Posted May 20, 2015
My brother was desperate to own chicks in spring of 2004. He was only 12 years old at the time but he was infatuated with the idea of raising chickens. As an Easter present my parents bought him several young chicks; Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks and White Leghorns.
Over the years of owning the chickens I cannot say I was impressed by them as pets. The best part was to collect eggs from the chicken hut in the morning. They would produce medium sized brown eggs with rich, dark yolks which are delicious for eating.
Egg production aside, I was not a huge chicken fan and will not own them in the future. First of all, they are very messy birds. If they wander free range, they will leave excrement all over the yard. If you keep them in a coop, they will leave excrement on all surfaces. Needless to say, cleaning the chicken coop was not a desired activity. I would also not recommend chickens to city dwellers as the smell is not popular with neighbors.
Chickens are low maintenance besides feeding, watering and cleaning. They are not intelligent creatures and happy to wander and squawk all day long. One major concern with chickens is attracting predators. We had chickens killed by coyotes, raccoon and dogs. It's quite sad to lose animals in this fashion and is also a big mess.
In my opinion, chickens are more trouble than they are worth. But if you are so inclined, be prepared for the filth and stench as much as the cuteness of baby chicks.