winglesschicken

Chirping
Jul 23, 2019
41
54
69
I have a lot of mental health issues but I love chickens a lot. My mental health issues make it hard for me to go outside and interact with animals that have been living outside (although I still do, it's just challenging). Chickens are my favorite animals, my family has about 20 right now (+ a turkey lol), and I've bonded with quite a few. Some of mine will run up to me and sit in my lap, like being pet, walk around with me, etc. so overall I've just had very friendly experiences with chickens. I've been consistently owning chickens for over I think 5 years now, some of my family's chickens are actually 5 years old lol. So I know a bit about them and I'm used to having them around.

I got to thinking, what if I raised a chicken indoors to be inside? I don't feel like it would be fair to try to bring one in now after they've been living outside for so long and have established their place in the flock, so I think hatching or buying a chick would be best. Most of the chickens I've raised have already lived inside with me when they were chicks so that's why all of mine are so friendly. I'm used to having them inside with me, too, so the noise doesn't bother me. If anything I enjoy hearing them chirp and make noises.

Of course, I'd get it everything it needed such as food and a different variety of things to snack on, things to roost on, etc. and I'd take it outside on little walks so it can socialize and do normal chicken stuff. But overall the chicken lived indoors with me. I'd probably get a diaper for it so it wouldn't poop everywhere. Also have a little section/place of its own in my room, like a small chicken coop almost so it could have its privacy and little safe space. I would be wanting a bantam to live inside with me too btw I don't think I would be comfortable with a chicken any bigger than that.

Would this be okay? Or would it be better to look into a different animal for companionship like this?

If things didn't work out there would of course still be the option that it could go and live outside. I've had chickens of mine live indoors for months (when injured) and have adjusted nicely back into the flock when it was time. And if it seemed unhappy I wouldn't keep it inside, either. I'd only keep the chicken inside if it seemed happy and wanted to be here (and as long as I could keep up with taking care of it and giving it what it needed). I guess it'd be like raising chicks normally but with the intent for it to stay inside.

Though since we've actually had some chickens who've preferred to be around us/indoors, I think it could work? One of our mama hens (Seabright) lived on our porch when she was raising her babies and she's constantly coming around trying to get inside our porch now and be babied again. The friendliest little thing now, too. We used to have another bird that would come inside through our dog's doggy door and walk around.
 

Duck mommy 2019

Crowing
Apr 1, 2019
2,607
4,197
321
chickens can definitely be indoors but please get two. they need another friend of their own species or they won’t do as good. get roosters if possible, males tend to be healthier then females who can have egg issues and die because of it
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
8,191
16,771
786
Small town in Western Washington
My Coop
My Coop
chickens can definitely be indoors but please get two. they need another friend of their own species or they won’t do as good. get roosters if possible, males tend to be healthier then females who can have egg issues and die because of it
Yes. Roosters can do fine indoors with people alone, but adopting roosters is your best bet. Most roosters for adoption on Craigslist, and other websites are young and need homes. There are often pairs that you can buy to be raised indoors I bet.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,223
471
Lincolnton, NC
I completely understand where you are coming from - I have leghorn that is incredibly sweet and I want to cuddle her all the time. And in empathize with your mental health issues; I struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis and my chickens are my therapy; however, I am a firm believer that chickens belong outside mainly for health purposes... chickens carry salmonella and other diseases and can be hazardous to your health. Chickens also naturally like to forage, and they are happiest pecking in the ground and dust bathing in the sunshine. They are also social creatures and need to be in a flock. Diapers are going to be expensive, especially since chickens poop so much and having it plastered to their vent instead of falling naturally can be harmful to their health.
Would you be able to create a coop for a couple of bantams and keep it close to your house and fenced in so you could visit them on the porch, and they could walk up and hang out with you? You may have to hose some poop off your deck but at least it won’t be in your house....
Do you like cats? My daughter has some anxiety issues and we got her an indoor cat and they are best buds and my daughter sleeps through the night with her little baby cuddled up next to her.... she is small so the food is inexpensive and the litter is way cheaper than all those chicken diapers would end up costing you. Plus, you would have the peace of mind of knowing that it is happy.... I don’t think a chicken could ever be truly happy living indoors and although it’s a great thought when you really love one, in my opinion it’s more unrealistic than it sounds and would become more of a burden on you than anything else.
Again, these are just my personal opinions. I have heard that people successfully raise house chickens but who actually knows the conditions and how much of a burden it may be?
I respect you for having the courage to talk about these things, as a lot of people are ashamed of mental illness when in actuality it’s no different than any other illness and should be treated as such. I wish you all the best and don’t hesitate to reach out - I have learned that the people on this site are capable of helping with more than just chickens. Good luck with whatever you choose!
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,178
17,144
706
USA
since we've actually had some chickens who've preferred to be around us/indoors, I think it could work?

Maybe you could bring one of the current outdoor ones in for visits and playtime, rather than trying to have it indoors all the time. Or even have it sleep indoors, and go outside for part of the day to interact with the flock and do chicken things. (Depends on why you want it indoors, and what parts of the day or night are important to you.)

If you were to raise just one chick indoors, but later decided to move it outdoors, it might have trouble learning to interact properly with other chickens.
 

Livvy0987

Songster
Oct 13, 2020
276
564
161
Colorado
I have a lot of mental health issues but I love chickens a lot. My mental health issues make it hard for me to go outside and interact with animals that have been living outside (although I still do, it's just challenging). Chickens are my favorite animals, my family has about 20 right now (+ a turkey lol), and I've bonded with quite a few. Some of mine will run up to me and sit in my lap, like being pet, walk around with me, etc. so overall I've just had very friendly experiences with chickens. I've been consistently owning chickens for over I think 5 years now, some of my family's chickens are actually 5 years old lol. So I know a bit about them and I'm used to having them around.

I got to thinking, what if I raised a chicken indoors to be inside? I don't feel like it would be fair to try to bring one in now after they've been living outside for so long and have established their place in the flock, so I think hatching or buying a chick would be best. Most of the chickens I've raised have already lived inside with me when they were chicks so that's why all of mine are so friendly. I'm used to having them inside with me, too, so the noise doesn't bother me. If anything I enjoy hearing them chirp and make noises.

Of course, I'd get it everything it needed such as food and a different variety of things to snack on, things to roost on, etc. and I'd take it outside on little walks so it can socialize and do normal chicken stuff. But overall the chicken lived indoors with me. I'd probably get a diaper for it so it wouldn't poop everywhere. Also have a little section/place of its own in my room, like a small chicken coop almost so it could have its privacy and little safe space. I would be wanting a bantam to live inside with me too btw I don't think I would be comfortable with a chicken any bigger than that.

Would this be okay? Or would it be better to look into a different animal for companionship like this?

If things didn't work out there would of course still be the option that it could go and live outside. I've had chickens of mine live indoors for months (when injured) and have adjusted nicely back into the flock when it was time. And if it seemed unhappy I wouldn't keep it inside, either. I'd only keep the chicken inside if it seemed happy and wanted to be here (and as long as I could keep up with taking care of it and giving it what it needed). I guess it'd be like raising chicks normally but with the intent for it to stay inside.

Though since we've actually had some chickens who've preferred to be around us/indoors, I think it could work? One of our mama hens (Seabright) lived on our porch when she was raising her babies and she's constantly coming around trying to get inside our porch now and be babied again. The friendliest little thing now, too. We used to have another bird that would come inside through our dog's doggy door and walk around.
I would say that's perfect! As long as you keep it clean. Recently I have learned about chicken diapers. I would suggest that. I put my indoor quail in a sock and he sat on the couch with me. The sock was a bit big. I cooked him some pasta tonight and he walked around the kitchen while I cooked it. He loves cuddles. His tank is Christmas themed. Enough about my quails... Any way you can get so many different patterns of diapers. They have great personalities. I think a chicken would be perfect. I know I am talking about quails. I wouldn't suggest them because they can be quite stressful and crazy. If you do this keep me updated! Chicken diapers have a pouch so it falls down, You would put a little pad or paper towel in there so after it is soiled you just throw the pad out. It doesn't cover their vent, instead, it falls into a pouch. I don't think you can house train chickens. I kinda looked it up for a bit..I found this

https://poultryowner.com/can-chicke... be 'potty,accepting that accidents do happen.
 
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