Five Reasons Hens Make Excellent Pets

Three years ago, my family decided that we were going to raise hens. My mom had raised hundreds as a child, and I’ve always been an extreme animal lover, so it just made perfect sense to add six baby chicks to the family. For their first two months of life, these chicks lived in a cage in my bedroom with a heating lamp over them. I automatically developed a very strong connection with the birds, and they’d sleep cupped in my hands for hours! It wasn’t long until I had names for each of them to suit their personalities: Sally, Wendy, Lilly, Junie, Daisy and Maisy.

Now full grown hens, these ladies are the most spoiled chickens in the world. I live in Ohio (where it’s currently getting down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit at night!) and we run heat out to their coop. Hens are definitely more of a high maintenance pet, but if you have a little bit of extra time and the proper space to raise a chicken family, give it a try! Sure, they’re kind of an unconventional pet, but they’re so fascinating to watch and they’re pretty darn cute, too. Here are five reasons that hens make excellent pets:

1. Free Breakfast! At about eight months (it varies by chicken), a hen starts laying her eggs. There’s nothing nicer than waking up and having fresh eggs to eat. My family tries to limit the amount of animal products we buy from the store, and it makes us feel more at ease knowing that we are eating eggs from (VERY) well-treated hens. On top of this, the eggs cost nothing!

2. Endless Entertainment! This sounds crazy, but chickens are the most interesting animals to watch! Whether they’re just pecking around in the dirt or chirping with their siblings, chickens are naturally very curious things and it’s fun to watch them go about their chicken lives! Hens even have something called a “pecking order” that actually determines who has superior power over the others.

3. Allergy Friendly! If you have allergies to pet fur, chickens are definitely the perfect pet for you! Who needs a dog or a cat when you can have your own coop of hens?

4. Chickens Are Eco-Friendly! Whether it’s from fertilizing your garden or eating away all of the bugs, chickens can be really big helpers. Fruit and veggie scraps from the dinner table can go straight to your chickens because they adore things like peppers, apples and lettuce.

5. They’re the new thing! Having your own brood of hens is becoming more and more popular. Cities are becoming more accepting of chickens, and even if you don’t live in a rural area, it’s not too outrageous to think about getting some hens of your own! Parts of Los Angeles, New York and Chicago have become hot spots for chicken raisers.

So, why not give it a shot? I love my hens and I wouldn’t trade them for anything! Good luck getting your own. Now if only I could convince my parents to raise baby goats

Love, Grace

Featured image via ShutterStock

  • Laura Puig Carles

    I actually had a baby chicken at home for some time and it was very funny!! I’ve always thought that it would be very cool to have a cow or a couple of goats living in the garden, non-typical pets rule!!

  • Stephanie Carrobourg

    This is such an irresponsible article lacking any valuable information. As an ‘extreme animal lover’ I would love to know how you acquired these baby hens? What happened to the ‘useless’ male chicks that were also hatched, did they use them as packing materials for your precious hens or were they ground up alive when they were born? By promoting an industry as cruel and bad for the environment as the egg industry- (yes not ‘eco friendly’ as you say) as a ‘new fun thing’ you are hurting chickens. The cruelty male chicks experience is inherent- not exclusive to factory farms- as backyard hens can not exist without supporting factory farming. If you want to educate yourself on this issue check out
    for some valuable information.

    • Hannah Smith

      You acquire the chicks from reputable breeders such as farms nearby or feed stores, who are usually supplied by farm breeders. Usually when a Rooster shows up in a small flock, you keep it and use it to fertilize your hens eggs and create MORE chickens! A lovely little flock for your back yard (as PETS mind you).
      You don’t obtain fertile chicken eggs from the egg industry, there are no males there as you say. The males are used for meat.
      You don’t hurt chickens at all, actually.
      As an “Extreme Animal Lover” you should learn how to properly read and use sites to prove a point. ♥

      • Shandra Goldfinger

        “You acquire the chicks from reputable breeders such as farms nearby or feed stores, who are usually supplied by farm breeders. Usually when a Rooster shows up in a small flock, you keep it and use it to fertilize your hens eggs and create MORE chickens!”

        And what happens to all of the roosters who aren’t kept around to fertilize eggs? Naturally, chickens aren’t going to be 99% female and 1% male. Most farms need to make money, so they’re not keeping around roosters just for the fun of it, and they usually don’t keep laying hens once they’re past their prime. If you do want to have hens, consider adopting some that have been rescued from abusive situations/factory facilities. No matter how much you want to tell yourself breeders love their animals and you’re getting ethically bred hens, chances are if you are buying baby chicks they came from a place that kills the males.

    • Carly Vinkavich

      You can have backyard chickens without supporting the factory farming, they are completely opposite of each other. It could be argued that because you have your own backyard chickens you are not buying eggs produced from factory farming. Additionally, the chickens help fertilize and keep pests out of the garden which reduces the dependency on artificial fertilizers and pesticides. It is just plain HEALTHY for all parties involved to have backyard chickens.

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