Are Your Chickens Livestock or Pets?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Morrigan, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Helloworld

    Helloworld Songster

    Jul 17, 2018
    Down on the Suwannee River
    “I've given birth twice, buried one of them....non human animals are not children or family members. Anthropomorphism is an unhealthy thing, IMO...animals can be an important and satisfying part of our lives, but they are not humans.”

    I have to lost a child. A 4 1/2 month old. I am sorry for your loss.


    - all of my animals are a part of my family. It may not be normal but created by society. I know this because I have Complex PTSD from constant opinions, abuse and neglect from other humans who have always hurt me. I am also highly sensitive and can feel my animals emotions. Not one of them have ever mistreated me and they know I will go the distance for them. I recently nursed a goose from birth who had foot to leg disease. The vet said he will never walk.
    I CHOSE to help him. He is 25 weeks old and is almost completely up and standing tall. I could have gave up but I chose not to because that is God’s job. Others don’t want to go to extreme lengths to save an animal and thats ok.
    It is not our responsibility to carry them but some of us because of life circumstances not only depend but need the companionship and emotional connection that an animal will give unconditionally.

    Here are why my animals matter sometimes more than people.

    I learned early on that animals have emotion. I have a large goose herd and I can control everyone of them with my eye only. If I am upset, they will come and wonder why I am upset. If I cry, the whole group will stay until I quit. I go to the coups as my secret place that feels so close to God and this is where I pray every morning. All of my birds will sit down with me until I am done. God has keepers for His animals and it was intentional.

    If you believe in a higher being as I do,
    God made animals before us. That means he considered them necessary to be here on earth to provide for us. He put them before us because we needed them before we got here. It does not say for food or emotion but he definitely created them before us so there is a message there for us.

    As society began to fail, humans found that animals could easily take a person’s place for emotional comfort. It is there, a person only has to look for it.

    I lost a 4 month old. After everyone left and bid me farewell, I turned around and who grieved with me, soothed me and made sure I was not left alone? My little dog. Everyday until I was done not him. He did not stop checking on me after two weeks. He did not allow me to give up. If I would not get up, he would get me up so he could go “outside.” Sometimes he never had to go. He slept 14 hr days when everyone else told me I should be over it. He also saved me from a kitchen fire that started while sick in bed from grief. He helped me through so much life and he lived like a king for his comfort and connection he gave me when everyone else left me.


    - imo is a word created to make up for humans who have long failed to care for their human counterparts and won’t come down to a level of emotion that all animals possess because they may be able to handle the horrific definition of society that has been redefined based on hatred and lack of compassion. One person may have lots of people to lean on while others such as myself have lost 9 family members in the last two years and people are far and few in between. Others never needed anyone to be there and most humans rely on animals because society tells you to get up, harden yourself and carry on.

    Sometimes, as hard as you pray, people continue to fail you. None of my animals have ever turned their backs or looked down upon me, laughed at me or mocked me.

    Sometimes, When society is too busy for your small or large grievence, grabbing a chicken is good for the soul.

    Sometimes when you suffer great abuse and no longer trust people, rest assured your animal will not do that to you.

    Animals are replacing what humans can no longer provide.

    Ask these people and see what they believe:

    Nursing home residents who only have a weekly visit from a service dog to brighten their day.

    K-9 officers who train and rely on their animals emotions to keep them and others safe every day.

    The shut in who was forgotten by everyone except a curious rooster who could use a companion as well.

    The inmates in prisons who are experiencing rehabilitation through animals and have a better success rate with an animal as they leave the gates to never re-entering that same prison... something humans have been unable to stop.

    Hospice patients no longer able to speak their emotions but felt by an animal until they go home.

    I am very thankful that God has placed my animals for me to provide food and
    Love unconditionally.
    I have even watched a dying chicken in a hole down on my belly waiting for it to pass, tears in my eyes, as the chicken continued to look at me as if to say,

    “I trust you and it is ok.”

    I am sorry you have lost out on many opportunities to experience a love so deep it compares to no human emotion and did not realize that animals see our hearts on our sleeves way before we do.
  2. At first, I was going to say that the difference between a pet and livestock is that pets get vet care and livestock don't, but then again my sheep do get vet care when they are sick and it's beyond my ability to fix. However, a $300+ sheep is a LOT more valuable than even my most expensive chicken ($60), so there's that to consider.

    My poultry (chickens, ducks, geese) aren't pets, but they are loved, taken care of, spoiled, and grieved over when they die, even if that death is at my hands whether being euthanized for illness or butchered for meat. I have my favorites and it's harder to lose them, of course. I talk to my poultry, sing to them, buy expensive treats for them like local watermelon and tomatoes, but I can't really say that they are pets.
  3. townchicks

    townchicks Free Ranging

    Dec 1, 2016
    Contra Costa county, Ca.
    Mine are pets, with the added benefit of eggs, that come from hens that I know have been well treated and fed organically. That last part is important to me, as I've chosen not to contribute to the abuse that occurs with factory produced eggs from the store. When I am forced to buy eggs, I do go for "pasture raised" as those hens have had, at least, a modicum of quality of life for their egg laying years, anyway. Having said that, these girls are staying with me for life, regardless of productivity. That is one of the reasons that I only have three, although I am allowed five here. My plan is to wait to add 2 more, when these 3 slow down in production. (That's hard, chicken math being what it is, I WANT more!) When those extras are not producing, I will buy eggs from local backyard hen keepers, if possible. Even the most expensive eggs are cheaper than the ones I get now, lol. Those girls are going to have to work way overtime to defray the cost of their housing!
    I live in the burbs, and have a 5 hen limit, and Roo ban. If I had the space to do what I wanted, I would love to breed and raise many different breeds. If I could, my outlook might be different, I am practical enough to know you can't keep them all, and you can't re-home them all either. And I do eat chicken, sometimes. I admire the ones that can humanely raise and process their own meat. I don't think I could do it though. I know I won't, in my present world.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I culled(removed from the group) 9 cockerels
    I sold 3, gave away 3, and slaughtered 3.
  5. Crs1

    Crs1 Songster

    May 13, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    Mine are live stock but I will admit that my husband does the killing and I can’t watch it. I take over after the feathers have been plucked so I don’t know which it was.
    I have taken care of the sick chickens but I DO NOT like it but don’t want them to suffer either.
    Collectively the hens and pullets are called “Girls” or “mommas” and the rooster(s) are all called “Bud”
    If that’s is naming them then I guess I’m guilty
    Besides I would never keep them straight. This is easier for me
  6. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    More pets here than livestock they aren't people, thank goodness since iv'e become pretty antisocial in my old age. They all have names, even the ones I rehome get names. I can't not name a creature I interact with every day but that's just me even the goldfish here has a name. Iv'e done the strictly livestock thing and it wasn't for me just one of those things. I did however really enjoy keeping the birds, watching them develop and just be chickens so I started this little flock of "fun" chickens. Honestly best group iv'e ever had. Really no big problems, the hens are healthy and behaved. The rooster is scary perfect.Dosen't bother me, great with the littles flogs cats and squirrels and he's nice! New chicks fold perfectly into the flock no blood, no drama. It is crazy! So apparently this is the way I do well at having chickens and that is just fine. I'm still getting my eggs and iv'e got an 11 pound rooster that won't roost until you tell him goodnight. I'm the happy medium I suppose. Iv'e got petstock.:)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  7. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Songster

    Jun 20, 2016
    I think my family thinks that my chickens are livestock as they provide food (eggs) that are "cheap" with no work. They like many people don't understand that they are much more than that. I strongly believe that my chickens are pets. I got them as pets and pets they will remain!
  8. TheYLWFlock

    TheYLWFlock Crowing

    Apr 18, 2018
    Kelowna, BC
    I just wanted to bring up what you said. I agree my chickens are pets and I just killed one on Monday night. This is because it was in a lot of pain and clearly suffering, and since it wasn’t getting better, we decided to euthanize her as we didn’t want her to suffer. It was a decision made out of love. We sent her to a lab to get a necropsy.

    Whether they are your pets or strictly livestock, you need to be able to put them down if they have a disease or are suffering, otherwise, you are no humane pet owner. Be prepared for this, and don’t get chickens if you aren’t ready to be able to to things like this.

    Good luck with your birds!
    KAJAM416 and Soon2BChixMom like this.
  9. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Crowing

    Apr 12, 2015
    Montgomery, TX
    I’ve got horses and am around cow folks and horse folks a lot and to me, livestock means that you quantify the value of the animal based on the commodity they give you or the value they present to an operation, such as a working horse. When viewing through that lens, productivity comes into play, why pay more to treat, house, feed, rehab this animal than they are worth? It’s poor business and not sustainable.

    Still, humans and animals have a long history of bonds, and lines get blurred. There will be the certain “livestock” animal that you go the extra mile for, that you use more resources to keep around.

    There’s the same range in “pets.” Some will take out a CareCredit loan and get upside down over saving an animal that others who could afford treatment pass on. They’re both right for their choices.

    For me, chickens are somewhere in the middle, a bit of both. I imagine there will be quite a few birds here that die of old age, and quite a few that don’t.
  10. My chickens are definitely pets, and some are over 10 years old now and still in good health. Surprisingly, most of the hens have kept laying to some degree until about 6 or 7 years old.

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