden treats.

They Will Instill A Sense Of Responsibility And Duty

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Responsibility is an incredibly important thing to teach young children, and pets are a great way to do this.

Chickens will depend on their owners to provide them with food and water every morning and night, which provides the children with a sense of duty, and teaches them to follow a routine.

Children will also learn what they need to do to provide their Hens with quality of life by carrying out various daily chores.

Some daily chores to assign your children to help look after the chickens include:

  • keeping their coops clean
  • providing them with food and water
  • collecting eggs
  • making sure the hens stay dry and warm
  • letting the chickens out for a run and ushering them back in at bedtime
  • and keeping them socialized with other hens 

 

The children will see this work pay off as it keeps your chooks happy, and a happy chook means more eggs!

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Image attribution 1 2

Source Attribution

  • http://hubpages.com/animals/Chicken_Toys  
  • http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-toys-why-they-are-important-and-how-you-can-provide-them   
  • http://childledlife.com/preschool-chicken-activities/ 
  • http://www.tillysnest.com/2016/04/kids-and-chickens/  
  • http://www.petful.com/other-pets/do-chickens-make-good-pets/ 
  • http://theconversation.com/too-much-screen-time-and-too-little-outside-play-is-holding-back-kids-31116 

 

Toni_Benton_-_Somerzby_Pet_Enclosures.jpgToni Benton - Toni has a lot of experience with keeping pets and pet enclsoures, with her very cheeky British shorthair cat named Charlie and a rescue cat Rosie who is now nearly 17. Toni's pets also includes Dwarf Lop rabbits and Australorp cross Chickens.

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