The Chicken

Scienfic Name:- Gallus gallus domesticus

Chickens are increasingly kept as pets in small back garden flocks of a few birds.   Chickens make interesting and sometimes very friendly pets when regularly handled

Females, called hens, can provide up to 6 eggs per week in the laying season but male chickens,   known as cockerels,   are quite noisy and are best avoided in built-up areas.  A cockerel is not required for hens to produce eggs.

There are many breeds of Chicken and all have different char- acteristics. Do your research before you buy to make sure you get the variety that suits your needs. Ex-battery hens can make good pets although may not lay as well as thoroughbred birds

Habitat :- Hens will happily live in a small group of a few individuals,   and will establish a hierarchy called a ''pecking order'' in which each bird will have a specific place.

Diet :- They will happily eat grain,   insects and fresh food,   but are most commonly fed on supplemented ‘layer’s pellets’ to provide high levels of calcium needed for egg production.   They will enthusiastically rid your garden of slugs and snails (though they will also eat plants or dig them up in their search for invertebrates).

Chickens can be infected with mites affecting the feathers and skin,   as well as internal parasites,   and so living areas should be cleaned regularly and routine worming undertaken.

Fresh water should always be available and both food and water can be provided in hoppers which keep the contents fresh and uncontaminated by faeces.

Life expectancy :- 5-10 years.

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