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Chickens as House Pets

House Chicken


Indoor Chickens?

Chickens make really great pets (What other animal makes you breakfast in the morning? lol) and are enjoying a huge surge in popularity as more and more people are getting tired of buying lackluster tasting eggs from chickens in factory farms.

Due to their sudden popularity it seems inevitable that people would start realizing that chickens aren't as stupid as they're portrayed and that they actually have their own individual personalities. This has led to something that many people consider crazy, chickens as house pets.

It may start with a sick chicken that needs to be separated from the flock for special care, or raising chicks inside and then being reluctant to lose closeness with them by moving them outside, or even just an opinionated hen that tries to come inside whenever she can, but the move to having a house chicken starts slowly.

After having a chicken or two inside the house for whatever reason, the little cluckers seem to start fitting in, and it seems odd to keep them penned up the whole time, so they may get let out of their cage for just a little while. This leads to sitting on the couch with a chicken in your lap watching TV. Sounds silly, right? It always sounds silly until it happens to you.

Chickens Are For Everyone

A man and his pet chicken

A man and his pet chicken

Keeping a House Chicken

Keeping a house chicken is just like keeping any other house pet. They need food and water, a cage or home to sleep in, and an appropriate way to go to the bathroom. They need security and and family and love.

Just as with any pet, understanding their nature is important to making their environment a wholesome one that will ensure their health and wellbeing.

A Pair of House Chickens

Chickens are Social Creatures

Before getting a pet chicken it is important to realize that chickens are inherently social animals. They need a flock, just like a dog needs a pack. They will not be happy if they are left alone for long periods of time and they may get stressed and develop bad habits.

If you plan on getting a pet chicken you need to plan on spending most of your time together or get one or two more chickens to keep them company. While they have dog sitters and doggie daycares, they do not have anything like that for chickens so it's best to be someone who works at home. If you don't, your chicken will need a friend.

My pet chickens usually accept my other pets are part of their flock, so if they bond well with your cats or dogs, that can be another way to give them company.

Cuddling Pet Chicken

Chickens Like to Be with You

Part of what makes chickens good housepets is that chickens are social animals and enjoy spending time with everyone. Having chickens out in the coop doesn't allow you to really become part of the flock, but living in the same place with them, hanging out with them while you watch TV, and just generally spending time one on one really ends up giving you a greater appreciation for chickens and a greater understanding as well.

The Silkie in the pictures below was my desk chicken. Because she was sick when I got her, Sweet Tweets had to be nursed back to health and she was kept on my desk while I was caring for her. Even after she got better, she thought that was her space. She hung out on my desk while I worked, sharing space with cats, as they all passed by looking to get pet and trying to snag treats from my plate while I ate lunch. There was no place she'd rather be than on my desk.

My Desk Friend

Pet silkie chicken likes hanging out on my desk

Pet silkie chicken likes hanging out on my desk

Chickens Want to Be Involved

House Chicken on Desk

House Chicken on Desk

House Chicken Sleeping with Cat

Indoor Chicken Sleeping with Cat

Indoor Chicken Sleeping with Cat

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Chicken Getting His Feathers Combed

Raising Your Kids with Pets

Like any other pet, chickens can be great for kids. But just like any other pet, a lot depends on your pet's personality and how strict you are about how your child treats the pet.

Chickens are often very friendly and loving. They tend to be sturdy and will defend themselves if pushed too far. Be wary of sharp beaks though. Bright eyes and food on their cheeks can be tempting, so it's important to supervise their interactions. Also, wings and legs are easy to snap, so teach your children to handle the birds carefully and not pick them up.

A Girl and Her Chicken - True Love

A girl and her pet chicken

A girl and her pet chicken

Kids and Chickens Can Be a Perfect Match

Teaching a baby to be gentle with their pet

Teaching a baby to be gentle with their pet

Chickens and Other Pets

If you have other pets, you need to consider whether it is safe to have a house chicken. Chickens are attacked by dogs and other pets every day, and if you don't want that to happen to your chicken you need to plan very carefully.

It is possible to have your pets coexist, I have cats and dogs and sometimes rabbits and other animals and not one of them would attack my pet chicken, but that isn't always the case with every pet out there. The pet's personality needs to be considered, as well as how you go about introducing them. If the other pet regularly hunts and kills animals, or is even a breed that has been raised to do that, you will probably not be able to safely have them together. Bird dogs or herding dogs can be especially problematic.

If you are going to attempt introducing your pets, always watch them carefully and introduce them through the bars of a cage in case anything goes wrong. You should always have the chicken in a cage and the dog on a leash in any case, this will help keep you in command of the situation. The dog or cat will likely be fascinated and try to smell the chicken. The chicken might be frightened. Wait until they settle and are not overly excited at the sight of each other before you start letting them loose together.

Even once it looks safe to have your pets together, never leave them alone. If the chicken got frightened and flapped his wings he might trigger the hunting instinct in the other animal since it's sort of acting like prey.

House Cat and House Chicken

Marin the cat wants a bite of the chicken's food

Marin the cat wants a bite of the chicken's food

A Safe Shelter for the Chicken

Even if your pet chicken is going to be out in the house most or all of the time, they need a place that is uniquely theirs. This should be a spacious cage so there's room for them to easily move around in case they need to be left inside there for any length of time. It's nice as well for the chicken to be able to be in a place without their diaper sometimes, and if the hen lays eggs she'll want a safe place to do it in. Many chickens also prefer to sleep in their cages since it makes them feel secure.

The cage should be lined with wood shavings (NOT cedar!), newspaper, old towels, or even cloth diapers. You can easily toss the diapers or towels in the washer every couple of days depending on how long your chicken spends in his or her cage. The wood shavings tend to get all over the place, if the chicken flaps its wings, so I prefer to use old cloth diapers, switching them out every so often, then when I have a pile I toss them all in the washer. I actually have a section on my desk lined though, not a cage, since Sweet Tweets refuses to sleep in her cage and instead likes to sleep next to me while I work on the computer at night.

In their cage, the chickens should have their food and water, and a roost. The bantam Cochin below does not have a roost in her cage since she refused to use it, but she did like to turn over and sit on the cardboard box that I added so she had a place to lay her eggs.

Don't forget, if the chicken is a hen and will be laying eggs, she'll need a box to do that in. I like cardboard boxes since I can easily switch them out as they get dirty, but anything works, they'll just need to be easily cleaned and big enough for the hen.

Snowball in Her Cage

Every chicken needs a place to call home

Every chicken needs a place to call home

Chick Poo

The most common question that comes up when I mention house chickens is why, but the second most common question is what about the poo?

What about the poo when you have a parakeet or parrot? They are pet birds as well and the results are similar.

Anyone who has ever been around chickens knows that chicken poop is a common hazard when handling chickens outside. You're bound to get hit with it sooner or later, or knowing chickens, sooner and later. This can be a problem inside a house since no one wants chicken poop everywhere. There are a few ways people deal with this when they have house chickens.

One way is to just keep the chicken in a playpen when not in its cage. Some people use old baby playpens, but others get puppy playpens. Setting these playpens up in the family room allows interaction with the chicken, but makes it hard for the chicken to really be part of the family and get cuddles plus most chickens will start jumping out eventually.

Another way is to just let the chickens wander around and not worry about it. This really doesn't work if you have carpet, but if you have hardwood floors or linoleum a paper towel will quickly wipe anything up and it's not hard to reach down and wipe up the occasional poo. Putting a towel over where the chicken sits most of the time catches most of the poo and a paper towel takes care of any other messes.

I've heard of people house-training chickens. Haven't tried it myself, but it's worth a shot if you're interested in going this way. Look on YouTube for some of the clicker training videos to get a start.

The most common way people deal with poo-filled chickens is by using chicken diapers. That's right, there are little diapers for chickens. They aren't available from many places yet, it's not like there's a ton of people needing diapers for chickens, but you can often buy them from other chicken people or make them yourself.

Basically chicken diapers are little cloth bottoms you put on the chicken with a little absorbent pad in the bottom that you change out as the chicken goes on it. Chicken diapers don't sit right up against their feathers, it projects a little so their feathers stay clean. The chicken wears the diaper while loose in the house and gets it removed while in it's cage.

Really the poo problem isn't a big deal after a while for most chicken fans. Just another chore to keep up on like a cat litter box. In fact, I think it's a heck of a lot less irritating to have to deal with than cat poo or picking up dog doo in the yard.

Sweet Tweets wearing her chicken diaper

Sweet Tweets wearing her chicken diaper

How to Make Chicken Diapers

Buying Chicken Diapers

Though they are still hard to find, if you don't want to make chicken diapers there are people that make them and sell them. Here's a few that I've found and if you know of any not listed here, let me know in the comments so I can add them.

Chicken Diaper Sources

Chicken Training

  • Potty Training Chickens
    Someone describes how to potty train a chicken and then other people chime in with their opinions.
  • Clicker Training a Chicken
    This short blog post is from an experienced trainer trying to improve his training skills by teaching chickens.

Playing with Your Chicken

Though many chickens are like my Sweet Tweets and are very laid-back and lazy, some chickens can get bored as house pets, especially if they're used to running around loose outside and for some reason can't any longer. That's where toys and games come in. Just like every other pet, you need to keep your chicken entertained.

There are lots of things you can do to keep them occupied, think of some of the games you play with your cat for ideas. Keep in mind that chickens really enjoy finding food, and toys or games that involve food are often favorites.

Pet Silkie Comes When She's Called

A Rooster Fetching a Rubberband

Rooster Dances at His Toys

Ideas for Pet Chicken Toys and Fun

Outdoor Playtime

It's always nice if possible to allow your chicken some outdoor playtime occasionally. They enjoy being outdoors and eating grass but you have to be very careful because everything likes to eat chicken. Neighborhood dogs may be as friendly as anything, but a yummy, squawking chicken may be too much of a temptation. Also, birds of prey have been known to swoop down out of the sky and take off with a chicken in just moments. Each time your chicken is outside the danger level increases, but a cautious owner should be able to keep their chicken fairly safe. Just always remember, everything wants to eat your pet, so you need to watch out for any danger all the time.

Chickens can learn to walk around with a leash attached, and this is handy if you want to take the chicken to the park or on a road trip where you can walk him a bit while on rest stops. The chicken needs to learn to wear a halter, or a diaper with a leash attachment, then they can be trained just like rabbits or cats. They aren't really walked per se, but rather walk around with the owner following.

Another option for allowing your chicken some outside time, is to use a cage or a playpen. The bantams and bunnies in the picture below are enjoying their time outside in a playpen set up in the shade. Some chickens will jump or fly out of the playpens, so often a cage set on the grass works the best. It also keeps the chickens a little safer.

Just treat the chickens as living breathing creatures, as say, a baby. In a pen they won't be able to move out of the sun if it gets too hot, and they need to be supervised, plus have water and food if they need it. Chickens can get overheated very quickly, so make sure they have some sort of shade over part of the playpen that they can retreat to.

Chickens and Rabbits Enjoying a Bit of Sun

Chickens and rabbits in a pet playpen on the lawn

Chickens and rabbits in a pet playpen on the lawn

Chicken Need to Dustbathe

Chickens don't always realize they should dustbath in dirt, so outside the house or inside, it's not uncommon to see chickens thinking they can dustbath in random things. House chickens should be taken outside once a week to roll in some clean dirt, or have a small box set up for them to roll around in.

A small storage bin with a hole cut in the side makes a great place to put some dust and DE so that your pet chicken can roll around inside. Or an unused enclosed cat litterbox.

Chicken on a Leash

Pet chicken on a leash

Pet chicken on a leash

Pet Roosters or Pet Hens

One question often asked is whether the house chicken should be a hen or a rooster? As long as crowing isn't going to be a problem with your neighbors, hens or roosters, work equally well as house chickens.

Hens lay eggs, some breeds more than others, but roosters often become very sweet. For some reason it turns out that house chickens are often roosters. I'm not sure why this is the case, maybe it's because house chickens are often chickens that can't get along with the rest of the flock, or perhaps because so many other people don't want roosters and are always looking to get rid of them, but for whatever the reason, roos seem far more common than hens as house pets.

Pet Rooster

Pet rooster getting a hug

Pet rooster getting a hug


Chickens, though they're often cast as silent (except for the rooster), can be very noisy. Depending on the bird, they can be very noisy.

Some hens talk a lot. They walk around and tell everyone "Hey, look at this" "what's that?" "Is this edible?" They chatter incessantly about nothing, I sort of wonder if they're talking to themselves. Other hens will make small noises occasionally, but scream when they lay an egg..."Everyone! Come look and see! I laid an egg!!!" ...then the rooster (if there is one) has to come over and say things like "Wow! My hen laid an egg!" "Everyone, she laid an egg!" until finally the ruckus dies down, then starts again the next morning when the hen again screams "I laid an egg!"

Then there are others that are basically silent. You never know where they are or what they're doing because they sneak in to lay their eggs and are so quiet you forget about them. One of my white cochin hens was like that. Other than a few curious chirps or a content sort-of coo, she never spoke.

How much noise a hen makes will vary quite a bit, depending on breed, personality, and time of day, so it's difficult to predict. Some hens will even start crowing. That's right, there are even crowing hens.

Speaking of crowing, we can't leave out roosters on the noise factory. If you have a rooster, almost certainly he will crow. Not every single rooster crows, but the exceptions are few and far between. Crows aren't always the same cock-a-doodle-do though. Big chickens often have deep, booming crows, sort of a bass note often. Bantam roosters make a squeakier noise, occasionally like a old-door hinge noise.

Most roosters crow often too. They usually start around 3am and keep going all day, especially if they can hear other chickens. This means they aren't apartment pets. They may not even be house pets if you have close neighbors or thin walls. You can deal with a little of the noise by having a very dark cage they go into at night, modifying a well-ventilated wooden box works well. The wood helps absorb any sound they make at night and the darkness makes them think it's still nighttime and not time to crow. As soon as they're released expect a cacophony though.

All this means that you need to carefully consider even more which chicken to get. Bantams (small or mini chickens) cannot be sexed when little, except if you get them from My Pet, so if you get bantam chicks you have a 50/50 chance of getting a rooster. Standard size chickens can be sexed and usually are if they're at a feed store, so you can be sure you're only getting pullets (young females), though even that is not 100% accurate. Most people therefore get adult, or near adult chickens so they don't risk offending their neighbors.

Though even as noisy as chickens are, they pale in comparison to many other commonly kept pet birds. A screaming parrot is ear shattering while a female chicken is more cute sounding than anything.

Small Frizzled Serama Rooster Crowing

Choosing a Breed

Some breeds of chickens make better house pets than others. Personality of the chicken itself matters, but some breeds tend to be calmer and smaller than others, making for better odds.

Bantam Cochins

A popular breed of chicken for a house pet is the bantam (or mini) Cochin. There are large Cochins, called standards, but since they are so large, they are often difficult to house inside, so aren't as common. Cochins are shaped like balls, with feathers on their feet, and are very personable and friendly. Since they have feathered-feet they can have a problem with poo sticking to the feathers on their feet, so need to be in a clean cage or wearing the diaper a lot of the time or else they may track poo all over. The chicken below is a bantam Cochin.

For more information about Cochins check out my article about them at Cochin Chicken Breed.

Red Bantam Cochin Hen

Small chicken hen that was very friendly and loving

Small chicken hen that was very friendly and loving

Bantam Frizzled Cochin

Another type of chicken that makes a good house chicken is the bantam (or mini) frizzle-feathered Cochin like the one shown below.

Frizzles are chickens with feathers that are sort of twisted and that give them a fussy or frizzy look. There are actually several breeds of chickens that have the frizzled feather gene introduced, Cochins just seem the most common. They are all very cute, but often have easily broken feathers so have to be handled a bit more carefully.

Bantam Frizzle Cochin Hen

Sweet little banty frizzle cochin hen

Sweet little banty frizzle cochin hen


Serama chickens are the smallest chickens in the world. The size of the chicken varies since there are multiple sizes represented by letters of the alphabet, but even the largest Serama are tiny.

These lovely little birds are delicate and sweet. They can be a bit timid at first but grow to be very people friendly.

Sweet Serama Love

Giving her Serama house chicken a big kiss

Giving her Serama house chicken a big kiss

Naked Necks or Turkens

Not quite as common as a house chicken, but growing in popularity, Naked Necks or Turkens are so named because they are chickens with feather-less necks, so they look a bit like turkeys. Naked Necks are a bit flighty but can be very friendly.

They have a well-known offshoot called a Showgirl chicken that comes from breeding Turkens to Silkies to achieve a bare neck with a furry hat and coat. Like Turkens and Silkies, Showgirls are friendly and make good pets.

Turken in the Yard

Turken hen running around outside

Turken hen running around outside

Polish Crested

At first sight, Polish Crested chickens are immediately attention getting. The little bulb of feathers on their heads makes them look funny, sweet, and endearing. They make great pets but their crests often make it hard for them to see, which makes them either a little dumb-seeming, or easily frightened and skittish. Trimming the crest just a bit or putting it in a soft ponytail-holder will help the PC a lot. They come in standard and bantam versions, though there isn't always a lot of size difference between them.

White Crested Black Polish



Probably one of the more popular chickens for house pets, Silkies are often called the furry chicken, the black chicken (due to their skin color), or bedroom slippers with feet :D

They are one of the calmest of chicken breeds, and are usually very docile which makes them a great pet, inside or outside of the house. For more information about Silkies, check out my page about them at Silkie Chickens. I know you'll be surprised. Silkies' small size and calm temperament make Silkies probably the very best chicken for a house pet.

Pet Silkie Hen

Silkie chicken

Silkie chicken

Danger of Disease

Every once in a while I get an odd response to saying I have house chickens, or even outside chickens, "Aren't you afraid of bird flu? If you have chickens you'll be making it easier for us all to get bird flu." I have a very difficult time not laughing at this. Whatever form it takes..."disease" "salmonella" "chickens will make you sick" is a sign of ignorance and brainwashing. Having chickens does not automatically make you sick and they aren't some dangerous thing that needs to get eradicated.

Most of the bird flu hysteria is just that, hysteria. Chickens that rarely leave their homes, are often kept away from the outside world, and have strict regulations on their movements are not the vector that would be transferring bird flu. Wild birds, those ones that know no statelines, travel far distances on migration, and are everywhere around us, on picnic tables, bushes around our homes, even around hospital courtyards, those are the way you would get bird flu, not chickens.

Salmonella is a problem with lots of pets, not just chickens. We can get salmonella from our other pets, other people, even standing water. Salmonella is all around us and having chickens barely raises the risk of getting it and even if you do, most salmonella varieties aren't even that bad. The majority of varieties will give you a bit of a stomachache, if that, and in the mean time, will help teach your antibodies to react (like a vaccine) against the hazardous types like Salmonella enteritis.

Chickens, or any birds for that matter, are less likely to be a danger to your health than most of the other animals we take for granted, or as any mother knows, a kindergarten class. Germs are all around us, all the time, many are species specific though, so we're less likely to get sick from chickens since they are birds. Other mammals are more likely to have germs that will affect us, and other humans are far more likely to carry germs that are dangerous.

Clean coops and healthy chickens are less likely to have germs and diseases, so unlike factory farms, where chickens have to get medications and antibiotics to be able to survive, most pet chickens rarely need medication and pet chicken owners are far more likely to use natural, non-dangerous remedies to control any problems if there are any.

Chickens are very unlikely to make you sick. Do you think of sickly kids when you think of kids raised on farms? Having chickens makes you healthier. Their eggs are often full of vitamins, way more than in store-bought, mass-produced eggs. The Omega-3s are higher which usually leads to a better immune system and more resistance to disease. Kids raised around any pets are far more likely to be healthy and have strong immune systems than kids raised in sterile environments.

Polish Hen Running Around a Living Room

Polish Crested house chicken

Polish Crested house chicken

Silkie Inside the House

Silkie hen and her chick

Silkie hen and her chick

Chicken on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

One of the most popular Disney kids shows had an unexpected guest in a couple episodes, one of the characters has a pet chicken named Dudley. Dudley is an adorable little white Silkie, and though he doesn't do much he sure is cute in his costume. In this episode, the bellhop of the hotel and Dudley's owner, Esteban, is trying out for a talent show with Dudley, who is singularly unimpressed.

The Suite Life with Esteban and Dudley

This Woman Loves Her Pet Silkie

The beginning of the video below is good, but the great part starts at about 5:00. It then features someone who keeps a rooster as a pet and treats it like a baby.

These People Really Love Their Chickens

Chickens Wearing Clothes

A House Chicken Eating Raviolis

Not Always a Success

The Golden Campine hen in the picture below lived in the house for quite a while. She shared a cage with our house rabbit and laid a fresh egg for us every morning. We got a new outdoor home for her after a while though, she was far too active and flighty to feel comfortable in an indoor home.

Some chickens just don't make good indoor pets and it's best to find them another home where they'll be more comfortable instead of trying to force them into something that isn't right for them.

Chickens that are not human-oriented or are easily frightened should not be house pets. Chickens that are bred for meat production should also be considered carefully. They often grow too fast to survive for long and no one wants to lose their pet after just a few months to a heart attack or broken leg.

Choose chickens that are friendly and outgoing, ones that want to be with you all the time. Choose breeds that tend to have traits that make for good house pets.

Remember, not every chicken is a house chicken.

Not a Good House Pet

This hen wasn't happy in the house

This hen wasn't happy in the house

Mr. Clucky the Miami Rooster

Mr. Clucky is a Miami icon.

He lives in his owner's apartment with a hen, and spends his days riding around on the handlebars of his owner's bicycle through the streets of Miami. He even served as the Grand Marshall of Miami Beach's Annual King Mango Strut Parade and was voted Top Activist in 2008.

Now, he may be forced out of his home. The city doesn't not allow livestock, it only allows people to have pets. The court ruled against Mr Clucky, but it is thought that perhaps they might get an exemption since Mr Clucky is truly a Miami icon. To learn more about Mr Clucky, go to his website at Mr

House Ducks

Not only do chickens make good house pets, but ducks do as well.

The big duckling in the picture below didn't live permanently in our little place, but she was hurt in a winter storm and needed to come inside to recuperate. Ducko had a special pad on the bed so she could hang out and watch TV with us. The other ducklings were inside until they got large enough to live outside.

Ducks readily imprint or think humans are their mothers, so they make great pets.

For more information on ducks as house pets check out this great article by XpectMorebizsolutions It's about their pet duck A Duck for a Pet, In the House, Wears Diapers...YES!

Muscovy ducklings hang out in bed

Muscovy ducklings hang out in bed

Silkie Chicken As a Pet

Pet Silkie chicken

Pet Silkie chicken

Some People Think Keeping Chickens Sounds fun!

anonymous: I have had a house chicken {Chick Chick} for almost a year now. People think we are crazy for having a chicken in the house but I always tell them she is by far the best pet I have ever had. She keeps me laughing all day. She is so sweet. We have several cats inside and out and they all get along. She sleeps in a dog kennel at night and spends most her day in the house with me. She loves being outside digging in the dirt. I highly would recommend a house chicken. We plan to get a house rooster soon.

anonymous: I have a rooster he's a sweetheart I love em can't bare to put him with the outdoor chickens.

anonymous: Just another odd pet to love!

DebMartin: I love this. I used to have a house quail. Followed me everywhere. Sat on my feet when I was sitting.

anonymous: Really disappointing that people are so narrow minded about having chickens indoors as what would likely be much better conditions than the chickens that are raised to be food or layers (factory farming.) Dogs need to dig, cats need to climb, but as long as you are letting your pets have freedom, stimulation, and proper diet, I think it's a great thing that people can accept chickens as something other than a food source.

anonymous: No reason not to try having a "House Chicken"! We bought a house last year in the country and inherited the previous owners 3 chickens. The hen, Gertie, has become as friendly and sweet as our dogs and cat. She visits inside the house every night, hops up on the sofa and settles down with us to watch TV for a few hours, eats dinner with the dogs, walks around like she's family, and of course she sits in our lap nd enjoys being pet :-) I knew chickens could be very friendly and sweet, but I didn't know they could be integrated into a family just like any other beloved pet would be. Our two roosters went on to live with a much larger flock of hens, so Gertie is now our only chicken, and she lives a happy life either playing in he yard in nice weather, or relaxing with the family in the evenings, but she resides in her heated hen condo in our garage during the winter. She plays with her toys, eats a special diet of organic food, and has lots of room to sleep, play and relax. Now, as for people's opinions that chickens belong outside exclusively, all I can say about that is this: Are you aware of how commercial chickens and eggs are raised?!? Unless these chickens and eggs are specifically labeled "free range", they spend their lives in small cages barely large enough for the birds to move around in. For birds that produce eggs, the cage bottoms are slanted so after the hen lays her egg, it can roll down the wire cage bottom to a constantly moving conveyor belt that then moves the eggs through the production lines. This is hardly the outdoor life most Americans envision Chickens and other poultry living. Backyard coops, and even the occasional home, certainly offers a much more humane life for these birds than anything you've probably ever had on your dinner or breakfast plate.

anonymous: We have 3 in the house we love them

anonymous: It's just such a fab experience. They become one of the family!

anonymous: I already have one! We bought 2 POL pekin bantams and then found they had coccidiosis. Unfortunately one died but the survivor ended up as a house chicken. It wasn't intentional but the other hens picked on her so much that she became withdrawn and unhappy. She has full roaming rights around the house and lays on our bed. She goes outside when we do and follows us back in, begs at the fridge door for sweetcorn and generally has a very privileged life! She has a litter tray to dust bathe in consisting of bird and and DE to keep her feathers in good condition.

anonymous: I have one. I love silkie chickens!!!

RuralFloridaLiving: I love your lens. It's a hoot. I raise chickens but never thought about this. My sister lives in Africa (in a house, not a hut) and she says that it is common to have a house chicken. So there you go. Do or don't do....

anonymous: I have a house chicken also! I love her so much and she is great with my dog and 18mo daughter. She sits on my lap/shoulder/arm and loves it there. I do need to invest in chicken diapers though!

anonymous: My daughter just brought home 2 baby chicks and is so in love with them. I didn't know what to do since we live in town. i've spent the last few days figuring out the legalities for backyard chickens. It still seems a very gray area. They are legal inside city limits as pets, but not as utility animals. I was so happy to learn about house chickens and not have to worry about an outside coop. I think it will be a very fun and rewarding experience for her.

seegreen: My mil had a chicken around the house for a while. It was a stray/runaway chicken with absolutely beautiful black and white colouring. She found out who it belonged to and returned it several times but it kept coming back to her so she ended up keeping it. She bought a huge dog house for it to roost in but sometimes it roosted on the edge of the bathtub. She has photos of the chicken with her cat, and it would often sit with her by her computer while she worked from home. Eventually she gave it away to a family farm that rescued abused animals since she had trouble boarding it whenever she went away for a few days which was regularly. The chicken was a great pet.

anonymous: My niece has a pet chicken and it just runs around the house with her cat and dog! I thought it was crazy when I first saw this but now I think it is funny and cut...this big fluffy chicken just roaming around the house! Never thought I would see the day! lol!

anonymous: I was raised with pet chickens, is a better choice than a cat or a dog for a small child.

anonymous: I have a friend who is raising a handicapped chicken. I would never have thought a chicken could have such a delightful personality! That's my "Grand-Peep" :-)

anonymous: i have 4 chickens as house pets and they get treated just like a parrot would but quieter and sweeter. plus what parrot you know gives you breakfast in the mornings. i love all my chickens inside the house and outside. my kids love it too.

anonymous: I have recently ordered a chicken diaper for one of my Ameraucanas. She WON'T integrate with my flock no matter what I try. There's one bantam that might be a problem, too, though I've caught her roosting with everyone else at least once, so she might ultimately be okay. Every time Maria sees me she comes running and ends up on my shoulder!

anonymous: I have a house rooster because he doesn't get along well with my 2 hens and his father outside.

anonymous: We raised a chicken inside the house together with us and our dog and now she is free to be in de yard or in the house at her own choice. She wants to be with us inside the house and not with the other chickens. She really is a pet, thinks she is a dog.

anonymous: I have a silkie bantam hen named Beaker (yes, after the Muppet). She lives indoors, wears a diaper, and sleeps in a plush pet bed at night, under her fleece baby blanket and all snuggled up to the little stuffed lamb I gave her for Easter. She sits on my shoulder and watches TV with me at night, grooms my hair, and purrs when I pet her. She is hands down the best pet I've ever had....she's affectionate and cuddly without being overly needy, she's inexpensive to feed, she eats any bug that manages to get into the house, and she doesn't destroy my things. It really just doesn't get any better than that. Personally, I think that if more people realized what chickens are like when they spend a lot of one-on-one time with people, they would rival dogs and cats in popularity as house pets. I don't ever want to be without a house chicken. They really are the perfect pets.

anonymous: Awesome idea! I have one house chicken already (a showgirl) who is 1 week old. and I plan on having a silkie as well.

anonymous: It's a great idea! i had one live in the house for 2+ years. she turned out to be one of the smartest, best behaved, fun pet I've ever had!!

anonymous: Nothing nutso about it! I have pet chickens that live in my home with me and they are like my children! They are so misunderstood and more people should take the time to get to know them! I love my babies and they are very special to me! I would save them all if I could!

anonymous: LOL. I, too, am a chicken person : P I'm the proud mommy of 2 house birds, a bantam old english roo and a sweet little silkie hen. Truly the best pets EVER, and I'm so glad to see others who love them as well!!!

© 2009 Alisha Vargas

Reader Feedback

suzanne-mccord-94 on June 29, 2014:

I have a miniature chicken in my home. She is a very loving pet and follows me all over my house. She is only loud when i walk out of sight. I have a question for anyone who knows chickens. Her beak curves down from the top . is this normal.? Does she need something to file her beak with as a bird would?

gmapoppa on June 25, 2014:

We adopted one chicken from our daughter who had to move and couldn't keep her 8 "Girls". She is a Brahma and is named Cruella DeVille for obvious reasons (from "101 Dalmations"). Last winter her feet got frostbite and she lost both feet. She gets around just fine. We keep her in a large dog kennel and have put green astroturf outside (with carpet samples underneath for padding). We also take her into the yard several times during the day for more exercise. Obviously the turf can be hosed off. Our 2 cats ignore her and our small dog thinks she's his best friend. My husband and I are really enjoying her, and the eggs she provides for our breakfast.

gamefreak321 on October 27, 2013:

Sounds like a tough choice to make. Have them for dinner or have them for a pet. :)

Aunt-Mollie on March 30, 2013:

I've raised chickens before, but never inside the house! They are funny to watch and fresh eggs are so much better!

anonymous on February 26, 2013:

I own a poultry barn full of chickens. I already have two dogs and three cats in my house. I don't think my mother would agree to having them in the house.

JeffGilbert on January 28, 2013:

A very unique lens. It would be hard to have a chicken as a pet in New York City. But it's a great lens anyway.. :)

Snakesmum on January 14, 2013:

I don't think I could let a chicken inside but this is a great lens. Some nice photos of chicken breeds too.

Stray06 on January 06, 2013:

I don't see myself having chicken as pets but your lens is super informative and fun to read. Must admit I had no idea chickens could be house pets!

Violetta LM on January 02, 2013:

What a lovely lens. I have sometimes wondered if chickens have much of a personality, but it shows here that they can be just as lovable as a dog or cat with all their antics. Thanks for the lens.

anonymous on December 30, 2012:

Well, you're just one happy little flock at your house! It does sound cozy to have a chicken in your lap to stroke those feathers. I had a pet rabbit and dealing with the poo wasn't really a problem either...but I was wondering about will find a way! Congratulations on being chosen as one of the 10 Amazing Pet Lenses From the SquidAngels for this delight, you sure covered all the bases!

DebMartin on December 30, 2012:

A good and entertaining read. Thanks to you and thanks to the chickens. d

cgbroome on December 27, 2012:

Wow - who would of thought!? Great informative lens!

pawpaw911 on December 27, 2012:

I never would have thought of it, but looks like having a chicken that plays fetch might be fun.

CherylsArt on November 18, 2012:

Such an informative lens. I loved my visit.

SandraWilson LM on October 31, 2012:

I had never heard of house chickens. Having had chickens, I still can't imagine it. But this was a very interesting lens.

BackyardChickenK on October 17, 2012:

Great lens! Chickens can certainly make great pets but they are not for everyone. But this is a terrific lens for those who love chickens :)

onebrightlight on September 06, 2012:

I understand you love them, but I'm just not sure that I could ever have a chicken as a pet. Maybe one day!

Asinka Fields from Los Angeles, CA on September 05, 2012:

Very nice lens, opened my eyes about seeing chickens as pets. I love chickens and am a vegetarian :))

Irene Sim on September 04, 2012:

Great lens! I would try having a chicken as pet, but I live in a flat...

Tamara14 on September 04, 2012:

Oh my! There's such thing as a chicken diapers? This was very educational I must admit. Great lens :)

Aleayah on August 01, 2012:

Chciken as a pet? ahhaa... interesting!

Elise van Wijngaarden from Alphen aan den Rijn on July 01, 2012:

Great and interesting lens!

anonymous on May 31, 2012:

I'd love to learn more about hen rescue and whether there are people who foster hens until permanent homes or sanctuary space can be found.

PaigSr from State of Confusion on May 31, 2012:

I am suddenly getting flash backs to my wife's childhood. She had a pet checking that when she piced it up it would fall asleep in her arms.

RuralFloridaLiving on May 22, 2012:

Lots of fun. Enjoyed this immensely.

Snakesmum on April 22, 2012:

Used to have a couple of hens in the backyard, and they were very friendly and interesting pets. Great lens

Phoenix2361 on March 19, 2012:

What a fabulous lens. I used to have chickens as pets and this lens brought back a lot of good memories. Thanks.

flycatcherrr on March 19, 2012:

Chickens are beautiful, and they'd certainly make an interesting pet, but I do think I will stick to keeping cats and dogs. A wonderful lens, though, and it made me laugh out loud a few times as well as learning a lot. *blessed*

KandH on March 19, 2012:

Wow, what an impressive and extensive lens - nice job!

Ram Ramakrishnan on March 19, 2012:

Know this, O worthy and diligent lensmaster;

With accomplishment youâve earned a tryster.

As a token of immense appreciation expressed,

A squid angel leaves this lens heartily blessed.

On a rendering that is sparkling in its own right,

Propagating an appealing thought well and quite;

If you were to notice a slender shimmering crust;

From the angelâs wand, it is a spill of stardust.

OUTFOXprevention1 on March 10, 2012:

Interesting. Hygiene would be my ultimate concern. It would take a shift in pet mentality so that more people could safely have different types of animals in their homes.

Funny_Beekeeper on March 08, 2012:

I know a person who had a chicken for a house pet and I don't hink it's crazy. But I was a bit surprised for the first time I saw that chicken actually came to me, jumped on my legs and wanted from me to stroke her :))

It was funny experience indeed, but also a nice one :)

wyrm11268 on February 04, 2012:

Fantastic information on house chickens. I would get one if I could but would love to own chickens one day and keep them outside.

leeleon on February 02, 2012:

What module which you have use to let visitors left their opinion?

''What is your opinion?''

I say Nutso,...

AnnaleeBlysse on January 27, 2012:

I never heard of house chickens ... interesting lens! I do so enjoy lenses that teach me something new.

DogWatchColumbus on January 17, 2012:

I never knew there was so much to say about chickens! Thanks for all the great info:0)!

kosmicfashions on January 15, 2012:

Great lens..I like the collection of photographs you have added herein..amusing thought though!

shoefiend on January 15, 2012:

chickens everywhere

Edutopia on January 15, 2012:

This lens pretty much just plays out as the real side of the friends story arc when the guys had a rooster and duck as pets, haha.

MayaBella LM on January 14, 2012:

Fun and informative lens!

baby-strollers on January 14, 2012:

My problem would be, all I would imagine would be brooster on the spit!

Alisha Vargas (author) from Reno, Nevada on January 14, 2012:

@pajnhiaj: It's called a Serama, and is the smallest breed of chicken. They are hard to find in some areas since they're tough to raise and can be delicate.

pajnhiaj on January 14, 2012:

very interesting lens. By the way, in the sweet sherma love, what kind of chicken was that? never seen it before. my dad is in love with chickens and raises them.

Frischy from Kentucky, USA on January 14, 2012:

I love the red headed lady with the silkie rooster! Oh my goodness! I laughed so hard! The factory hens are one reason I raise my own chickens. I am adding your lens to my backyard farming lens. Even though these chickens don't live in the backyard, I think my readers would find this interesting. A couple of house hens might work for someone in an apartment who wanted fresh eggs.

OzGirl LM on January 14, 2012:

I have seen this idea before - MaryJanesFarm magazine features an article about chickens as housepets awhile back. I'm not sure I would want my chickens living in my house with me, although we do have one guinea who has a bad foot/leg and we've nursed her from a chick, hmmm, I wonder if there's a chance she could end up back in our house since the others want to pick on her.... time will tell!! Love your lens.

jimmyworldstar on January 14, 2012:

Can chicken really be domesticated as pets? I'd wonder about their tendency to peck things and those sharp claws.

Margaret Schaut from Detroit on January 13, 2012:

I'm planning on having chickens for the eggs, starting this spring. I'd like good layers, and if they're good company inside and outside, I could accommodate them with minor improvements. Interesting page!

bossypants on January 13, 2012:

I shared this link with a coworker who is thinking of getting chickens, although not necessarily as house pets. What more comprehensive article could she consult? Nice lens!

anonymous on January 13, 2012:

I never knew chickens can make a great&fun pets too!xD but I prefer cats though,nice lens..

Pastor Cher from United States on January 13, 2012:

I never seen such a thing. Such a funny, but fun idea. I love this lens. I can see why it has been so well received. Great job.

VeseliDan on January 13, 2012:

I can't really imagine havig a chicken as a house pet, but I believe that they are really friendly. I had a really great time reading your lens.

sexyf lm on January 12, 2012:

nice lens

seegreen on January 12, 2012:

My mil's house chicken was called Henny Penny. I think she had it for almost a year. It was a beautiful bird, and I'm not really a chicken fan, but it was lovely. It gave my mil some lovely eggs for breakfast too!

grnidlady on January 11, 2012:

great lens! i had a pet chicken when i was growing up.

Ericastanciu on January 11, 2012:

I love silkies! My friend as about 5 of them that they let run around the house. Well, not all the time because chickens use the bathroom a lot. They're really cute and fun to groom. I love all the pictures you have. Great lens

Nicole Pellegrini from New Jersey on January 11, 2012:

I loved it! Super fun and informative lens on keeping house chickens.

MaryQuinlin on January 10, 2012:

I enjoyed reading about chickens as pets--more in the post above!

Blackspaniel1 on January 10, 2012:

Nice lens

Senditondown from US on January 10, 2012:

A dog, a cat, why not a chicken? All God's wonderful creations!

Julia Morais on January 10, 2012:

I know people who keep chickens as pets, and would love to try as well. Awesome lens.

Sara Krentz from USA on January 10, 2012:

This is a comprehensive and entertaining lens; I really enjoyed reading it.

leeleon on January 09, 2012:

i like to keep chicken as pet. Nice lens. good

jadehorseshoe on January 09, 2012:

Chickens and Ducks are great pets. Likely best to keep them outdoors, once they get big. AJW always loved her chickens. Fun Photo of AJW and her fave chicken:

Natalie W Schorr on January 09, 2012:

I LOVE this lens, but it struck fear into the heart of my longsuffering husband, who reluctantly shares our bedroom with 3 cockatiels already...

noel rocs on January 09, 2012:

I had pet chickens when I was a little girl, but they lived outside :) I kept the babies in the house--in a box--when they were really small. I also had a pet duck named Andy :) Chickens and ducks make really great pets; they're very affectionate and follow you just like a cat/dog. Love em!

Dragon 40 on January 09, 2012:

I'm not convinced, but enjoyed reading the lens, and like the way you presented it. Blessed for content.

anonymous on January 09, 2012:

I`ve had pet chickens in the past, but not in the house . However, I had a lot of fun with them.

iWriteaLot on January 09, 2012:

Oh, I do love this lens! I've had chickens in the past, but never in the house. I don't know why it never occurred to me. but you can bet your boots I'm thinking about it now! chickens and ducks are so much run! Blessed. Definitely!

TravelingRae on January 09, 2012:

This lens made me laugh. Your love and enthusiasm for your chickens comes across in your humour. A chicken would most definitely not be a good pet for me, but you've convinced me that it could make a good pet for someone. :::blessed:::

lilymom24 on January 09, 2012:

Very nice. I like all the information and especially the pictures.

ZabalusInc on January 08, 2012:

We used to have a rooster and two hens...although they were only allowed in the yard. They got along well with our dogs too (a dachshund and Jack Russell)!

cleanyoucar on January 08, 2012:

Never thought that chicken would make good pets, but thanks for sharing =D great stuff

cleanyoucar on January 08, 2012:

Never thought that chicken would make good pets, but thanks for sharing =D great stuff

Alexandra Douglas from Florida on November 27, 2011:

Well I don't have my chicken in the house but they can make nice house pets.

Magicality LM on November 23, 2011:

Awesome lens. I enjoyed reading it.

chickenmanic on October 05, 2011:

Great lense! Yeah I don't know about keeping chickens in the house, but they definitely do make great pets, especially for kids. Never seen chicken diapers before, hehe.

MustangHistory on September 21, 2011:

It takes a lot of different animal to make different people happy.

Aleayah on September 02, 2011:

amazing... I never thought that chicken can be a house pet.. interesting lense and thanks for sharing it

Liz Mackay from United Kingdom on August 12, 2011:

Great lens. Chickens have great personalities. Blessed by a squid angel.

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on August 11, 2011:

I found this most interesting. Forget the ferrets, the rabbits: I would go for the chicken as my first unusual house pet.

totalhealth on August 02, 2011:

we have chickens in the yard but never thought of making them as pets inside the house. chicken diaper seems to be a great idea to deal with chicken poop.

Liz Mackay from United Kingdom on July 05, 2011:

Cute lens.

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on March 31, 2011:

Interesting lens. Blessed by an April Fools angel. See this featured on my April Fools Angel Blessing as soon as it is published. Your blessing is coming first. So check back.

JeanJohnson LM on March 19, 2011:

I think it would be fun to have a chicken as a pet never thought of it before, thanks for the lens.

Steve and Annette on January 24, 2011:

You really put a lot of work into this lens and it shows. I checked it out because my wife's family would raise baby chickens in a big box in the kitchen until they were big enough to go out into the chicken yard.

A Dolores Pepper on January 21, 2011:

I have to say that I was surprised to find out people are keeping chickens as house pets, however, it seems to be working out very well for you. We had chickens years ago and they were fun to watch.

greenerme on December 25, 2010:

Very interesting, thanks fir sharing!

buntyross on December 22, 2010:

wow you really have nice chickens, i loved the black chickens with silky fur on them they are really amazing, my son have a great luv for chicken and roosters. he would really love if i could get him one but need to check for a place where i could get them.Currently looking for pet insurance quotes for my pet puppy.

anonymous on December 01, 2010:

Wow! Chooks inside! Good for you for loving your pet so much. I love your gorgeous little silkie desk chook.

sheriangell on October 15, 2010:

I really enjoyed this lens but still don't think I could ever have a chicken as a pet. Blessed by an Angel today!

poppy mercer from London on October 02, 2010:

This made me so happy to read...I have lens rolled it to my cat l;ens, just so I can come back and read it again, and again.

AmeliaKat LM on September 20, 2010:

Mmm Birdies!

ChaosAndCritters on September 16, 2010:

I enjoyed this so much I kept reading parts aloud to my husband... who informed me that I was scaring him. LOL. However, since we've just moved to a rural area, I can't wait to start keeping chickens!

Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on September 08, 2010:

House-training chickens? Chicken diapers? lol ... I'm so glad you covered that topic, since I was thinking about that from word one. This is too funny! As you probably know from visiting my huevos rancheros lens, I've had chickens. And I love chickens. I just never knew anyone kept them as house pets. This is great! What a fun and interesting lens.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 11, 2010:

My grandmother had a pet chicken back in 1905 or so, but it lived outside.

I remember a bantam rooster that I tried to make a pet of when I was a kid. He lived with the other chickens in the hen house, but I would catch him and try to pet his golden feathers.

Alisha Vargas (author) from Reno, Nevada on July 30, 2010:

Thanks so much for the comments everyone! I'm hoping to spread the chicken addiction a little at a time ;), and Carol, I added your wonderful site to the diaper listings. Thanks!

anonymous on July 30, 2010:

Buying Chicken Diapers

Though they are still hard to find, if you don't want to make chicken diapers there are people that make them and sell them. Here's a few that I've found and if you know of any not listed here, let me know in the comments so I can add them.

You may add my site Chic Chix Chicken Diapers to your sources of diapers for chickens. I have a bunch of chickens that live mostly outdoors but some of them come in to roost at night and there are always a few 'house chickens'. They are just the best pets and so interesting I am never bored.

norma-holt on May 19, 2010:

What a wonderful lens on a great subject. Blessed and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on April 08, 2010:

When we moved to the Okanagan onto a small acreage, we decided to have chickens. We only wanted enough to supply our family with eggs. We got six chicks, hubby built them a house (with sliding windows) painted white, a chain link run with a wire top to it so they were protected by the hawks, owls and eagles. They all grew up health and happy and laid enough each day to supply 3 families. One by one they grew old and died, finally leaving Henrietta. Henrietta wasn't lonely though, she made friends with the quail and shared her feed with them. What a character she was! Every morning she came out of her little house and flapped her wings to greet the morning. She laid her last egg when she was 10 years old. She died when she was 10 1/2 years old. If I had known how to make chicken diapers I do believe that she would have spent her older years with us in the house. 5*s for this delightful lens!

mamakat lm on April 04, 2010:


Gotta say, I wouldn't have thought of a chicken for a pet. Sounds like fun, although I probably couldn't live with the noise. I can't stand a clock that ticks in my house...LOL!

We've got 2 dogs and quite a few cats, all outdoors. We've also had a couple of house bunnies and a cockateel at one time, years ago. (I hated that bird!!! We got her a new home after a few months)

Great lens and a big 5*****'s.

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