Can you walk a chicken like you would a dog? The answer to this question is yes.
Did you know that some people keep chickens as pets? Some have either rescued them from farms, or others simply love the birds and enjoy their company.
These individuals don’t focus on their egg production. They rather want to keep their chickens happy. But a happy and healthy bird needs to spend time outdoors, so people can take them out in their yards.
You might think that getting a chicken harness and leash is unusual, but in fact, many people prefer to walk their feathered companions in this way.
It helps them keep on top of the situation, and it also protects the chickens from getting stranded and potentially exposed to a predator.
Is a chicken harness necessary?
It depends on what you intend to use your backyard chickens for. If you want to raise them for eggs, it’s a better idea to have a sizable coop and a run and leave some freedom to the birds.
If, on the other hand, you want to keep just one chicken as a pet, a harness is necessary.
Another reason why a harness is to be preferred with chickens is that you can’t use a collar. Anatomically, chickens just aren’t made to wear a collar and you’d risk endangering the bird’s health if you tried.
Different types of chicken harnesses
Chicken harnesses differ in terms of size, the materials they are made of, the colors they come in, and a variety of such factors. When it comes to colors, you can usually find them in five, but there are many more.
- Blue is for roosters
- Pink is for hens
- Red is perfect for chickens with amazing personalities
- Purple can be used for special chicken breeds
- Black can be used for neutral or unusual chickens
The fabrics that the chicken harness is made from have to be light and breathable and also easy to clean. Needless to say, your pet chicken isn’t going to pay attention to not getting the harness soiled, so you will have to wash it once in a while.
The materials have to be pet-safe, and they shouldn’t have been treated with any dangerous chemicals.
Ideally, the harness should be machine-washable so that it saves you some time and hassle.
Another aspect is that the size needs to be appropriate. If it’s too large, the chicken will find it difficult to walk properly. If it’s too small, it can put unnecessary pressure on the bird’s thorax and make breathing difficult.
Chicken harness reviews
1. Yesito Chicken Harness
This is a budget-friendly and easily adjustable harness that works for most chickens. It comes in two different sizes, a small and a medium. What’s nice about it is that it is made from durable fabrics, which means that you aren’t going to replace it ahead of time.
The mesh fabric allows the chicken to feel at ease and avoid overheating while wearing the harness.
- Made of resilient materials
- Seamless design
- Comes in 2 sizes and 3 colors
- Adjustable design
2. Chicken Harness Walk Your Chicken by Valhoma
If you want an even more affordable alternative, this one should be right up your alley. It’s durable, breathable, and convenient, and it comes in four different sizes, so you can pick the perfect one for your bird.
You can attach a leash to this harness without too much effort, but you do have to purchase it individually. As a con, this harness needs to be hand-washed instead of thrown in the washing machine.
- Comes in five different colors
- Available in 4 sizes
- Breathable mesh lets chickens feel comfortable
- Adjustable design
3. Yesito Chicken Harness with Matching Belt
If you want to teach your hens or roosters how to walk on a harness and leash, this product is another that you should consider. It’s comfortable and made of breathable materials and it also boasts an adjustable design.
On top of that, it is available in 3 different sizes-small, medium, and large — and four different colors — black, green, orange, and dark purple.
- Comes with its own leash
- Made from reinforced mesh fabric
- Can be adjusted as per the chicken’s physical features
- Is accompanied by a storage bag
Can you train your chicken to wear a harness?
It’s not the most effortless task in the world as chickens have the ability to pull their head down into their chest. This means that once you do end up putting the harness on the bird’s body, it will have to fit snugly.
If your hens have a calm personality, though, they aren’t going to have anything against wearing the harness. We recommend teaching your chickens how to walk on a harness and leash when they are young. The older they get, the harder it is for them to learn new things.
An important note that we have to make is that you should try to get your chicken accustomed to wearing the harness both during the day and at night. If you manage to get on your bird’s nerves with this, simply create 3 harness-wearing sessions per day.
Put it on in the morning, in the middle of the day, and in the evening for 10-15 minutes. Gradually, the bird will get used to the harness.
Does walking a chicken have any benefits?
Yes. While some people might think it’s not the most useful thing to do with a chicken, since it is basically supposed to be used for eggs or meat, the activity does involve several benefits.
On the one hand, if you own a pet chicken, you’re not interested in what she can produce for you, at least not from a material standpoint. Walking your chicken on a harness protects her from predators and it can also be a nice way of teaching kids responsibility.
In the United Kingdom, chickens are even used for therapy in nursing homes. They’re harmless, so they don’t pose any risks to the residents, and anyone can walk them.
What can go wrong?
Putting the harness on the chicken’s body can be a bit of a challenge, but most mishaps you’ll have to deal with actually pertain to the way the product was designed.
If the sizing isn’t the correct one for the bird you have, it’s not going to fit no matter how much you try. Hens are smaller than roosters, so they can easily slip out of a harness. Finding the right size may be a matter of trial and error, so you might have to test several products.
If you’ve ever wished to have a pet chicken, getting a harness and walking her can be a great way to spend your time, make children responsible, and even use the bird for chicken therapy.