Modified FROM Dr Brian Speer - A Specialist avian vet.
Keeping backyard chickens as pets has dramatically increased in popularity, both in urban and suburban settings.
PET CHICKENS ARE relatively easy and inexpensive to maintain (when compared to most other pets); they produce eggs that are fresh, flavorful, and nutritious; they provide the side benefit of chemical-free bug and weed control; their droppings provide excellent fertilizer; the birds are fun, entertaining, and very personable pets; and their keeping is a hobby that is educational for children. Individuals in rural communities commonly keep chickens for both ornamental and practical value.
Picture : Little Miss with her egg - in the chicken run at Melbourne Chicken vet
the nature of the human-animal bond can be quite strong, and they are increasingly being presented for veterinary evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate therapy. Chicken vet !. Diagnosing and treating pet chickens when they become ill is different than for other companion animals. Many of the infectious diseases of chickens and their agents are very different from other common avian infectious agents, and the applicable diagnostic modalities differ considerably.
Many birds birds are viewed as family pets.
A chicken's comb is the fleshy protuberance on top of the head, and it is larger on the cock than the hen.
Young female chicks are called pullets; young males, cockerels; adult males, cocks or roosters; adult females, hens. "Chooks" is the popular Australian term for chickens.
Chicken Diet - poultry vet
Most chickens should be fed and maintained on a commercially manufactured ration. These typically come in starter, grower, maintenance, and layer formulations, and are sold in mash, crumble, or pellet forms. Converting mash feeds into pellets or crumbles adds a given cost per ton of feed, but there are some advantages to feeding pellets or crumbles. Some mash feeds are extremely dusty and are difficult to handle. Pelleting these feeds improves their handling quality. Because feed is compacted in pellet form, the bird is able to consume and metabolize a greater amount of feed. Pelleted feeds are a complete unit of feed, such that the birds are unable to pick out different feed ingredients. Crumbles or mashes, on the other hand, are more easily consumed by chicks (note, however, that layer formulations should not be fed to young growing chicks). Medicated chick starters often contain amprolium, which is a thiamine-binding coccidiostat. Leafy greens, vegetables, and a variety of additional foods may be offered over and above the base ration. Large amounts of spinach and chard should be avoided in layers or growing chicks due to their oxalic acid content and resultant binding of available calcium in the gut. Chickens are omnivorous and eat worms, insects, and even small reptiles or mammals. Oyster shell and/or recycled egg shells may be fed as additional calcium supplementation. A primary diet of table scraps or hen scratch grains is not recommended and can set the stage for nutritional or metabolic disease problems. Hens being fed a suboptimal diet can deplete as much as 40% of their skeletal calcium stores to lay six eggs.
Pet chickens are a very different pet bird. Not only are these backyard poultry companion birds, but they are also food animals. Avian Veterinarians need to have a good foundational knowledge of basic avian medicine, familiarity with the types of and options for poultry-specific diagnostic testing, and the ability to balance patient care and treatment with the need to protect human health. Your local state poultry diagnostic laboratories are of great value in enhancing diagnostic capabilities where indicated.
Chicken owners should be advised of drug withdrawal times for eggs and meat when appropriate.
Melbourne Chicken vet .