Keeping Chickens: An Introduction

Make the right decision

On the surface, keeping chickens can seen like a highly complex, specialised undertaking. But don’t worry: with a little planning and attention to detail, you’ll soon have your very own flock of happy hens…and all the benefits, both physical and emotional, that they bring!

Before you go down the road of keeping chickens, however, we suggest you think long and hard about whether or not chickens are right for you. Like any other animal, they require care, attention and are entirely your responsibility. Therefore, make sure you’re able to provide them with the best possible welfare before taking them on. You will need an appropriate space to keep them in and enough time set aside to make sure they are in good health on a daily basis: make sure you can address these two concerns as a starting point.

A great addition to the family

Though they do require regular attention and are often at ease around their human owners, chickens are happy when left to their own devices for the most part. Best kept in groups, chickens enjoy exploring their surroundings, foraging for food and taking the occasional dustbath. A healthy chicken is a happy chicken, and a happy, well-adjusted chicken promises to improve the quality of the food you source from them.

This guide is aimed at the small, back-garden owner, the kind of people who like the idea of keeping a few chickens as long-term pets rather than primarily as egg producers. A chicken in this environment, if cared for properly, can live up to eight years if not longer: like most animals, you’ll be in it for the long haul. Again, think carefully about whether chickens are right for you.

We’ll take you through housing, choosing the right birds for you, feeding, and other hints and tips to help you provide the best environment for your chickens.