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9 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Keep Chickens as an Indoor Pet

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.

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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.

Image of ex battery hens

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

If a chicken can’t do all of the things which make them happiest it will become unhappy and even depressed over time.

The main reason that people decide to keep chickens is so that their birds can have a better life than they do in indoor chicken farms where space is lacking.

Anyone who has had their chickens in quarantine due to avian flu will tell you that they were counting down the minutes before they could go out again.

Chickens are very good at vocalizing and letting you know when they’re not happy about something and they’re also good at making you feel bad too.

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..


Summary

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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I hope this post has helped you to find out more about why you shouldn’t keep chickens in a house, you might also like the following articles too:

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Our recommended coop

Chicken coop for different flock sizes and different weather.

This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on March 22, 2021..

Click here to find out more about our recommended coop.