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You and your pet ... chicken?
Appleseeds. (Mar. 2015) Lexile Measure: 730L.
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Back before supermarkets, people raised food at home. They had gardens and also kept backyard animals like chickens. But later on, people could buy boxed food at the store and keep it in freezers. It was easier than raising their own food. But easy food is not always the tastiest, or the best for your body. Thousands of people are now growing some of their food again. And one way to do this is by keeping chickens. Fresh eggs are tasty and healthy. And chickens make great pets!

When chickens are little, you can carry them around the house on your head or shoulder, or on your favorite stuffed animal. Chickens love to peck around and explore. They learn quickly just which people they can trust. And they remember who gives them tasty treats!

Chickens also get used to what you like to play. Chickens can dance or play piano.

They help you play cards. They listen to stories. They can paint, race with you on toy cars, or go down slides. Kids dress their chickens up for fashion shows. Some kids sneak their chickens into the house and wrap them up in blankets to keep them cozy - and to keep their parents from noticing that there's a chicken in the house.

The bigger chickens get, though, the bigger their 'droppings' get. Some people get diapers for their chickens! Your parents might want them to be visitors. Or they might not be allowed in the house at all. But outside chickens are fun, too. You can build fun places for your chickens to play. Chickens living in a small space like swings. Sticks stuck through your fence make good roosts. You can make chicken pinatas out of crepe paper and seeds. Hang those in your chicken run for your chickens to peck at until they spill out those delicious seeds.

It's easy to get chickens. You can buy as few as three online. They will come in the mail! Or you can look for a store near you. You need to be careful with them when they are little--they hop a lot, and falling to the floor can hurt their feet.

Chickens eat kitchen scraps--but not chocolate or chicken. (Yikes!) If you didn't finish your sandwich crusts, or your peas or yogurt, your chickens would love to have them. And they will love YOU for bringing them food. They turn your leftovers into eggs! They start laying eggs when they are about six months old, depending on their breed. If your chickens lay more eggs than your family can eat, you can give eggs to your friends. Or, like kids 100 years ago, you can start your own business and sell them!

So maybe your next pet won't be a dog or a cat ... Maybe it will be a chicken!

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Caption: Captionary words used with great caution. Poultry is not often captioned, but keep in mind, this is not the first time.

Caption: Captionary words used with great caution. Poultry is not often captioned, but keep in mind, this is not the first time.

Caption: Captionary words used with great caution. Poultry is not often captioned, but keep in mind, this is not the first time.

If you want to get your own chickens, here are some places where you and your parents can find more information. Remember, always have an adult's help when you're looking at websites!

Use the breed selector at MyPetChicken. com to find friendly chickens who like kids: http://www.mypetchicken.com/ chicken-breeds/which-breed-is-right-for-me. aspx

Their chicken-care guide will tell you what you need to raise them well:

http://www.mynetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-care/guide-toc.aspx

Backyard Chickens will answer all your questions: http://www-backyardchickens.com

If you like books better than the Internet, look into these:

My Pet Chicken Handbook, by Lissa Lucas and Traci Torres

Gardening with Free-range Chickens for Dummies, by Bonnie Jo Manion and Rob Ludlow

Chicken Health Handbook, by Gail Damerow and Jeanne Smith

Free Range Chicken Gardens, by Jessi Bloom and Kate Baldwin

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, by Gail Damerow

You can find videos of kids and chickens on YouTube by searching for "chicken tricks."

Have fun!

Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
Turner, Jenny. "You and your pet ... chicken?" Appleseeds, Mar. 2015, p. 21+. Kids InfoBits, http%3A%2F%2Flink.galegroup.com%2Fapps%2Fdoc%2FA408647881%2FITKE%3Fu%3Dalph38221%26sid%3DITKE%26xid%3De8f2eaa9. Accessed 15 July 2019.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A408647881