I know this may seem like an unlikely place to find marital advice, but I figure this is actually the perfect place for it. As many of us know, our feathered friends can introduce extreme strife into even the most stable of marriages. If there is a potentially negative outcome of bird ownership, I suggest you deny any knowledge, and continue to deny to the bitter end. If you cannot deny, practice switching the topic.
Neither of the above work 100% of the time, you then have to make the chickens/birds a joint venture.
Try to rope your spouse into your chicken habit. This is a simple thing to do. Whether you get them to change water or feed them when you are out of town, or feigning an illness just to get them to interact with the birds. After they do, you will always be able to say, they aren't just mine, you take care of them too.
Now honesty is not the best advice to follow, trickery is. Trickery is very important part of a three way relationship that includes chickens. Even if they respond with a contrary opinion, and state “No, they are yours”. Do not give up. Insist they enjoy them as much as you.
When you make something with eggs in it, always say “ look what I made with OUR chickens eggs”. Or “ I baked OUR fresh chicken with (whatever spices you used)”. I suggest you make or offer your spouse an adult beverage while sitting and watching “our” birds. Then suggest how peaceful and relaxing it is to be there sitting together watching your “kids”.
You will find these couple suggestions will get the ball rolling and open the reluctant spouse to consider them “ours”. NEVER refer to them as “my” or “mine” in front of the spouse. If you can, tell your friends and relatives “that (fill in blank) is (spouses name) favorite chicken/bird. If they respond with some kind of disagreeing answer, simply ask “ really, which one is your favorite?”.
At this point, you will have them on record as having a favorite. This can be invaluable as a bargaining chip later.
Now that you know how to state questions and get the spouse to admit to liking the birds, or you can imply they do, you are halfway home!
The next thing is when being asked questions about chickens. NEVER admit to anything.
“Did you feed the chickens?”
“What are your chickens doing?”
Two responses are possible here:
Answer with a question whenever possible.
You get the idea, here are a few more conversations that will occur.
“Where did that chicken come from?”
“ I am sorry, I don't know which chicken you mean..”
You get the idea.
This is an actual conversation I had with my DW.
DW: “ did you get more chicks today?”
Me: “More chicks?”
DW: “yeah, more chicks?”
Me: “ I am not sure what you mean, I went to the feed mill today”
DW: “Did you get more chicks????”
Me: “I saw the cutest birthday cards at the feed store, did you know they sell cards there?”
DW “ they sell cards at the feed store?”
Me: “ yeah, birthday cards! I laughed so hard, they are so funny, you should see them”
DW” I never knew they sold cards”
Me: “ yeah, I will take you next time we need feed”.
As you can see I am a master at this, do not expect to be as smooth and cool at this as I am right off the bat, it could take you 30-40 years to get as good as me at avoiding the issues.
Typical questions and suggested answers:
Spouse: “ did you spend money on more chicken feed?”
Response: “ I see the county road is under construction, you should avoid it when you can."
Spouse : “ did you go to the feed store today?”
Response “ we did really well today, we got X ( high number ) of eggs today”
Spouse: “ I don't see the eggs?”
Response: “Oh the darn dog tripped me and they all broke, but relax I cleaned up the mess.”
Spouse: “ Oh, thank you so much, after my day, I surely did not want to clean a mess of broken eggs up..
See how quickly you can change a negative into a positive. Again I have had over 40 years experience at this, so do not be too hard on yourself if it goes bad.
Now and this one last piece of advice cannot be over stated, under no circumstance let your spouse or your spouse's divorce attorney find this little article. If they do go back to the first rule and deny you have ever seen it....
Good luck on a long and happy marriage and if this advice does not work, do not contact me because I will deny, deny and deny...