Convincing Mom to Get Chickens: Part 2

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,584
607
476
Maine
So I couldn't find the thread I started a while ago about trying to convince my mom to get chickens...I asked for positive and negative reasons why people should own chickens from you guys, in your experience, so I could tell her and see if she warmed up to the idea. Well, I couldn't find that thread anymore for some reason, so I'm starting a new one with new updates. First let me explain the situation...
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So my dad has chickens, but my mom doesn't. I want to talk my mom into getting some as well, because I only see them at my dad's house on weekends and I think it would be a good experience for her. She's really not much of an animal person...We've had birds such as Cockatiels and Parakeets, and we have two dogs, but that's it. She used to own chickens as a child (or at least her father did) but they were used for eating and eggs only...no pets. She's a Vegetarian, along with most of my family, now. She knows that a lot of chickens are kept for eggs, pets, or meat. But I told her that many, such as my dad's, are only used for things such as pets, eggs, and/or showing. You don't need them for meat, too (Which is true!). I've told her about BYC and about how many people on here have chickens and how much they enjoy them, and I've told her that there are quite a few Vegetarian BYCers on here just like us. But she's just not warming up to the idea of having chickens. She says she doesn't want to live on a farm...because she sees chickens as farm animals, which they are usually, but they don't have to be "farm animals". Dogs and cats live on farms, too...But they aren't considered "farm animals". I guess she doesn't see that you can own a small flock of chickens that can be used just for eggs fertilizer, pest control, and/or just as pets. I think she thinks that chickens are only made to live on farms. But that's not true; you can own a small flock and a small coop (such as one of those movable tractor coops) and it wouldn't have to be a big "farm". Some people even have chickens in the city! I've heard of someone putting a chicken coop in their apartment in a city. And I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be considered a "farm".
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But despite what I tell her about chickens, which I tell her a lot because I learn so much new things about chickens here everyday, she still doesn't seem that interested.

But anyway, I'm still trying to convince her. She has improved from being completely uninterested in chickens to being somewhat interested. I've showed her my homemade incubator (in fact, she helped me with most of the wiring part) and I've shown her a candled egg when we could see the baby chick kicking around inside the egg. She seemed quite amazed and interested in this, and was kinda excited when I sent her a picture of the first chick to hatch in the new homemade incubator. This, compared to what she used to be like before I started talking about chickens to her, is a really good improvement.
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It means we are one or two steps closer to finally convincing her to get at least a small flock of chickens.
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And today, while we were all cleaning up the yard and trying to decide where a greenhouse could go (which is what we are planning on building soon), I told her that a small chicken coop would look nice and that the chicken poop would be great fertilizer for the greenhouse...They would go perfectly together! She seemed to ignore me, but I think she was thinking about it at least a little.
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At least I hope she did...Does anyone here have chickens and a greenhouse? What's your experience? Do they go well together? Any advice on greenhouses and chickens you have would be great and that way I could tell her more about it.
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So far, I haven't gotten her to hold my spoiled baby chick, Ivory (the only chick who hatched out of the homemade incubator...it was a test hatch with 3 eggs, 2 were early quitters). She thinks she's dirty and just refuses to hold her when I offer once and a while. Which is fine, but who can resist a fluffy, adorable baby chicken?
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Feel free to post pictures, stories, experiences, advice, etc...etc...etc........

Thanks and I will post updates later!
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Quailbuddy

Songster
10 Years
Jan 8, 2010
321
1
119
Sonoma County CA
wow this is like the same situation i am in . . . my parents go back and forth on the idea but my sister and i really want some. Right now it is a no but we are hoping to change their mind. All they think of is negatove reasons and i think of postitve . . . ugh and positive advice or reasonging would be greatly appreatiated:love
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ChickenCharmer

Songster
10 Years
May 2, 2009
1,279
15
171
The Redwoods of California
Chickens require a lot of work, and maybe she thinks she will have to do most of the work? You can make it clear that these will be your chickens, and you will take care of everything. She will get to watch and enjoy them without the work involved. My parents seem to like the idea of my keeping chickens all by myself, because it's a really good experience and it makes you a more responsible person. You can tell her that, too, not to mention you could earn money by selling the eggs. I hope she will change her mind!
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Dora'smom

Songster
10 Years
Dec 14, 2009
916
11
121
Oregon
Is she aware of all the different breeds and that chickens have different personalities? Does she realize that homegrown eggs are healthier, they taste better, and that they can come in different colors? Is she aware that coops don't have to smell bad, and that they really take little work once established? It seems that if you are willing to take on the responsibility for the chickens, and if you have a plan for their care when you are at your dad's--that might go a ways toward calming her concerns. Ask her to let you try just a few. Two or three.
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,584
607
476
Maine
Thanks everyone! I think I will write up a list of the pros and cons of getting a few chickens...maybe just a small flock of Bantams to start. Maybe even Silkies! I told her to look up "Asian Silkies"...didn't tell her what they were because she wouldn't know they were chickens...
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She obviously did because when I asked her again she said that it was a type of chicken, in a bored tone of voice. :rolleyes


I tell her that we would get free eggs and we could sell some, if we had enough chickens, but she says that eggs are a "chicken's period".
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Seriously! I mean, yeah it basically is, but so what???
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lol

So anyway, I showed her a picture of a chicken coop/greenhouse that I found online. She didn't really show any interest in it at all. She looked at it, because we're planning on building a greenhouse, but when she saw the words "Green House and CHICKEN COOP", she shooed me away and didn't want to look at it anymore.
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But I'm still going to share the information everyone is giving here so far...But I'm going to show her "the world of chickens" with pictures, facts, information, etc...carefully and cleverly. Too much at on time will make her become irritated and not want to get chickens ever. Right now there's a very slight possibility, but it's better than no possibility at all.
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So keep the information coming!
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Quailbuddy: Good luck convincing your parents to get chickens, too!
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cobrien

Songster
10 Years
Mar 16, 2009
576
14
141
Oakland, CA
Great suggestions so far. If she is vegetarian because of animal cruelty reasons, then I would definitely talk to her about the cruelty involved in egg production. This is the #1 reason that I keep chickens. I am vegetarian and believe that eggs are a perfect food and a great source of protein for vegetarians. Especially compared to soy, which is a main source of protein for many vegetarians. I try to limit how much soy I eat (you can google for the controversy on soy), which doesn't leave a ton of options for protein. To me there is nothing more satisfying than an egg mixed with veggies!

Most if not all eggs from the store, even "cage free" eggs, come from chickens raised in deplorable conditions, and they are killed when ~ 2years old in a factory assembly line slaughterhouse situation, where they hear the chickens ahead of them getting killed. Also, half of all chickens born are male, and they are also killed because no one wants a bunch of roosters. You can google around for lots of info, but be warned, it is depressing to say the least. I am not trying to rant here or convince anyone to become vegetarian- just trying to give some more reasons why keeping your own chickens is great! Even if they are raised for meat, keeping your own chickens definitely reduces animal suffering in the world because you can ensure they have a good life, eat good food, and get to walk around, scratch, do funny chickeny things, and get slaughtered in a humane way without the stress and trauma of a slaughterhouse.
 

TK Poultry

Songster
10 Years
May 25, 2009
2,864
11
194
Greencastle, Indiana
my mom was the same way i finally said ok ill get ducks. then she was like ducks are histerical. then i was like hey did you see those chicks at TSC shes like yeah whats your point and i finally wore her down with begging and pleading and i said i would only keep hens and she was like ok. then when i got them into the brooder one of the pullets would sit on the side and everytime my mom would come near the brooder she said that mongoose looking thing tryed to get me. i was like she isnt a mongoose looking thing she's a doll. but then eventually she warmed up and now everyonce and a while she goes out to see "her" ducks and "her" only chicken mongoose. now we fight about what shows im going too and how many breeding pens i can have. once you get your first one then it should be easier to get her into the idea. ive had probably a hundred chickens and ducks and the only one that she acknowledges is mongoose and occassionally a chick. she loves to watch them hatch to
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but i try to get her to hold them and she about dies!
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but the trick will be trying to get your first chicks. or maybe get ducks as a starter to ease into chickens, b/c ducks are a bit more inviting than a rooster or an older hen
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,584
607
476
Maine
Quote:
She, and I, know all about the horrors of battery cage hens, slaughterhouses, the meat/egg industry, etc...etc...etc...It is an atrocity, really. I've seen the videos, I've written essays for school about it, I've read all about it and there's no way I would ever stop being a Vegetarian. In fact, if I tried meat, like my friends say I will someday (yeah, right...
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), I would probably puke because it's just horrible and disgusting to think where it came from and what happened to it. It's not based on whether it tastes good or not, because whether it does or not, it was still killed in a despicable, terrible way and most likely lived a very abject life.

But anyway, I've told her that even though we buy "liquid eggs" (the ones that are "egg substitute"...not all egg but has some egg in it), they even most likely came from battery hens, just like other store-bought eggs. We would buy the free range ones normally, but they cost over $4.00 a dozen here and the egg substitute costs a little over $3.00. I told her today that people who own chickens get free eggs and you know that they came from happy hens (notice that I didn't say, "If we had chickens, then we would get free eggs...blah blah blah...", because if I had, she would have immediately not listened). She didn't say anything back to me about it, but I think she might have thought about it...possibly. But I'm really not sure.

I've shown her a bunch of chicken pictures, but she never seems interested at all. In fact, sometimes when I show her a chicken picture that I think is cute or something, if I say it's a chicken picture, she will sometimes not look at all.
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Thanks for the suggestions!
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Siler

Songster
9 Years
Jan 25, 2010
298
2
121
Central Indiana
Well I have to jump in here on your behalf here. I am 31 years old and live in Indiana. My husband wanted to get chickens for a while and I just wouldn't have it. We live in the country but I still didn't want to have chickens living in my yard. I didn't want to have a "filthy chicken coop" and didn't want to be seen as "that crazy chicken lady". One night I'm flipping through the channels and I fall on PBS. They're doing a documentary on chickens. It's showing a few people keeping backyard chickens then it just as suddenly goes to the factory chickens and how they're crammed in tiny wire cages where they don't have room to turn around let alone have quality of life. They're fed automatically, fluorescent lighting, no human contact, no room to roam, and when one dies they end up walking all over it, etc. Factory "free-range" is nothing more than a tiny bit extra room to "roam" but it's the same horrible situation. I realized that paying $4/doz for these so-called "free-range eggs" was a sham. Then it goes back to the people with chickens in their backyard. They're feeding them by hand, talking to them, etc. After watching this show I got sick to my stomach. I stopped buying eggs at all. I am not a vegetarian, but I still think that factory food is just horrible. Eventually I asked my husband about these chickens he was talking about. I ask him how they're kept, about their personalities, how long they live, etc.

Eventually we went to the feed store where I bought my dog food and they had chicks. My husband had already done the research on which ones he wanted and they happened to have them there so without having everything ready for them we bought them right there. We bought 3 Black Austrolorps and 3 Gold Laces Wyandottes. They all had vaccinations and were all females there. I had an old puppy crate and plenty of specialized lighting from when we kept reptiles so I cleaned up some space in my laundry room and we kept them there.

Oh the mess! My husband took care of everything mostly, but eventually I took over as I just fell for the messy little peeps. They were a living being and as long as we had them I was going to make sure their quality of life was going to be the absolute best I could give them. So that's the motto of a vegetarian right? I have ZERO intention of butchering them. They are my girls and they give me eggs. For as long as they live....eggs or not....they're going to be happy living here. I still eat meat, but not them.

They do produce a mess, but kept clean on a daily basis it's to a minimum. Anything we clean up goes into a compost pile that's turned often and then it goes into our garden. We grow our own vegetables and fruits. We eat much more vegetables than we do meat.

My mother often tells me stories of her life as a child on a farm in Ohio. Her parents had a massive farm and on the side they had their own chickens for eggs and meat. Her mother would use the chicken feces as fertilizer for their own garden, greenhouse, and houseplants. For the greenhouse and houseplants she remembers a series of disgusting liquid compost barrels, but she said that they had a huge growing business of nursery plants they would sell locally. She also remembers her daily chore of collecting eggs every morning. It fed their family and it fed the workers they had taking care of the farm.

Your mom has 1 of 2 options here. Either buy eggs locally she knows are kept in good conditions or to allow her daughter to keep some there. You are willing to care for them and their waste is good for fertilizer in the greenhouse(you'll want to be sure it's composted before it goes on the plants). However you will eventually leave to further your education so she will be left to care for them when you're gone so she has to be fully willing to care for them after that. Is there a place where they can go to live out their lives once they stop laying eggs or she can no longer care for them?
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,584
607
476
Maine
Quote:
Thanks! I am going to try and get my mom to read that...maybe if she can see that someone else can relate to her situation...or similar to it...then maybe she will think more about it.
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P.S. I wish my mom was as interested in chickens as my doctor or my teacher...my teacher loves hearing things about my baby chick (in fact she considered having an incubator in the classroom and I could bring eggs in to hatch from our own chickens), and my doctor says she wants to get chickens soon. I think I'll mention BYC to her and maybe she will join.
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MANNA-PRO

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