Some people get chickens because they solely want them for pets. Some people get them because they’re actual farmers. And then you have some people like me who think they’re farmers and then get attached to their chickens.
The reality of owning laying chickens is this: They lay for a couple years and then their egg production drops dramatically. At that point (or actually, before you even purchase your first chickens) you make the decision to make them stew hens or keep them as pets without any eggs.
What would you choose?
Scott and I decided we were going to make them stew hens after their egg production dropped but in the mere 7 months we’ve been chicken owners, our flock of mixed breed chickens went from “food” to “pets.”
The crazy part is that it just sorta creeps up on you.
When raising them from chicks, you don’t allow yourself to be mesmerized by their cute peeps and fluffiness because you are a farmer. You take care of them in the most loving way but you don’t hold them for long periods of times and make them into pets. Once they’re old enough to be outside in the coop, you make sure they are properly cared for but you don’t spend too much time so you don’t risk getting attached. Remember? You’re a farmer!
Then it seems like time slllooowwwllllyyy goes by as you anxiously wait for the first egg. During that time, you enjoy being in their company, seeing them run to the coop door as they see you walking up to the coop, and you learn each of their unique clucks and bakawwks and find yourself talking to them.
Then all of a sudden… BAM. Your farmer heart turned mushy and you find yourself saying “love” and chickens” in the same sentence. You wonder, how such little creatures make your heart feel mushy like chicken poo? You now ‘get’ how cute fluffy chicken butts are and know what an egg song is.
Does this sound familiar to you? Are you on the same road I am? If you’re still trying to figure it out, here are 6 tell tale signs your chickens went from food to pets.
1. You hand pick weeds for them because you feel bad they don’t free-range
And then you go to your in-laws house and fill two grocery bags full of your ladies’ favorite weeds that you hand picked. You do it because they’ve literally made their coop and a run a deserted sand pit and you can’t bear the thought of them not having any greens.
2. You buy them Chubby mealworms because you feel bad they’ve virtually demolished any living creature in their coop
You first considered raising your own mealworms but the idea of having to sift through different stages of meal worms with your own hands made you get the heebee jeebees. You then search for better options and come across Chubby Mealworms, a reputable business that does all the hard work for you. You love Chubby Mealworms because 1) They strive for quality mealworms, 2) They have free ground shipping and ship within one business day, and 3) Their customer reviews speak volumes!
You obviously want the best for your girls so going with Chubby Mealworms is the best option in your eyes. No having to sift through creepy crawlies but your ladies still get the treats they deserve.
And p.s. Who ever thought you’d be searching online for mealworms!?
3. You make them a chicken swing to help their boredom
You’re convinced your chickens are bored. You transform yourself into Mrs. Bunyan for a day and saw down a small tree (manually) to make a swing with the help of your husband (get the tutorial here). Even if they aren’t bored, it makes you feel better knowing there is something in there to keep them entertained.
Plus, who doesn’t want to see a chicken swing?
4. You know their unique clucks, egg songs, and personalities
Although you refuse to name them because you are a ‘farmer,’ you do know each and every one of your chicken’s unique noises. If people come over and check out your chickens, you automatically find yourself giving them the lowdown on each chicken and “who” they are.
AKA this means you spend a little more time in the coop then you’d like to admit.
5. You all of a sudden have a thing for fluffy butts and consider yourself “a Chicken Lady”
Who knew fluffy butts would get you so excited?
Bring on the fluffiness — the fluffier, the better! You also feel like you’re automatically in cahoots with anyone that owns chickens. They get it. You get it. Y’all are just the crazy chicken people together and you’re 100% okay with that.
6. You’re in denial
You keep telling yourself that when the time comes, your ladies will be stew meat. Or maybe, you’ll keep this first flock and the rest of the girls you bring on later will only be for food. You tell people your plan of each year purchasing more chicks so your egg production will never miss a beat which means in order to make more room for new chicks, the old ones will have to go.
You’ll probably bawl your eyes out when it’s time. If that time comes. But it will, because you’re a farmer and that’s the “plan,” right?
So, tell me, how did YOU know your chickens went from “food” to “pets?” Or were they pets or food from the beginning?
This post is sponsored by Chubby Mealworms. However, the opinions and photos are of my own. Authenticity is important so I would never promote any brand or product that I wholeheartedly don’t believe in.