Are chickens pets or livestock??? The Great Debate!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Willow's Meadow, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Songster

    Apr 16, 2010
    So I was wondering how many of you consider your chickens as your pets.....or livestock? From the day my 17 chicks came in the mail I sat with them, held them, petted them and played with them. When they moved into there coop I would sit in the run or the coop with them and let the jump on my lap and pet them. But now that they are 2 months old I go into the run and sit on a low to the ground lounge chair and pet them as usual. All the sudden my little chicken angels have turned into wild monsters! They jump on my lap and peck me so hard its hurts! They fly on to my head and won't come down....they scratch me with their claws and drive me crazy! They used to sit quietly and calmly on my lap and fall asleep while I pet them. Are they going through a hyper, nutty teenage chicken phase or have my angels been replaced over night? Maybe I shouldn't treat them like pets and not play with them so much.....what do you think? While they calm down after awhile or while they stay like this forever(they get plently of exercise because they are outside from 6:30 am---8:30 pm)????
  2. downstownlady

    downstownlady Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Conroe, TX
    PETS!!! Definitely PETS!!!
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You had to go and start this, huh?

    It's not a debate. It's however you see your own flock, what you want them to be. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here, so why debate it? I doubt that anyone will change anyone's mind about the subject.

    I can just see it now:

    Oh, you mean Matilda is just livestock? Hatched her here, had her for 4 years, fixed her injuries, held her on my lap on a sunny day, buried my nose in her hackles, scratched her wattles because she loved it, watched her raise three batches of babies, let her follow me around the garden hoping to catch a wormy snack....I didn't realize she was just livestock! Hubby, go get Matilda--I'm making chicken soup tonight! [​IMG]

    Why debate it? I'll never eat my main girls because they are pets, however, if I wanted to raise meat birds, I'd do that, too. I just wouldn't commune with them on a daily basis because I know my own heart and what I can handle. There is no right and wrong here, no need for debate, IMO.
  5. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Songster

    Feb 6, 2009
    "Are chickens pets or livestock??? "


    I respect either choice in this regard. Mine are pets, but as long as they are kept humanely, live & let live.
  6. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Both! Mine are pets that earn thier keep, even though they don't need to. [​IMG] (Well, OK, Mom says they have to. *Sigh* )
  7. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

  8. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

    Jan 24, 2010
    Englewood, TN
    They are what you want them to be.

    A dog or a cat can been seen the same way. Either you cuddle them and pamper them or they are serving a purpose.
  9. HBuehler

    HBuehler Songster

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    Like Cynthia said...we have both..some are not for sale(unless maybe you want to pay off my mortgage) they are family pets kids playmates cuddle pets etc then we have our meat birds and breeding birds...The dinner birds are fed and cared for that's it.Cornish are little bullies so its not real hard to save cuddles for the others. Then the breeding birds are livestock But they are cared for the same as our other animals treated very well...some livestock have very good care others have minimal care it's not what you call them it's how you care for them that's important.
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If you like animals, you care for them properly. However, you must remember that they are animals, and can and sometimes will hurt you, one must always respect this part of any animal. People who raise livestock for a living are not sadistic people who hate animals. They love animals, work hard for their animals, and often times the wildlife also benefits from open water all winter, salt licks, and spilled or extra feed.

    I don't let my birds jump on me, I would not like that. But I do talk to them and take them treats. I do not mourn for days if one dies, I accept it that death is a fact of life but I do miss them. And a predator does make me mad, and I work harder to protect them.

    I talk to my girls every day, enjoy watching their silliness, and some are more special than others. I will be butchering some of the chicks that I am raising right now, but they are getting the same treatment as the pullets that I will keep. I like having chickens, and I like getting new chickens, I vastly enjoyed hatching baby chickens this summer.

    However, I do have a limited space, and a limited need for chickens, so the old and the roosters will have to go to make way for the new.

    I guess, I don't see it as pets, or livestock, but as a realist.


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