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Why Domesticated Chickens Should Be Exiled

There's a common chicken fetish that needs addressing. But first, why your chickens don't deserve to have sweaters knitted for them: 
  • Chickens are the farmyard cockroach 
  • They are violent, not cute. One of my earliest memories is of being attacked by a vicious rooster. Did you know that they were first bred for fighting before eating according to Wikipedia? 
  • They don't even taste that good (naturally grown)
  • Commercially grown chicken tastes alright, but who knows what is making it that way
  • They destroy gardens
  • They terrorize flowers
  • Sure, they make good compost. But do you want your compost spread everywhere on your farm?  
  • A good mother hen is a rarity 
  • They don't take care of ticks and snakes near as well as guineas
  • The stench of butchered chickens lasts for days after multiple baths. One does not easily eat a chicken after having slaughtered it, whereas other animals are less gross and easier to stomach 
  • Eggs are good. But chickens aren't the only birds to lay
  • They are annoying
  • They are also very dumb, e.g. know all those chicken-crossing-the-road jokes? Chickens never make it across. One gets hit. Five more go to eat her and are promptly hit, too 
Nearly any argument I've heard for chickens can be easily rebutted. "They are good for turning compost." So are other animals, and these other animals don't have so many bullet points against them. 
But the one that gets me the most is, "They are cute." 

Cuteness is not justification for possession nor for worship when they are such diabolical creatures. They must have some merit or change their old ways. You know, I could manage to force myself to knit a sweater and a pair of trousers if they would simply leave my flowers and produce alone.

A funny thing is we've had chickens, and a lot of them, my entire life. When we lived with the Amish we would haul van-loads of boxes of eggs to "Cackle Hatchery". We had many birds of our own and often participated in long days of butchering that felt more like socials, enjoying fried innards together during breaks. When we moved to Montana my brothers continued to buy hundreds of birds and resell them. I always thought I liked the birds. I knew I didn't love them because I rolled my eyes at anyone who raved chicken passion. It's only recently that I realized just how much I disliked them when discussing it with a NY friend. 

But then a friend shared how his fiery rooster brightened the day by attacking a trespassing tax-assessor. And you know what? I still don't love chickens, but maybe we do need to return to the original use of the domesticated chicken and have a fighter rooster at our door. 
(But if he eats my flowers, I'll chop off his head and deal with all IRS agents on my own)

How do you feel about chickens? 


  1. Chickens are not my favorite either. I can deal with them in a coop or in one of those moveable shelters, but not free range. Herding chickens is worse than herding cats, believe me. They poop everywhere and the waterers get disgusting within hours. I still can't catch them either (I can catch lambs but not chickens. I've tried.)

    1. And lambs are much more fun to cuddle after having caught! So glad you agree ;D

  2. I hate cleaning up after them, but they can be cute if their not yours.

    1. ha, maybe if we got rid of all of ours I'd have a chance to appreciate how cute other people's chickens are ;)

  3. I didn't used to care about chickens. I tagged along to my first 4H meeting as a teenager and was utterly disgusted by the fact that girls my age were talking with so much passion about their show chickens. I thought, "so what if your rooster lost a tail feather right before fair week. It's just a feather. Big deal."

    Heh. Oh my gosh did I know nothing about showing fancy chickens. As soon as I had a pair of Old English game bantams of my own, I was gone, girl. I cared Very Very Very Much about my rooster's tail feathers, too. OEGs are your typical fighting cock and it /shows./ The physique on those birds. *happy sigh* Man I miss my bantams. ("Feisty" is definitely a better word than "cute," but I still find them so very endearing. )

    Of course, breeding fancy chickens is a different field from egg and meat production. ...still. If you can have a bird in your backyard that lays eggs /and/ meets all the guidelines set forth for the breed in the Standard of Perfection, why /wouldn't/ you? :)

    (But chickens ought never have sweaters made for them. They're lovely, but they're BIRDS, not china dolls. And what makes anyone think they /enjoy/ being forced into a sweater, for crying out loud?!)

    I was forgetting how much I loved chickens. Would you object to my writing a rebuttal post if the mood so strikes me, my dear? (I doubt it will cuz I've been busy. But it'd be so fun to have a Great Chicken Debate.)

    1. hahaha! You know... I have no qualms with calling chickens feisty. Much more suitable than cute. AND you were raising these rooster to live according to their full purpose: to be fighters. Really, that's what they were meant to be. Not these cute, little pets that create chaotic messes. I think I could get excited about rooster's tail feathers, too ;) Ohh, do write a rebuttal. I feel I would really agree with it, though. Lol. I know about being busy and not having time to write down all the great things happening inside one's brain, though. Such tragic times busy times can be. Oh, but what fun, too! Just don't put yourself in a busy season that's dominated by dirty chickens ;) Love your comment, dear.

  4. I absolutely love chickens. I kept a chick in my room as I tried to save her life.
    (sadly she didn't make it. :/ But I buried her and put wildflowers on her grave.)

    1. We had a chicken that lived with us in our city Duplex. You know, having a house chicken was fun. Sounds like such a pretty funeral. Such chickens do deserve some of our love. Just not the mass of chicken population.


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