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When deciding whether to adopt a pet, a chicken may not be the first animal that springs to mind. But these sentient creatures, numbering almost 23 billion worldwide, will bring more to your life than you can imagine.

  1. They are intelligent, affectionate, and loving

Lori Marino, a neuroscientist and animal behaviour expert, writes that chickens communicate in intricate ways and experience complex emotions. Despite this, when compared with other animals, many people believe them to be mindless.

“Chicken intelligence appears to have been underestimated and overshadowed by other avian groups,” she argues.

Chickens have also proved themselves to be delightful and charming companions. Just this year, an aged care home in Brisbane introduced four therapy chickens to its facility with residents marvelling at how much they love to be pet and cuddled.

  1. They can help reduce your food waste

According to OzHarvest, more than 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill in Australia each year. Globally, it’s 1.3 billion tonnes. 

But your chickens can help.

According to The Happy Chicken Coop, chickens can generally eat the same foods that we do so a great deal of your food waste can go to them.

Just be sure not to give them foods that are highly processed or high in fat and salt. 

  1. They’ll take better care of your garden that you do

Poultry litter is fantastic for your garden; high in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. 

Remember though that the high nitrogen content can damage plants if it’s not properly composted.

To compost the chicken litter, put it in a compost bin along with the bedding. Water it and turn it every few weeks to aerate; it should take roughly six to nine months to compost properly. 

Chickens also keep your garden free of weeds and pests, eating everything from centipedes and spiders to ticks and mites.

  1. You’re saving a life

Last but certainly not least, when you adopt an animal from Til’ the Cows Come Home, you’re saving a life.

We give Aussie farmers an alternative to culling by offering to rescue and rehome animals they no longer need.

We regularly rescue retired laying hens and give them the chance to live out their natural lives in a forever home through our adoption program. 

Every time you adopt an animal, you’re making space for a new animal in need. Even better, your adoption fee enables us to help even more animals!

By Genevieve Mater