Backyard Chicken Owners Could Be Harming Their Pets, Study Says

Backyard chicken owners could be inadvertently harming their feathered friends, according to a recent Royal Veterinary College study.

World Poultry explains that chicken fanatics who decide to keep the animals as pets generally lack the knowledge to properly deal with any diseases or illnesses that may arise. Backyard chicken owners are also less likely to be vaccinate their pets, a fact which may ultimately harm the birds in the long run.

Of those chicken owners surveyed in the Greater London area, researchers discovered that most kept their pets housed in clean and comfortable accommodations. However, three out of four individuals were guilty of using kitchen scraps to feed their pets.

Study co-author Iveta Karabozhilova believes that backyard chicken owners still have much to learn about keeping the animals as pets in a domestic setting.

“Even though evidence from our study shows that flock owners provide enriched living conditions to the chickens, they ought to realise that their pets are a farmed species and are subjected to regulations,” she explained. “They need to expand their knowledge beyond the diseases for which there has been much publicity [such as] Salmonellosis and Avian Influenza, and be aware of the fact that some diseases must be reported.”

Although the study focused on chicken ownership in Britain, the popularity of these birds has spread all over the world. According to The Gazette, Iowa officials have taken steps to regulate chicken ownership and expand established laws.

City council members in Iowa City are taking steps to allow backyard chicken ownership within the city limits. If the ordinance is passed, then prospective owners would have to acquire a permit before being allowed to legally own a bird. The individual would not be allowed to own no more than four birds and absolutely no roosters.

What do you think about backyard chickens? Do you people should be allowed to own these birds within city limits?