Here’s why chickens are great first pets for kids

This International Respect for Chickens Day, we take a look at why keeping chickens as pets is increasingly popular.

We share the top reasons pet chickens are great for kids as well as a vet’s advice on caring and preparing for your pet.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Updated 4 May 2024

Chickens have certainly transformed from traditional barn animals to popular family pets in recent years.

In fact, these feathered animals have been stealing the hearts of families – especially kids – everywhere.

They’re relatively low-maintenance, make great companions, and teach kids the importance of responsible pet ownership (and the egg-collecting is an added bonus).

So, this International Respect for Chickens Day, we take a look at everything to learn about keeping chickens as pets.

The rising popularity of pet chickens

It’s easy to see why chickens have become a popular choice for first-time pet owners and parents alike.

Chickens are great companions and are one of the easiest pets to care for.

Most importantly, they have the ability to teach kids the importance of responsible pet ownership.

They’re also incredibly useful when it comes to getting rid of unwanted garden pests and kitchen scraps!

But despite their easy-going nature, like all pets, chickens need dedicated care and proper research to ensure their health and happiness.

Pet chicken with young child

Are chickens good pets? Here’s 5 reasons they are:

Easy to care for

Firstly, chickens are relatively low-maintenance.

With a cozy coop, proper feed, fresh water, and occasional health checks, you’re good to go.

They don’t require walks or intricate play routines, making them a suitable first-time pet for your little ones.


Owning and caring for chickens has invaluable learning benefits for kids.

Not only does it teach them responsible pet ownership, it also teaches them empathy and companionship.

Chickens have delightful personalities; they’re curious, social, and can form strong bonds with their human caregivers.

This gives children the chance to enjoy their companionship while learning about their unique behaviours.

Teach Responsibility

As we’ve already mentioned, owning chickens is a fantastic way to teach kids responsibility.

Daily tasks like feeding, providing fresh water, and cleaning the coop give kids a routine and show them what it means to care for another life.

Caring for chickens encourages kids to explore nature, engage in physical activity, and develop a deeper connection with the environment.

This takes us to the next reason….


Fresh eggs, need we say more!?

In this digital age, any time parents can get their kids to play outside is a bonus.

So, what better incentive for outdoor and adventure than to check the coop for eggs?

Chickens provide an incentive for kids to get out of the house.

And they’ll have so much fun collecting the eggs (and then enjoying a delicious breakfast).

This offers a fun way for children to learn where food comes from and the importance of sustainable living.

pet chickens on a farm

Feathered therapy

Chickens can be great stress relievers.

Their calm and gentle nature can provide a soothing experience for kids.

Plus, who can resist a fluffy cuddle from a hen?

Remember, while chickens are awesome, they, just like any pet, require dedicated care and proper understanding of their needs.

So make sure you do your research and prepare for the clucking good time that’s sure to come with these feathery family additions!

International Respect for Chickens Day began in 2005 by an organisation dedicated to promoting compassionate and respectful treatment of all chickens.

Observed annually on May 4, the advocacy day aims to raise awareness about the plight of factory farmed – or battery – hens.

Ultimately, the day promotes chickens as sentient beings. It encourages people to recognise chickens as creatures with complex behavioural, social, and emotional lives.

How to care for pet chickens: a vet’s guide

For all the fun and joy chickens bring, for first time chicken owners, it can be a daunting experience at first.

Petstock veterinarian, Dr Tara Morris has compiled a list of what first-time chicken owners need to consider before bringing one home.

  • Choose the right chicken for you

When looking at welcoming a chicken into your home, it’s all about choosing the right breed that will suit your home and your lifestyle.

Like other types of pets, there are many iterations in chicken breeds.

So, you need to consider whether you’d like a chicken that can lay eggs such as ISA Brown’s, Rhode Island Red’s and Hyline Brown’s.

Regardless of the breed, chickens make a fantastic option for teaching children the vital skills of looking after a pet.

  • Making your backyard chicken-friendly

Setting up the best possible environment for your new fine feathered friends is crucial.

Chickens require protection from outside threats, such as hazardous weather conditions and predators, like foxes or other household pets.

A safe space for your new chickens is essential and easily established when setting up a chicken coop.

This space will ensure protection against direct sunlight and rain, while providing much needed shelter for rest and recuperation.

Make sure to regularly clean and maintain your chicken coop for the safety and comfort of your new friends.

Appropriate ventilation is key to maintaining a happy and healthy flock in your roost, so ensure a quiet area of the backyard is chosen.

  • Tackling feeding time in the chicken coop!

Chickens are just like us!

They can behave poorly when bored or hungry, which makes food the best way to keep them readily engaged.

Pet chickens should be given the nutrients that they would be subject to in the wild.

These are found in insects, seeds and plants found in the backyard.

Chickens can thrive on a simple diet of meat and vegetables, ensuring a balanced diet for optimal health and ongoing egg production.

Chicken feed is the best and most cost-efficient bet to keep your backyard chickens satisfied and content.

  • Check your local council rules

All Australian states allow for chickens to be kept in a residential backyard, however, it is important to check your local council rules and regulations as there are separate restrictions on the number allowed to be kept, depending on the area that you live in.

Be sure to double check when purchasing that your chicken is not, in fact, a rooster.

The regulations are stricter regarding backyard rooster’s, due to the potential disturbances to neighbours.

So, there you have it – the top reasons why chickens make such fantastic pets, and everything you need to know before bringing one home.

Do you have a pet chicken and can offer the first-timers some advice? Comment below, we’d love to hear your suggestions and experience!