Chicken vs. the Worm

Which is the better Pet? Worm or Chicken?I’m not allowed to have chickens. Nope. Not one. I’m more than a little disappointed about this because of the picture perfect scene in my head; you know the one where your children run up to your back door each day with freshly laid eggs in a cane basket.

I still want chickens, but luckily, I have the second best thing or perhaps the best thing given such advantages. A worm farm, I have the Tumbleweed Can-O-Worms worm farm, is much like having chickens. I give them scraps and they produce something useful for me.

Here are some things to consider when providing an interactive animal activity at home. I’ve added my score below.


Chickens need a bit of space, especially if you’re someone like me who would want a decent place for my chickens to roam – free range chickens are all the rage! Worm farms don’t need much space at all; in fact you can even have one out on your patio if you live in a unit.

Worm farm 1, chickens 0

Compatibility with other Pets

I’m embarrassed to write this but we can’t have chickens because we have a naughty dog that’s a chicken-killer; a story for another time. Worms, living in a worm farm, mix well with any other animal you may decide to keep as a pet.

Warm farm 2, chickens 0

Sam, a.k.a Chicken killer, can't get to the worms!

Sam, a.k.a Chicken killer, can’t get to the worms!

Good for Gardens

Here we have an even playing field. Both worms and chickens can be good for gardens. Chickens aerate the soil, provide fertiliser with their chicken droppings and reduce the amount of bugs and creepy crawlies around the yard. However, there are varieties of chickens that will also rip up your garden, so it’s important to keep that in mind.

Worms make your garden flourish with never-ending worm fertiliser and you can add the rich worm castings from Tumbleweed Can-O-Worms bottom level to your garden beds. One point for each.

Worm farm 3, chickens 1


Chickens require a fair bit of maintenance. They need to have their enclosure cleaned out regularly, extra feed, vet trips and enclosure maintenance. On the other hand, worm farms, after the initial set up, only require your scraps two/three days a week and you’re done.

Worm farm 4, chickens 1

Level of Interaction for Children

Okay, so this is important to me and I need to be honest, but chickens are something my children and I would much prefer to touch and pat than worms. You can get hands-on with worms too, if you like the gooey, sticky, slippery feeling they create in your hand. Miss Possum didn’t mind – as you can see.  I’ll give chickens two points and worms one.

Worms farm 5, chickens benefits of worm farm

Eggs for eating

The chickens win this one. There is something more enticing about eating omelettes and egg pie than spreading worm excrement around my garden. Plus, I was kind of feeling sorry for the chickens.

Worm farm 5, chickens 4

Babysitting requirements

Chickens need to be checked and fed every couple of days but if you go on holidays for three to four week periods, just overload the worm farm with a good supply of scraps and leave ‘em to it.

Worm farm 6, chickens 4


Both pets can smell if not cared for properly but generally chickens smell more than a worm farm. The only smell associated with a Tumbleweed Can-O-Worms worm farm is a pleasant rainforest odour. I can vouch for that. Mine doesn’t stink at all!

Worm farm 7, Chickens 4

There you have it!  In a battle between dirt and feathers, in most of the important questions, the worms won hands-down. I love my worm farm and it’s great for our circumstances but the best part of all is you really can’t go wrong with either option. Both provide a daily animal interaction for your children without leaving home. Why not do both!

Did I miss any points? Do you have a worm farm or would you buy one?

worm farm

benefits of worm farm

Our Tumbleweed Can-O-Worms setup

*This is not a sponsored post.  I didn’t receive any compensation or product for this post. Tumbleweed did however donate one to give away to my reader. That competition has since ended.

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  1. Kim Smith says

    Or have twice as much fun and keep both worms and chickens like me?! Neighbours are usually willing to feed chooks when on holiday, for exchange keeping whatever eggs are layed. My hounds killed one of the neighbours chooks which jumped the fence. With training they’ve accepted my chooks as part of the pack, but don’t extend the same courtesy to the neighbour’s chooks :/

  2. Susan Stephenson says

    The idea of turning scraps into worm fertiliser is just brilliant! I am pro chook, but I have to agree with your scoring system. Great post!

  3. Simone says

    I have been dreaming of having chickens for a long time, so a little while ago we visited a friend with a chicken coop to see if the twins would like it. My friend showed the twins the eggs and asked my daughter to pick them for her. Unfortunately it looks like I haven’t explained the chicken vs egg story very well as my daughter threw the egg at the chicken thinking it was their food. Don’t laugh! I think we would be safer with a worm farm and the twins would go crazy for one!

  4. Grace says

    Such a great idea ! We would love to win this !
    And congratulations on working with a brand that’s completely aligned with your blog and what you’re passionate about !

  5. G/C G/ma says

    Seeing you used my lovely photo of Leonie (our first layer) I feel I must admit I am all the way biased in favour of our chooks, 4 purchased at point of lay last month. They have names & personalities – Leonie & Bettina are already laying – next will be Lolita & Whilamena. You can’t name your worms, now, can you? And as for personalities! – I’ve never seen a worm with one.

  6. jil says

    A worm farm is simply brilliant..we live in a small unit and it would be the perfect way to keep our small garden happy and the neighbours (no odour!) I hate throwing my scraps away. Thank-you for the opportunity to win one.

  7. A Keeper says

    Your post cracked me up 😛 I love comparing the worms to chickens – totally going to try it with my hubby. He brought home three chicks, which grew up into ROOSTERS! Grrrr! Bring on the worms! 😀

  8. Jacqui (CRAP Mamma) says

    Without bragging (I’m really not) we’ve got 7 chooks and two worm farms and I must admit that the kids get a great deal of pleasure from both. They love to dig out the worms and play with them and they also love to play with the chooks and collect the eggs. The chooks do smell worse than the worms though and they’re a lot louder if it’s any consolation :)

  9. Claire Lewis says

    I love this! My office has a worm farm as part of our sustainability program, but I never thought to get one for home! My little Miss loves working in the garden, I know she would LOVE to feed worms with our scraps and use the castings for her herb plants.

  10. Greeen Mama says

    Chickens scare the b’jesus out of me, all birds actually, so they will NEVER be residents here. I’m lucky though because we get fresh eggs from my husband’s grandmother and from my cherub’s godmother, so I get the fresh eggs without the terror!

  11. Amanda Elizabeth from Amanda's Mummy Jeans says

    Hello there! Long time no write- Im the crazy lady who told you how much I love animal paws 😀
    Anyways I have always wanted a worm farm cause Im just so into organic stuff and growing my own herbs and everyone else has one, but chickens would be cute too, so yellow and fluffy when they are just little newborns! I’d keep them as pets and never, ever chop their heads off.

    I just had my 3rd baby last Thursday so it would be great thing to do with my older 2 while bub sleeps so they don’t feel left out and I can finally stop making Spongebob Cupcakes to ease my guilt!

    Worms would also be cheaper than buying all the stuff you need to buy for the garden- that I never do anyways!

  12. Prue O'Sullivan says

    I’ve had to relocate back to the city after a few years of country living, I’m without chooks and dogs now and it seems like such a waste throwing away the vergie scraps now. One of these would be ideal in my new small back yard. After the worms have done their ‘thing’, all those worm castings and juice can be used in my new garden to feed and nourish my plants.

  13. MummyK says

    I wanted to adopt the chicks from daycare but our dogs are naughty too. I was hoping I can have eggs fresh from the backyard!

  14. Angela says

    My son would love this! Worms are up there on the list next to Ben 10! It might help to hold him off on the lizard he is after :)

  15. Dan A says

    We live in a typical suburban block of 600m2 and support 4 chickens amongst other various species which habitat our back yard! We have a make shift worm farm but it’s considerably incompetant compared to the real thing. We would love to win a ‘real one’. We try and live as sustainably as possible growing our own veges and fruit. There is nothing quite like the kids fighting over who is going to get the most peas or eat the most strawberries from the garden.
    Live Well.


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