Sunday, May 2, 2010

I desire- a pet hen

There is a new urban trend that I've been hearing of lately and I am totally falling for it. It seems that more and more people are raising chickens as pets for their egg-laying abilities. I've seen whole pages in newspapers devoted to the topic, books are published about raising your own and people are discussing the trend online in forums.

The first time I started thinking about raising some chicks was after I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I love the idea of hens clucking around a yard, ridding it of bugs, and providing you with a supply of your own eggs. And now I am bombarded with articles and books about keeping them in your own backyard, making me really desire a hen to call my own.

Of course we don't have a house with a backyard and chances are we won't have on for a really long time. Our next home is going to be an apartment in Taiwan which would hopefully have a balcony, but you can't keep a hen cooped in on some small balcony all the time, that would just be cruel.

So now I'm wondering, would it be possible to keep a pet hen in an apartment? Could I toilet train her and have her walk around the house and then take her to the park on a leash everyday to scrub and peck and amuse onlookers? I've seen people with pet pigs on leashes in Taipei, could I do the same with a hen?

* There are some really cute coops on Making it Lovely.
** The picture is from Chicken Cribs. You can order these beauties from them if you want to keep a hen at home.

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