This group is for people who keep poultry as pets and don't kill them. A chicken's lifespan is believed to be as much as 25 years. Some people keep poultry as an alternative to more common domesticated animal companions, such as dogs and cats. Chickens are believed to have been domesticated in 3500 BC or earlier, perhaps around the same time as the domestic cat.
Chickens and other poultry can learn their names, show affection, mourn the loss of a companion animal, and risk their lives for their young. They are quite beautiful, some breeds rivaling that of exotic birds. Each bird has its own unique personality and food preferences. Research shows that chickens are as smart as mammals, including some primates.
For more information on the our philosophy about pet poultry, please read this post:
Part of what it says is this:
There sometimes seems to be some confusion about what a "pet poultry" group is all about, so I wrote a description to clarify it.
This group is for people who have pet poultry and don't kill them. You don't have to be vegetarian. We just don't kill our pet poultry, or send off male poultry to be killed, either directly or by a place that doesn't protect them from predators or provide medical care. Although many people eat chicken, it's rather strange to eat your pets.
So, the group is made of people who have pet poultry and don't kill them, and not people who raise them for meat.
To take good care of your pets, you would do the following:
- Provide medical care when they are sick and humane euthanasia if they can't be saved to end their suffering.
- Protect them from predators. Mistakes happen, but we learn from them and prevent it from happening in the future. If a predator kills your poultry, it's your fault -- not the hungry wildlife who will obviously be attracted to them.
- Provide housing and enclosed run areas with both sun and shade that protect them from predators, temperature extremes, rain, wind, flooding, and overcrowding.
- Provide quality poultry feed, fresh produce and/or pasture, clean water at all times, and calcium supplements for females.
- Clean housing frequently to protect their health and cut down on flies.
- Check for and treats mites and parasites.
Just to be clear, you aren't taking good care of your pets if you do the following:
- Let your poultry get eaten by predators, don't correct the problem, and then get more.
- Kill wildlife. Building proper poultry runs and housing means that wildlife and poultry can live harmoniously.
- Obtain unsexed chicks or eggs without having pre-arranged homes for roosters or the firm commitment to place all of them in good homes. Roosters are almost impossible to place in our area. Hardly anyone wants them.
- Leave health problems untreated, or knowing that a chicken is dying, let it die a slow death rather than having it euthanized.
- Feed an unbalanced diet of only leftovers. Female poultry lay a lot of eggs, and they need a special diet as a result, or they'll get reproductive problems that will likely kill them. Feeding white bread, for example, isn't good for poultry.
- Feed moldy or spoiled food. That can make them ill or kill them.
- Let poultry have access to poisonous plants, or an area where they haven't figured out if there are poisonous plants. (To find poisonous plants, do an Internet search with the keywords plant poison birds.)
- Put free rooster ads on the Internet or in a paper, or let people come to get poultry without going to the home and screening the people. Roosters are often used as sparring partners for cockfighting, used for ritual sacrifice, or just eaten. Always go to the home where you will be placing poultry and check them out thoroughly.
We do have people in the group who don't follow this philosophy completely, and that's fine if they're polite and respectful. I wish I didn't have to say this, but if you're confrontational, disrespectful, or obnoxious, we'll remove you. You are welcome to have your own ideas and start your own group if you don't like this one. Most people probably don't have the same ideas as this group, which is one of the reasons this group is here. There's a big difference in how you view poultry if you have them for pets, or raise them for meat.
As of April 2005, Meetup has decided to charge for its web site services. Our group wants to keep the web site free for people to use. If you'd like to donate, you can do so through PayPal or at a meetup, but it's not required.
Petition: Enable Poultry Keepers to Quickly Construct Biosecure Poultry Housing
"Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible."
-Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936)
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