Have you hugged a chicken today? If you're anything like this little boy, it should be a part of your daily routine. Lately, keeping chickens as pets has gotten more popular in areas other than farmland. They provide their owners with fresh eggs as well as an all-natural form of pest control. One hungry chicken could keep you from having to call the exterminator ever again. On the other hand, most exterminators don't wake you up with their crowing every morning and need you to provide them with food and shelter. The crowing is actually one of the reasons why pet chickens aren't legal in every city in the United States. After all, wouldn't you be upset if your neighbor owned an alarm clock that woke up everyone on the block?
Aside from the free eggs and pest control, chickens actually make great pets, especially for young children, since their gentle nature makes them easy to hand-feed. And if you don't consider chickens to be affectionate animals, and many people don't, just look at the bond that this 6-year-old boy has with his chicken named "Love Bird."
If you're interested in adopting a pet chicken, there are a number of options. There's actually a charity in the U.K. called the British Hen Welfare Trust that helps find loving homes for hens who are no longer usable commercially. So far, they've re-homed nearly 500,000 hens! Finally, check out the Humane Society's tips on chicken care before making the decision to adopt a feathered friend.