I learned something very important this week. Chickens make very poor pets.
Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken. Specifically in a green curry. And I’ve even said in the past – out loud – that I would love to have chickens in the yard, because the idea of fresh eggs is appealing.
This would have been a mistake.
Just how big a mistake became clear to me when I was chatting with a friend this week.
“We got chooks,” she told me. She didn’t look as happy as someone saying they have a puppy. “They were giving them away at the daycare after the kids watched them hatch and my daughter managed to come home with two.”
“Free eggs!” I exclaimed happily.
“Well, one was a rooster.” She went on to explain that their daughter was so taken with her chickens they even allowed her to get a couple more. “But the rooster is only really interested in one of the hens,” she told me. “The poor girl walks around looking a little dazed with a lot of hind quarter feathers missing around her parsons nose.”
It’s their daughter’s favourite hen too.
“We had to buy nappies for it.”
“…what? Sorry, what did you just say?”
“You heard me,” she said. “Chicken nappies. So it can come in the house. She carries it around and hugs it like a Care Bear.”
I shit you not, they exist. Chicken nappies. I had doubts so I went home and Googled them. Do it. It’s funny.
“We’re also not allowed to make jokes about how meaty she’s getting or how she smells as good as KFC,” my friend told me, “or our daughter bawls. She loves that chicken.”
So aside from being the laughing stock of family and visitors once they catch you changing your chicken’s diaper, you might be thinking at this point that chickens are fine as pets. You get free eggs and save money on dolls, right?
“MUUUUUUM! DAD!” came the holler from the yard.
It turns out the randy rooster had now taken to beating on his choicest hen.
“She looked awful,” my friend told me. “Gashes on her back and just…horrible.”
“What did you do?” I asked, meaning how did their daughter handle this.
“We took it to the vets.”
“…what? Sorry, what did you say?”
“You heard,” she said. “We weren’t going to. Obviously. We only told her we would do it while she was at school.”
“So what happened?” I asked. “You feel guilty?”
“No. She refused to go to school. She insisted on coming to the vets.”
“So he fixed her up then? She’s all good?”
“Yeah, he fixed her up. And then gave us a bill for $500. She’s now the most expensive pet we’ve ever owned.”
And still this isn’t the reason chickens make horrible pets.
“$500!” I exclaimed. “You could have filled your entire freezer with chicken breasts for that sort of money!”
She looked a bit wistful for a moment.
“Oh,” she said, softly. “We’re not allowed to eat chicken anymore.”
And THAT is why our family is never having chickens. Nothing, but nothing, comes between me and my green chicken curry.
If you enjoyed this post please share, like or comment.
It really does make a difference Thanks.
“Raising a family on little more than laughs”