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Aussies Living Simply

Chickens as pets

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    Bob LakeBob Lake

    Our four, new, point-of-lay Isa Brown pullets have given us an unexpected bonus.

    We decided to keep laying hens on a purely practical basis – good layers, properly housed and fed, economic – by using recycled materials and costing out feed and expected egg production … all very efficient. The hens were to be well housed and looked after, not pets and definitely not named. So, what happened?

    Within a week these four hens had shown such curiosity, intelligence and friendliness that they are all named for their individual characters. They respond to us whenever we appear, and one simply begs to be picked up and petted! Fixing a new perch today, I was hampered by ‘Beth’ who insisted on clambering on to it every time I tried to lift it into position and use a spirit level.

    Now I am resigned to spending the late afternoons sitting in a comfortable chair watching the hens. As they scratch around, cluck gently and explore their environment I find I get the same kind of mindless relaxation I experience sitting on an ocean beach.

    And this is before they have laid even one egg!

    Whoever would have thought it.




    I get the same satisfaction from my “Golden Girls”. They are ex-battery hens that have been liberated for just 5 weeks tomorrow, so watching these ladies has been a real treat! They have discovered they love to flap their wings for no other reason, than just to stretch them out. Dig holes in the dirt, and roll around like a dog would, making such happy chooky noises. Running’s a fascination to them. The arn’t frightened of much at all, and have taken on my dog, when she’s gotten a little too close 😆

    All in all, even if they didn’t give me as many eggs as they have done, I’d still be happy. Watching the dynamics of these four ladies, has been enormously satisfying, if not truly relaxing 😀 I wasn’t going to name them either, but they all have names, Miss Prissy or My Girl, is just that, my Girl. Follows me everywhere, and was even coming inside if she could just navigate the beaded curtain at my back door :confused: Ive got enough stuff on the floor (dirt and dust from this wind!) without adding Chook Poop to it! 😆


    Oh yes, love my chicky babes. they are my personal fan club, they think I am the big mother hen, I love to turn over a log for them or dig up a spadeful of worms. So much more satisfying than watching fish :tup: with a bonus of providing a meal or three.


    It’s called chook therapy Bob. Many of us have been onto this for years. 🙂


    I enjoy watching mine too – until they wandered over to my seedlings and started to help themselves! :@ :@ :@



    oh yes, bob, you do need a good, secure fence around that vege patch!

    i love walking into our pen (which is quite large) and seeing 4 or so heads pop up from behind our half built vege patch where they’re enjoying a dust bath.


    All mine are named too and one recently had to have her name changed from Holly to Polly as she insists on sitting on my shoulder just like a parrot. 😆


    Bob, welcome to the wonderful world of chooks. 🙂

    One of the 2010 Eureka Awards went to a team who are proving what we chook owners already known – that these birds are much smarter & far more complex than many people realise.


    Forget celebrities with their chihuahuas and toy poodles, the latest pet accessory is straight off the farm.

    The chook is making a comeback in suburban backyards and suppliers say they can hardly keep up with demand from those chasing the pet that keeps on giving.

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