Chickens as pets

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by NewZealandFour, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. NewZealandFour

    NewZealandFour New Egg

    Feb 3, 2016

    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.

  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    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 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.
    1 person likes this.
  3. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    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 I have four house Silkies. So I completely agree with you, they make wonderful pets. Good luck with your girls!
    1 person likes this.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC [​IMG] 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
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] 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.
  7. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
  8. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    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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