Why Chickens Make Horrible Pets

chicken
The Crazy Cat Chicken Lady Girl

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.”

Smart girl.

“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.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

36 Comments

  • Surely getting rid of the rooster would have been easier/cheaper?? Poor chookie 🙁

    PS. I, too, would love some chooks to give me free eggs…. but I suspect my kelpie would love them even more 😉

  • That’s a sad story to read. Sad that someone could think of a little girl’s chickens as a means of food or food related jokes. They were the family’s pets so of course they would go to the vet just as a dog or cat. Being a chicken doesn’t make it less of a pet if that’s the animal that child loves and cares for. The writer of this story comes off as a total loser and extremely selfish and pig-headed.
    Ps chicken diapers/nappies are cruel and can keep germs near the cloaca. Put the rooster in a separate cage or rehome him.

    • Hi Amy 🙂 The writer of this story is me, Bruce Devereaux. This is my blog. Funnily enough, my wife might, on occasion, agree with your damning assessment of my character 😀 But not usually. It’s a shame this story has upset you but it’s probably best because, as you’ve no doubt worked out by now, you’ve come to the wrong blog. It isn’t for you. Our senses of humour are a bit polar to make this work. Thanks for dropping by though and having a read. Bye bye 😀

  • That is hilarious!! We have three backyard chooks ourselves, but I guess it’s different when all your kids are boys… We’re still allowed to eat chicken – in fact, it is the only meat my Master8 eats – and the hens are strictly limited to the backyard, though our bold red one keeps trying to sneak into the lounge room.

    Pros: fresh eggs, free manure for the fruit trees, lovely country atmosphere, and a cuddle pet for dad (the red one again).

    Cons: whatch where ta goin (poo blob grass mines!), and don’t forget to lock the red hen up before you eat something in the backyard!!

    Btw we live in town so roosters are not allowed, therefore we bought our chooks as laying pullets.

  • Amy – I think most any rational person would understand the perspective of the child’s parents as well as that of the writer. They’re bloody chickens! They’re livestock, not pets. Some people may have them as pets for whatever odd reason, but it is certainly quite uncommon. And, as far as pets go, I draw the line at requiring nappies. I have a 14 year-old boxer named Shamus. I love that dog, but the moment he requires diapers, he’s being put down. (For the record, I feel the same way about my elderly parents.)

    For $500, that hen better start laying golden eggs.

  • Thanks for a good laugh. We have 3 chickens that I enjoy a lot, as do my kids. The crows steal the eggs, the chickens eat my basil plant and poop everywhere, but they are such funny things. They spend their days looking through our glass door, trying to get into the house.

  • Sense of humour, hey? How’s this then – I’m a bit worried about your kids – when are you going to put them down? When they start to cost you more than $500? Oh, that ISN’T funny? Gee, why not? Pfft.

    I’m with Amy.

  • We would love to get chooks! We eat loads of eggs so would love some free ones 🙂 We’ve brought our children up to know that some animals are pets, some are for food and some are pests and they’re fine with that even if it is the same animal! (Rabbits for example, fine to kill the pests in the paddocks, just not pets) Miss 6 even make a joke recently when Miss 2 got her chicken for dinner, asked what it was and said bokbok when we said chicken, by saying “Not any more, it’s dead!” And I reckon that is a very healthy sense of humour 🙂

    I will never spend $500 on a chook though, I don’t know if we’d even spend that on our cat, lol! Kids yes, pets no!

  • Oh dear we have some sensitive readers here. Now I had pet chooks as a 6yo. I loved them and would dress them up in dolls clothes and they would sit in the dolls pram and watch Play School.
    The roosters were culled and sent to a farm (they were later slaughtered for meat) and a couple of hens were killed after a dog attack. They were buried in our pet cemetery.
    My parents never mentioned going to the vets was an option.

    As much as I loved my chooks, I loved eating chicken more. I never associated the two as the same.

    Maybe those of us who find the humor in your story are insensitive to animal rights?

    I certainly find your view point on the world similar to mine and I’ll continue to follow this blog.

  • We have two chicken pets, such social creatures. Peal loves to stand outside the children’s window for stories at bed time! Such great pets. The children’s excitmaent everyday of finding eggs is very contagious!!

  • We have chickens, kids and elderly parents. They are all pretty damn annoying at times. But I love them… MOST of the time. However the kids and parents would get medical attention, in a jiffy even, but the chickens?
    So to sum up, they dont make horrible pets, taking a chook to the vet seems incredibly supid to me, you are NOT a loser and we now know some people dont find your sense of humor particularly funny and are offended by it. Which I find funny.
    Cheers!

  • We have chickens, we donated our roosters to a local shelter who euthanized them and fed them to their recouperating wild animals(eagles and such) it’s the circle of life baby!! We aren’t allowed to keep them in the burbs. One of our chickens got sick and was in pain so when the kids were asleep my hubby ‘dealt’ with it. It was the kindest thing to do!!

  • I also had a pet chicken as a child, god I loved that feather duster. Im pretty sure if I knew about chicken undies, good ole Herman would have been wearing them…
    I love this blog, its the only one I read regularly, always brings a smile to face!

  • I was waiting for the punchline, shame it didn’t come. What a stupid blog. Any parent who does what they’re told by their child (ie. not eat chicken)deserves what they get….Nothing comes between me and my green chicken curry either – not even a child

    • JuJuBean (if indeed that is your real name) you appear to have gotten out on the wrong side of the bed. First of all you claim my blog post doesn’t have a punchline and then you go and use mine in your comments. Secondly, you rather rudely criticize the parenting of my friends. And over a chicken story. JuJuBean (is that name South American? Mexican? Stripper?), I got out on the wrong side of the bed today as well, which is why I feel very justified in telling you, ‘mind your head on the sarcasm on the way out’. That is all.

    • Do you have kids? You see despite not being told what to do by a child, a loving caring parent does try to prevent unnecessary stress and heartache on their child. If my kid loved an animal that much, I would have done the same.
      Or similar, offered to nurse it myself etc. because its what parents do.
      And Bruce, love your blog. It keeps me entertained and I use it to interrupt the radio sport in the car to read to to hubby. Thus a mental lifesaver

  • Story funny. Comments Hilarious! (Wish i could ‘like’ a few of these comments)
    I love your light view on life. Its fun. And agree a chook at the vets, yikes, no thanks.
    P.s. We have chooks, the kids love to know a rooster has hatched (it means dinner lol), oh and rabbits, yep eat them too 😉

  • Bruce whay not put a big disclaimer on your blog saying ‘only read if you agree with me as I don’t tolerate people who have an different opinion’?
    You friends’ deserve what they get, if you interpret that comment as criticism so be it.
    You’re incredibly funny – though I don’t think you are trying to be. The words ‘sanctimonious’ and ‘prat’ come to mind.
    As if JuJuBean is my real name!!!! And wow, how did you know I was a stripper?? Oh, that’s right, you were tucking money into my g-string last weekend!

    • JuJuBean, you came back! Did you bump your head after all? You can say what you like here, to a point, but don’t for a moment think that means I won’t respond in kind. Now attach your tassles and be on your way, I think your pole is free 😉

  • Snerk. Chicken undies. I wonder if you can get racy ones. Black lace? Also, people without a sense of humour like this guy really need to bog off. It’s a free country, so feel free to explore other parts of it better suited to you.

  • My mum hatched a chicken out of an egg in a frypan when I was little. The deadset irony of it has only just occurred to me! Needless to say “Chibby” was never intended for eating, but that still doesn’t stop me from enjoying a good paprikash, nor deploring the cruelty of cages. Some people just don’t have a sense of the ridiculous, and your blog had me giggling like the ninny I can sometimes be – especially when I went and googled chicken nappies. Another friend recommends googling chicken saddles – if you can imagine what nappies are for you should be able to guess what saddles are for too! Not for jockeys! Thanks for the giggles Bruce haters gonna hate 🙂

  • Oh God I googled so so funny and there were a couple I just wouldn’t be clicking on bit naughty . What an egg citing blog. Sorry not very puny.

  • Bruce Thank you for your humour, a great start to the day until the whole mood was spoilt by reading further comments starting with Amy, Goes to prove how important it is in life to be mindful of the company you keep they can bring you down, The whole point Amy is to laugh at ourselves in relation to what we will do for our children, And parenting requires a sense of humour, it can and usually is infectious. And sadly the same can be said of negativity, Is it any wonder anti depressant are over prescribed now days, In many cases (not all)it has to do with the company we keep, Unfortunately on an open forum such as this the company most would choose not to keep have the opportunity to comment and from there so interesting to read the kind of people that relate to them. Keep the smiles coming Bruce I am sure your kids will be blessed with the same sense humour making this world a better place.

  • Ha,
    Chicken Nappies, wht next to indulge our kids.
    Do they have Guinea Pig Nappies…I’ll have to google that.
    My hubby calls the little critters [email protected]’em squeaxz. We fight a losing battle trying to keep the guinea pigs outside. They always get smuggled back in.
    I’m sure he’d die if the kids had chickens inside, nappies or not.
    Please keep these stories and anecdotes coming…makes me feel human. xxx

  • That’s so funny. I grew up in regional Australia. Fond memmories of my childhood, Dad would bring home a hogget (sheep) and we had a pet lamb for a couple of days then he would kill and butcher the lamb and we had lamb chops. In all fairness I bottle raised a couple of lambs and calves as a kid. I think I would struggle eating an animal I nursed. But all of those went to market in the end too. I had a few that didn’t make it too, they were abandoned often for a reason. I would nurse them when they got sick and a few died. It’s life, and a valuable lesson for a kid. I loved all my animals but understood their role. Resulted in something akin to respect 🙂

  • Well that is hilarious and so are some of the comments which have no sense of humour. A friend of mine who had a pet lamb called chop and a calf called sir loin, they were kids pets and he said they were delicious.

  • Chickens. = food in Nigeria

    your blogs my go to read at 2am (me time) always puts a smile on my face and i struggle not to LOL cos master 2 is always right beside me

  • So….we have pet chickens and I have had to take one of them to the vet for a respiratory infection once – which even I am ashamed to admit. Could have bought 4 new chickens for what it cost to treat her – but Snowflake is loved by the kids 🙂
    That said, I thought your blog was absolutely hilarious and I will be back to read other stories. Maybe it’s just because I’m still allowed to eat chicken, or maybe I don’t take myself too seriously – like some of your readers do. Keep up the good work!

  • Chooks make fantastic pets!! Sure they have some unpleasant habits but hey, so do husbands and for all readers who have absolutely no sense of humor my husbands said it either me or the chooks. He left the next day and I still have my chooks.

  • Chickens as pets, now let me see….ahh yes. My daughter Matilda was doing an Ag course in Y9 at school (2 years ago) and she had to raise 4 chicks from about 1 week old. That started with the box in the lounge room with a heat lamp. We progressed to the garden shed at 5 weeks till my ‘wonderful’ wife informed me that we needed a chicken coop and the one she had chosen was ONLY $600 plus freight and yes I had to assemble it.2 years down the track, sure we have had a great egg supply, but only 2 of the chicks survived, so the wonderful wife decided we could have a couple of ducks as well. “you know Rob their eggs are great for cakes”. One broke its wing and had to have it amputated, $500 later. The original coop didn’t last well outside and so we have had to get a carpenter in (I’m not that handy) and now have a MANSION of a coop that ONLY cost $2,500, looks great but jeezzzzz eggs are expensive these days!!
    Have two horses as well, but that is another story one day…

What do you think?