I Don’t Cuddle Chickens

by Charlotte Walker

My chickens are sort of wild and untamed.  I am an affectionate person, but I don’t cuddle them, or handle them outside of necessity, and I certainly don’t plan on knitting them sweaters. They actually seem pretty happy with this arrangement so I don’t feel too bad. Our chickens have great accommodations, the finest food, snacks and entertainment and in return we get some eggs.  It’s a win, win situation really. I tried to be more hands on in the beginning, but they really didn’t like it so I didn’t push it. With all the amazing chicken commentary out there in cyber world, chicken keeping has become pretty trendy these days. I can’t help but wonder sometimes if I am alone in my seemingly old fashioned methods. Am I doing it all wrong? Or just differently?

Am I the only person who keeps chickens and has not bonded with them to that almost “pet” level of affection?

Am I the only person who chooses not to intervene with lotions and ointments for scrapes and cuts and that teeny bit of frostbite the rooster currently has? I have thought about it but catching the rooster will cause a LOT of stress to the flock and to me. It won’t be pretty.

Is it so bad that I let them sort out their own little squabbles, and leave them to do what they want to do for the most part? They seem to have everything all worked out.

I worry about exposure to germs and disease that come with having chickens.  I keep their quarters clean, and scrub my hands, and keep my face covered when cleaning. Having a chicken in my house just isn’t something that I want for this reason alone. When did it become a good idea to bring chickens into the house?

Is anyone else out there like me, a most of the time (except for emergencies) hands off chicken keeper? Is it going well for you? or do you think I am out to lunch on this?

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5 comments

faeryfire721 January 27, 2016 - 8:03 pm

Your not alone. I have chickens and aside from giving them names I do not cuddle them or take tons of selfies of me cuddling them. I haven’t really worried too much about cuts or scraps. I clip their wings and at that time I check for frostbite or bumble foot and they definately don’t come into the house! I have chicken poo all over my backyard from letting them free range I dont want them pooping on my floor!

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walkerland January 27, 2016 - 8:53 pm

Do you find that over time they chill out a bit? Mine still seem like the biggest drama queens! I never did clip their wings either but I have not had any problems…for now I guess I will leave that be. I do watch them for a little while every day, and look for problems. Guess you could say I am hands off but mindful. It’s a lot of work for those glorious fresh eggs!

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faeryfire721 January 28, 2016 - 7:14 am

we had one fly over the fence so thought it best to clip them. As to being drams queens mine just run away unless I have a treat in my hand. Mine still haven’t started laying it drives me nuts.

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pobept February 6, 2016 - 1:03 pm

Poultry and livestock are not house pets.
If you must inspect, handle chickens, use a flashlight and do your wing clipping etc after they go to roost. They will be easy to catch and handle.
Grin, put them back on their roost after you finish.
Happy Gardening

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Ishara April 16, 2017 - 7:33 pm

Haha! I think you’re *not* out to lunch personally. I used to read a certain well known chicken blog with increasing irritation until one day when the author essentially said that those of us who didn’t have the inclination or time to be making ice pops for our chickens or putting up (red mite attracting) nest box curtains etc etc were evil chicken mummies (or words to that effect). I can’t remember *exactly* what I wrote by way of comment, but it certainly didn’t go down well with the mad chicken ladies (& they are generally, it seems ladies)….I left them to their unnecessary cute signs, attempts to put flower borders in the chicken run to make it pretty (they ate it; of course) and their bizarrely complicated chicken food recipes and took to reading sensible people writing sensible blogs like yours.
All that kind of stuff is generally harmless – it reminds me of myself aged 5 making salads for the rabbit – but it does get on my nerves when people think it’s actually critical for good animal husbandry. Sometimes it’s better all round to have some emotional distance from your animals; particularly when it comes to eating them…

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