What are chickens like anyway?


Here’s what I know about chickens, from top of head:

We’ve had hens for nearly 2 years.  Getting them has definitely made me happier.  Probably a combination of the thrill of getting actual eggs as fresh and nutritious as they can possibly be, and the soothing vision of slowly roaming feathers, and the burking sound.

Chickens are known as opportunistic omnivores.  They will eat their own eggs and will even eat chicken.  I have been told this makes them angry and emotionally unstable.

They also devour virtually all kitchen scraps that aren’t suitable for the compost.  This is extremely satisfying for someone who has neurotic levels of despair and guilt over food waste.

When they are laying, hens more than pay for their feed costs.  There is no comparison between a free range egg taken warm from the coop, and even the most expensive free range eggs in the supermarket.  Home eggs have yolks that never split in the pan, the colour is a deep gold, the taste is luxurious.

They are the perfect pet for an emotionally unavailable owner.   You can go out every day and croon at them and name them and pick your favourites, or you can just feed them and go about your business.  They don’t seem to mind.

They can be TOTAL bitches to each other, and sometimes seem sort of deranged when they look up through their floppy combs at you with those round suspicious eyes.  (apparently they are descended from dinosaurs).

Chickens are simultaneously stupid and shrewd.  Trying to keep them from escaping a run is almost as difficult as containing water with a sieve.   Recent repeated attempts to create a chicken-tight run have resulted in zero success.

They like to crouch in dust and then roll around in it – this is supposed to keep them clean.

They shit a LOT and they shit everywhere if you let them.  They also have an alarming variation in the size, colour and texture of their poo.  Sometimes it looks as if they can poo their entire bodyweight at once.  If you let them free range, it makes you feel loose and carefree until you step in shit all the time and then it makes you feel like these birds are taking you for granted, as in, honestly guys this is the last straw.

If you’re going to get any sort of animal then absolutely get chickens.  What other pet will lay you an omelette??



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