Children and Chickens

Lily & Our Children

We have quite a few animals here, including fancy rats. Our children have a responsibility to feed the rabbits and the rats…..on rare occasions they find the enthusiasm to feed the dog. Sometimes.

When the chickens need feeding their afternoon grain or eggs need collecting, I don’t have to ask twice. Marvellous. They enjoy spending time with the chickens, which I think is refreshing. It gets them outside in the fresh air, away from the TV and PlayStation thingy ma-bobby. Chickens make great pets and are intelligent as well as educational, the children think its hilarious when they see the chickens marching off to bed one by one in single file fashion as soon as dusk comes.

 I do believe the chickens enjoy their company too.

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8 comments

  1. That’s a brill photo. Daniel’s still a little nervous of mine, after Squeak pecked his finger. He’ll give them a stroke if I’m holding them though.

  2. There is something about chickens, isn’t there. They are hard not to like.

    Btw, what has happened to Green Chick’s blog. I was looking forward to hearing more about her chickens.

  3. Chickens seem to be one of those animals that people who have never been around them think they are stupid (or something of the sort). But once someone spends a little bit of quality time with a chicken, they usually fall in love with the little creatures. There is just something so endearing about their personalities.

  4. Lovely post! I agree that it’s important for children to have contact with animals (and nature generally) and keeping chickens seems like a wonderful way to do this – to teach responsibility and respect. I only wish we had room….. one day I guess!
    x

  5. I would love to hear more about your decision to have chix’s with having kids. I have not done much research on the topic but my hubby and I were thinking it would be kind of cool to have chix’s in the backyard but we were afraid of the commitment and the cleanlinees required and all that’s involved. We have 3 kids (4, 3.5,1) and we didn’t want to overwhelm ourselves. Plus we aren’t sure…are there any health risks with having them and having little kids?
    Any thoughts are appreciate thanks!

  6. I keep everything very clean (housing and feeding equipment) and clean up after the hens have been free ranging, ie their poops. Chickens will trash a small garden, so if a neat and tidy garden is on your agenda then chickens are probably not the pet for you! We are lucky to have a larger than average garden that can take a hammering from chicken feet without it looking awful. A small space will look untidy after a short time.

    As for health risks, I have never experienced any problems with health issues with regards to children mixing with hens. I find hens very friendly, I cannot speak for roosters or cockerals as we dont keep one. Hopefully this helps!

  7. You would need to ensure your chickens were vaccinated against salmonella and a few other things, but any responsible breeder should do that anyway I would have thought.

    Chickens do have copious droppings, so you might want to have a separate area for them, or for the children, depending on who you thought needed the most space. I wouldn’t want very young children coming behind them, crawling around on the grass and putting things in their mouth, even after I’d raked up their droppings.

    Having said that, they aren’t a lot of trouble to keep. We let them out in the morning, after filling up their feed, and changing their water. We then shut the hatch and sweep the droppings out from their roosting area. Then we close the top and open the hatch so they can go upstairs to lay their eggs. Later on we collect their eggs. I give them some greens after lunch, but not too much, and about an hour before bed time I give them some mixed corn, but both these two feed items are optional. They take themselves to bed at dusk and then we shut their hatch for the night.

    I believe you don’t have to clean them out every day, and some housing systems have a grid for the droppings to fall through.

    We give the ark a more thorough clean at the weekend, and air the upstairs if the weather allows.

    It doesn’t take up much time, but you do have to be there at certain times or find someone who will be.

    I should think it would be great for kids to grow up with chickens, although you might want to wait a year or two.

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