By Jamie Miller

Let me fill you in on what it's like having chickens as pets: For starts, chickens require less time than most people think, and who isn't concerned with time these days? Just a few minutes of checking food and water each day, and they're pretty much set. They also don't require very much space, and they give you fresh and nutritious eggs almost daily. Despite what some may think, you don't need a rooster for the ladies to lay eggs, you only need a rooster to fertilize the eggs for more chickens. These powerhouses just lay, lay, lay on their own.

chickens are so much fun to watch, I think they are hilarious. My family spends a lot of time in our backyard, watching and giggling at our chickens' silly antics. They each have such different personalities - some are strong and willful, while others are reserved and shy, but they all definitely known who their favorite people are. My chickens follow me everywhere, it's so cute watching their little legs try and keep up with you as they follow you around the yard.

Chickens are great organic pest controllers, they eat everything! I can come outside to a giant pile of ants, bring the chickens over to the pile, and they are gobbled up in five minutes. I love that! They also love to eat weeds, as well as our leftover fruit and veggie scraps (just no potato peelings), and who doesn't want less waste? Their poop makes great fertilizer for the yard and garden, just another benefit of these wonderful creatures.

Last, but certainly not least (and probably my favorite part of keeping chickens), chickens help humans produce the stress-lowering chemical known as Oxytocin. There are actually hens that serve as therapy chickens, how cool is that? My chickens let me hold them, because I've done it ever since I got them, and they even sit on my lap.

My chickens often come in the house and want to be a part of what's going on, and they even beg for food, just like the dogs. They put themselves to bed every night, it's pretty cool how they just know when to go to bed, based off the daylight hours. It makes it very easy for a pet owner not to have to put them in their coop. They co-exist really well with our other pets, we have two dogs and three cats. They all just walk around together, sharing the yard. Sometimes I don't think they think they are any different than the dogs and cats. They definitely have the Oxytocin affect on my family, as well as me. We enjoy having them, and we will probably always have chickens as part of our family.