If you’re thinking about keeping a chicken as an indoor pet either inside a house or appartment there are a number of important things to consider before you make your decision.
It might seem like one of those ‘it was a good idea at the time‘ plans, but it’s one that you could come to regret in the coming years, which I’ll explain in full inside this article.
1 – Chickens Love Being Outdoors
This has to be one of the main reasons why chickens shouldn’t be kept indoors, chickens just love everything about being outdoors.
It’s not even just about being outdoors, it’s about being outdoors with the space to explore and graze and do all of the other things that chickens love to do on a day to day basis.
As a chicken owner myself, if we even keep them outside in a run for a few hours they start complaining and looking agitated.
Even if the weather is bad, they still want to be out and free and it takes extreme conditions for a chicken to decide to go inside the coop (except to lay an egg) by choice within daylight hours.
Chickens are always on the move and will constantly keep going throughout the day, grazing, preening in the sun, dust bathing, scratching and exploring. which are all things they cannot do inside.
2 – Chickens Poo (Alot)
This might seem pretty obvious, but unless you’ve kept chickens before it can be difficult to understand the amount of poo they produce on a daily basis.
Even outside and in the coop things can get messy pretty quickly and for bird poo, it’s smelly too.
Chicken poo makes it’s appearance in various forms from runny to firm and without warning, so it’s definitely not something you want on your living room floor.
It is possible to get chicken nappies/diapers, but ultimately these will cause more harm than good and will quickly lead to poo around the vent become compacted and compacted around the feathers.
3 – Chickens Carry Harmful Bacteria
All chickens and in particular chicken poo carry harmful bacteria which include salmonella and campylobacter.
This bacteria can make us humans very sick and if chickens are kept indoors it greatly increases the chances of cross-contamination from bird to human.
I learnt this lesson the hard way and just petting a friendly chicken is enough to pass on the bacteria – something I never want to experience again!
4 – Chickens Need Daylight
Just like us, chickens need daylight for their health and well-being.
A chickens daily routine and natural rhythms (including laying and roosting) are set around daylight, which is why they use lighting inside chicken farms to ensure regular egg production.
Ultimately you can’t re-create natural daylight indoors and this can lead to poor long-term health and pale cobs and faces.
The image below shows our ex-caged hens shortly after they were released from the chicken farm, as you can see they’re really pale and in a sorry state. After spending months outdoors they now look much healthier and their combs have darkened considerably.
5 – You Get Better Eggs From an Outdoor Chicken
Not just an outdoor chicken, but an outdoor chicken who has space to graze and forage for natural foods such as insects, worms, vegetation and seeds.
All of these things help to produce the best eggs possible, which is a sign of a healthy and happy chicken.
As I mentioned above, a chicken’s laying routine is also governed by natural daylight and if they don’t have this their laying routine can become interrupted.
6 – Chickens Can Become Unhappy Indoors
Chickens need to engage in activities that bring them joy, and lacking this can lead to unhappiness or even depression.
The primary motivation for many to raise chickens is to offer them a more fulfilling life compared to confined indoor farm conditions where space is limited.
Chicken owners who have experienced keeping their birds in quarantine due to avian flu often eagerly anticipate the moment they can let them back outside.
Chickens are quite expressive about their discontent, often making their keepers aware of their distress in noticeable ways.
7 – They Can Be Destructive
This might sound a bit dramatic, but chickens can be pretty clumsy and can cause destruction around them in a short amount of time.
It’s bad enough when they get into a flower bed or veg patch where you don’t want them to go, I can’t imaging what this destruction would look like indoors.
8 – Chickens are Noisy
Everyone knows that roosters are noisy, but hens can be pretty noisy too in their own way.
Chickens are vocal creatures and they use various noises to communicate with each other as well as communicating with us humans using sound.
Chickens will usually begin vocalizing once it becomes light in the morning, so if they’re inside your home this could become an issue especially in the summer months.
If chickens are bored and fed up they become more and more vocal in an attempt to get you to let them out.
9 – They Can Become Aggressive
When chickens are bored and frustrated they can become aggressive towards each other, usually in the form of feather pecking.
This happens all of the time when chickens are kept on indoor chicken farms and is one of the main reasons why when ex-battery hens are re-homes most have bald patches and are in a bad state.
When chickens have more space to roam there’s much less chance of aggression because they’re kept occupied and don’t get bored.
This article was first published on March 22, 2021 by Pentagon-Pets.
If you’re thinking of keeping chickens indoors, please don’t take this article as a negative angle to indoor chicken keeping.
My aim here is to make sure you know the full facts so you don’t make a decision you’ll regret later on because it can be difficult to re-home unwanted pets.
Chickens are animals who thrive outdoors and freedom along with being part of a flock helps them to stay happy, which ultimately is the most important thing.
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Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on March 22, 2021.
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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on March 22, 2021.