If you bought chickens for the fresh eggs and quickly found yourself pampering them more than your dog, this post is for you.
We’ve been keeping chickens for years, and we have a lot of friends that keep chickens. Our plan from the start with our birds was to raise them for their eggs and when they stopped laying, they’d go to the stew pot.
Well… some of our chickens have managed to elevate themselves to pet status and it happened so quickly I barely realized it.
Through careful observation of my own behavior and that of friends, I’ve managed to pinpoint just exactly how this happened.
How to Turn your Chickens into Pets
Treating your chickens as much-loved pets is not difficult. Their unique personalities, antics, and intellect make it easy to think of them as pets that also supply eggs.
If you have any hope of keeping chickens as strictly livestock, take this post as a warning.
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Step 1: Name Each Chicken
The very first step to ensuring that your new livestock become pets as quickly as possible is to name them all with distinctive and creative titles.
Make sure each one perfectly fits the characteristics and personality of that bird, so that when it comes time to eat them, you won’t be able to do so without bawling.
This is the most effective way, and the cheapest, to make sure your livestock become pets right off the bat.
The Very Best Chicken Names:
- Mother Clucker
- Hen Solo
- Kung Pow
- Yolko Ono
- Cluck Norris
Step 2: Build an Exquisite Chicken Coop
It may start out innocently enough. You may paint the inside of the coop to add some much needed light. Next you may put some curtains on the windows, just to cheer the place up a bit. Then you might paint a few decorative flowers here and there, but you swear it’s for you, not for them.
Let me tell you, coop beautification is a slippery slope. Before you know it things will get really out of control. Soon, you will be hanging a chandelier and chicken art to dress up the coop.
While you’re at it, it also wouldn’t hurt to hire a muralist to paint portraits of your flock on the outside, complete with a clever name for their dwelling, like “The Eggplant,” or the “Little Deuce Coop.”
Still convinced that these creatures are livestock, not pets? Take it one step further by planting a very special chicken garden for them to devour and scratch to their hearts content.
Step 3: Allow the Chickens Inside the House to Visit
Hey, chickens need love too, right? Why should your dog and cat get all the privileges of sitting on your couch and eating off your dinner plate?
It’s only fair to let your two legged friends into the house once in awhile. Besides, it’s really hot outside and they just need a moment to cool off. Don’t forget the chicken diaper.
Make sure you also turn on Animal Planet for them… because hey, we can’t have them getting bored.
Step 4: Pamper Your Chickens
If the above steps haven’t yet managed to turn your chickens into pets, it’s time to start pampering them.
Give them frequent bubble baths and manicures. Don’t forget to paint their little toes!
Clean their coop more often than you clean your house. Ignore the mountain of dishes in your sink and the cobwebs clustering in the corners, and instead take that time to scrub down every inch of the chicken coop. Make sure to dispose of every last molecule of feces and filth so your pretty little babies don’t have to dirty their freshly manicured feet.
- Be sure to spend at least $50 per month at the feed store on chicken treats, your babies deserve the best!
- Maybe take them for a walk around the neighborhood with a fancy chicken leash or even a pet stroller.
- Are you little sweetums getting bored? Buy them a chicken swing, or some chicken toys so they’ll never have to twiddle their thumbs, err, wings, in boredom again.
Step 5: Invest in a Chicken Security System for Protection
Invest unspeakable amounts of cash in a high tech security systems so predators won’t even dream of stepping foot on your property.
- Safety lights
- Security alarms
- Spy cams, both inside the coop and out so you can see what’s going on with your pets…..um…chickens
To be really sure your systems are working, call a professional to install them. This should cost you at least a few thousand dollars, but it’s worth it for your pet… er…livestock protection.
Before you know it, your chickens can worm their way into your heart. All because chickens are smarter than people give them credit for, they have individual personalities, and are great entertainment. Plus keeping chickens as pets comes with other benefits such as fresh eggs, bug control, and manure for your gardens.
About Meredith: Meredith is the founder of ImaginAcres. She lives in Western New York with her incredible husband, Michael, and their menagerie of farm critters. Join her at Backyard Chicken Project where she shares more chicken antics and tips to care for your flock.