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March 29th, 2017

Chickens as Pets

Residents of Albuquerque NM are now allowed to have chickens as pets in their backyard. If you're a New Mexican who loves chickens, you can have up to 15 chickens (including 1 rooster) in Albuquerque. The restrictions are very low, as the chickens can freely roam the backyard to make their sounds, play, scratch and,.. whatever.

Backyard Chickens

The idea of owning a chicken as a pet in a residential backyard is becoming more popular. Los Lunas residents have jumped on the idea of adopting these avian creatures as part of their backyard family of pets as a way to entertain their children and guests. Dogs and cats usually have no problem with chickens, and visa-versa, so there's no animal training involved, just a short warm-up period of "getting to know each other."

New Mexico residents will attest to the fact that there are advantages to raising chickens on their property (aside form the entertainment value), as chickens eat insects, fertilize the soil beneath their scratching claws, provide meat and lay eggs.


They've been part of farmyards for about 5,000 years, so chickens have had lots of time evolving into what they are today. Indeed, they serve very well within the needs and production of the farming industry. And as far as a bird that doesn't fly very far, chickens seem to be content just scratch-walking around all day, even thriving within controlled perimeters. When in close proximity with humans and other animals, they are perfectly fine there too, but with the exception of occasional squabbles that break out among themeselves. Since first being domesticated in Asia from a wild bird known as Red Junglefowl, they are in demand as a backyard farm bird because they have adapted very well to captivity, and are valued as easy keepers.

Low Maintenance

They are very low maintenance. A large part of maintenance for pet chickens is simply making sure that they always have enough food and clean water. At night, they'll go into their coop on their own, and all you must do is make sure the door is secure. Cleaning their cage is a once-a-month procedure, and is usually a simple process.

It's not just New Mexico, but a whopping portion of the U.S. population that has decided to take on the responsibility of owning chickens as pets. And you don't have to be the owner of a sprawling farm either, your backyard will do very nicely. It almost seems to be a trendy thing to do, letting those avian feathered playmates hop, skip, jump, peck, flap, scratch, squawk, and yes,. run around and chase each other!

Re-cap the benefits..

  • Eggs - Chicken will provide you with free eggs.
  • Fertilizer - Chicken poop not only fertilizes your grass and hedges, but extra fertilizer can be scooped up and used for your vegetable garden.
  • Pets - They make great pets. Chickens have unique personalities and they get along with you and your other pets. However, they can sometimes get a little cranky among themselves.
  • Scavengers - They have a wide array of items in their diet, and when allowed to free-rang in your yard, chickens will find a lots of food on their own, including insects, vegetation and seeds. They're not really finicky eaters, often times test-tasting particles of organic matter laying on the ground. Depending on how far and long you allow your chickens to forage, a significant portion of a chicken's diet may come just from foraging. Chickens will also enjoy a large number of food scraps thrown out onto your lawn or put into a bowl.
  • Low Maintenance - Chickens are fairly easy to take care of. As long as they have food, water, and a coop, they're pretty much taken care of.


  • Noisy - They have several variations of "squawking" sounds that you might have to get used to.
  • Harmony - When more than just a few chickens are present within a backyard, there can be squabbles and bullying.
  • Predators - Chickens might need some protection from the threat of other animals in the area.
  • Companionship - Chickens need company from other chickens, which means you will need to give more care and attention to them.

Altogether, if you like chickens, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages when considering them as your new family members.

The difference between a rooster and a hen..

Rosters and hens are both chickens. The difference is determined by gender, as a male chicken is a rooster and female chicken is a hen.


Mating between a roster and hen is not required in order for a hen to lay her eggs. Hens lay eggs naturally once they reach a certain age, and will lay an egg approximately every day or so. The City of Albuquerque places no restrictions on the number of eggs your chickens can lay.

The problem with not having a rooster around is that the hen will have her eggs, however, they won't hatch. You only need a rooster if you want the eggs to hatch. So in order to get those little guys hatched out of their eggshells, the eggs must be fertilized by the male chicken, the rooster.

"What happens when you have a rooster AND a hen? Answer - little yellow furballs running around, playing, having fun and singing little baby chicken songs!"

A major player to raise their own chickens..

Customers can walk around the block in a shorter time than it takes to get to the back of the store. But that's where the rotisserie chickens are kept, a strategic move by Costco in order to force the diehard Costco customer to pass by the bulk of their inventory and take notice of new products and savings. But once they get to the gold, it's worth the $4.99 price tag.

To meet the demand of chicken, Costco has decided to give Tyson and Perdue a run for their money. The warehouse retailer will soon build a farm-to-table production system to ensure a steady supply of it's low-priced rotisserie chickens. They are willing to go through with their risky idea to keep its chickens at $4.99. The official opening of their huge multi-million dollar poultry complex in Nebraska.

Does Costco make a profit from their chicken sales?

Costco doesn't make much profit from their chickens, if any at all. In fact, Costco may even loose money from the sale of chickens. In 2014, Costco's chief financial officer Richard Galanti said..

"As prices changed dramatically and we saw the competition raising the price, it was a hot price. Costco was willing to sacrifice $30 million, $40 million a year on gross margin by keeping it at $4.99, that is what we do for a living."

The chicken as the Nation's bird?. hmmm..

The American Bald Eagle is a noble and majestic animal (very worthy of being our Nation's bird), but chickens do more in the way of supplying people with food and fertilizer. And since New Mexico has now given it's residents a green light on ownership, you can add the benefits of companionship as well. Yes, having chickens as pets will provide you with the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing that you've adopted a brand new member to your family. You'll find them friendly and easy-going (at least for the most part), and chickens are also child-friendly. Next, read our article on Florida Birds»


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