The difference in knowledge between chicken owners and non-chicken owners is like the difference between night and day. I walked into the wonderful world of chicken owning believing many stereotypes and myths about them. But in the now 4 years of owning them, I've learned much from and about them.
Chickens stereotypesI originally thought that chickens were dumb and cowardly. Hence why someone who was a coward could be called "chicken", right? That's not true for many of my birds. In fact, some of them even act like they own me! A couple years ago, I lost a few chickens to a bear attack. Come to find out, 3 of our chickens had died in that attack trying to fight the bear. They had lost, but I don't think they were cowards.
Chickens are also credited for being a dumb animal. My chickens know when their treat days are, poke their heads up when I call their names, recognize my voice, among other things. Recently, one of my chickens was getting pecked on excessively by another chicken, and another hen came up and helped the chicken who was getting pecked on. I wouldn't call that an act of stupidity.
They don't just have one small purpose
Chickens aren't just bred for eggs. They can be bred for meat, friendliness, and just as a good pet too. I find my chickens to be just as friendly as a dog. They'll even hop up on my arm and use it as a heated perch! Many people enjoy just owning chickens, regardless on how much they lay or for how long.
In terms of "earning their keep", chickens actually do pretty well. For their size, laying eggs the size they do is a very good job. If you compare the size of an egg to the size of the chicken who laid it, you'll wonder how they can keep it up! I have a 2 pound bantam hen who lays medium to large eggs!
Chickens have recently become known as a pet to many. The definition of a pet can be described a,. "An animal that is domesticated and kept as a companion." Chickens are mainly domesticated (there are some wild chickens) and I've heard of many people (myself included) who got chickens initially for fresh eggs, but then realized they're some of the best pets one could own!
Never judge solely on what society says. Sometimes you have to find out the truth and the whole story for yourself.
BehaviorsI often find out that visiting my chickens helps to relieve my stress. Why? I find them so peaceful that they can make me calm down and look at some of the more positive aspects of life. Just watching the constant repetition of pecking, scratching, and clucking is soothing. Sure, they will occasionally so something that won't be to my pleasing, but who doesn't? My chickens help me to realize that life has a lot of positive aspects to it. They're always so eager to see me and I am eager to see them.
From watching my chickens for many years, I've learned that maybe we can learn a little about how to live from chickens. Be curious- if something catches your eye, check it out. Never let others suppress your inner flame. If you want something, don't just sit there! Go out and get it! Always explore, always give back to the world, and always be yourself. All of these are traits I see in all my chickens, all the time.
To be continued soon...