Ask the Ex­perts

Your Chickens - - Contents -

Your ques­tions an­swered

QI have had chick­ens for years, but num­bers have re­duced re­cently and now I only have two. They have the run of my yard and gar­den and while they have a coop they in­sist on com­ing into my house in the evening. We have treat time in the kitchen, they groom on a rug in front of the TV and even­tu­ally they roost on a bookcase. I put them out first thing in the morn­ing right from the roost and then clean up min­i­mal waste from the evening be­fore from my hard­wood floor. I don’t mind. I’m won­der­ing, how­ever, am I be­ing a sap, or should I train them to be in the coop? I can do that, but I would miss them.

AMichelle Dunn says: This is an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion. Peo­ple keep chick­ens for all sorts of rea­sons and there is no doubt that they make ex­cel­lent com­pan­ions and can be­come much-loved pets. As I can see from the pic­ture, your chick­ens are not the only ones that en­joy re­lax­ing in front of the tele­vi­sion. Your two chick­ens are clearly very at home in your house and you are happy for them to be there. They have the run of your yard and gar­den dur­ing the day and a safe place to roost at night — this is a good life for a chicken. The main pur­pose of a coop is to keep chick­ens safe at night, and it cer­tainly sounds as though your two are safe from preda­tors when they are sleep­ing on your bookcase. If you and your chick­ens are both happy with the ar­range­ment, there is no prob­lem at all. The only thing I would sug­gest is to con­sider get­ting an­other cou­ple of birds. If you were to lose one of your cur­rent pair, the other one would be lonely and mis­er­able and would find it very hard to adapt to new com­pan­ions. A flock of four would be good com­pany for you and each other (and hope­fully won’t add too much ad­di­tional mess).

Some­times a keeper en­joys the com­pany of his/ her chick­ens in their own house

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