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Chickens as pets

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

We are new here on BYC. We live in the South Island New Zealand in Christchurch. I have five children and four chickens. Our chickens are 3 years old and are truly free range, sometimes to my dismay. I've never given them mealworms before and wonder if these are a nice treat or a necessary protein meal. The chickens seem bored, hungry even though we feed them with soaked wheat twice a day. They have been roaming to neighbor's yards which is unusual. I assume they need more protein and bugs. We've given the girls laying pellets before but we've run out. They also get cheese, fresh grass, and berries. We've tried giving them leftover veggies from our meals but they are pickier than my children. Any suggestions would be helpful.

 

My younger four children each have their own hens (pictured) and they are true pets. They don't mind the occasional snuggle and enjoy being petted. These hens are truly part of the family since we are allergic to cats and dogs. The hens names are Shadow, Snow, Hayley, and Rusty.

 

Thanks,

NZ4

post #2 of 8
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. I love your chickens' names. Raising chickens is a wonderful experience for children. If you haven't done so already, definitely check out our Learning Center at http://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center. There is lots of useful information there. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
post #3 of 8
Hello!

Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC. frow.gif I have four house Silkies. So I completely agree with you, they make wonderful pets. Good luck with your girls!
Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
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Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
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post #4 of 8

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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post #5 of 8


Hi and welcome to BYC :frow In terms of feed, maybe they are on the hunt for more variety in their diet. I would have thought that with a proprietary chicken feed there'd be no reason for them to wonder too far beyond your garden confines. Having said that, chickens will be chickens so if they are a bit bored, or see something that needs investigating they sure will! Treats such as mealworms are fine to give them, but they should be limited to roughly no more than 10% of the birds total diet.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #6 of 8

:welcome If they are laying hens  they may need to have layer feed and a side of crushed oyster shell if they feel they need more calcium.

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post #7 of 8

:welcome

 

This list of healthy chicken treats may be helpful:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens

 

Thanks for joining us!

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Check out all 11 new mini contests!

BYC Mini Contests - Win a 2017 Calendar!!

Deadlines for all is Dec. 11, 2016

You can't win if you don't play!

 

8th Annual BYC New Year Day Hatch-Along - Hosted by Ronott1

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post #8 of 8

Hi and welcome. 

 

In my experience, chickens like pulling stuff to pieces.  They can have dinner in a dish, but if I dangle a bit of something, they'll go for that instead.  Big hunks of cabbage or something they can rip into, they seem to like.  Apparently, they also like to play with cabbage "pinatas" if you hang a cabbage with some string, they'll "attack" it and have fun that way.  

 

I think of them like toddlers.  They don't want to eat out of a bowl with a spoon, they want to put their hands in and make a huge mess.  Try a forage box.  Give  them their vege scraps in a box. They'll jump in, and look through it all and make a huge mess gobbling everything up.  

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