Do you consider your Chickens Pets or Livestock

Do you consider your chickens Pets or Livestock

  • Pets

  • Livestock

Results are only viewable after voting.


Jun 7, 2020
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I name them, but it won't slow the axe, and its mostly to aid identification. Comet Red, Comet Orange, Comet Yellow... (yes, i use colored zip ties)

/edit to add - I am VERY aware that raising my own is more expensive than buying at the supermarket. The difference in price premium is partially to ensure a level of personal quality control on my meat consumption, but mostly coming out of my "entertainment" budget.
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Alaska Nana

In the Brooder
May 7, 2020
Both, pets that provide companionship and entertainment and livestock that provide meat and eggs. I thank them for both and put my human’s needs above theirs and my family consumes as needed. And yes they have names.... Crowe, Butterscotch, Whiz, Cooper, S’more, Eagle Bait, Loquacious, Ptarmigan. Kenny, and of course and Roo named Dinner, by a grandson that loves chicken tenders. 🙂

Alaska Nana

In the Brooder
May 7, 2020
I can't 100% call them one or the other. You needed a "both" category to be honest in an answer. They are livestock, that I've made pets of. I don't raise them for cash profit but instead for food. I have some severe food preservative allergies and many foods bought in the store can put me in the ER, while raising it myself is fine. That said, I treat them more as pets than standard livestock since I don't raise them for meat but only for eggs and can afford to get more attached to them. I think I'd hate to have to raise broilers for meat. It would hurt having to butcher them regularly. I have butchered egg eating hens and a few nasty roosters but mostly my hens live to a ripe old age and are well repaid for the eggs they give me.

Yes a “both” button is needed.
Jun 21, 2019
Right now, I'm in it for 'pets with benefits', lol. My 11 girls give &/or will soon give eggs, for starters - not only a staple protein for us, but also for my dog that eats raw. But, our girls free-range, so they also work as mini garden tillers, fertilizer spreaders, and are amazing, at pest control, beginning with ticks(which have been bad, this year!), plus insects that are competitors for what little farm we managed, this year, and rodents can be an issue, out here. Hubs saw one running as fast as she could, the other day, with a mouse in her mouth, with all the others trailing behind, wanting a share! That brings us to the incredible comedic entertainment they bring to the table. They're friendly (buff orps & black austrolorps), funny, sweet... perfect outdoor PWBs (pets with benefits).

On the other hand, next spring, we plan to get a lot more - all destined to become freezer filler. They'll be kept separate, and left unarmed, so we don't get attached to them. Those will be purely livestock.


Pets with benefits! They all have names (Clara, Yaz, Jenny, Rose, Martha, Madame Vastra, Graham and River the roo) and a fancy coop/run that hubs built. Keeping chickens is my hobby and could never cull unless it’s for illness. Even then, I’ll have to ask my farmer neighbor to handle it. I’m just too tender hearted.
Each of the girls (and River) has different coloring - 2 BPR, 1 Austrawhite and 5 EE - so they all have obvious aesthetic differences as well as distinct personalities. If I ever wanted meat birds, they’d all look the same, never have names and be kept separate from the others.


6 Years
Oct 7, 2013
Mine are definitely pets with benefits. I know in my head they are livestock but couldnt actually eat one of mine. Although I have given
roos to someone knowing they were going to be eaten.

Awakening Forest

Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
North Central Florida
There's a huge ongoing debate on whether horses are livestock or pets. The former is their category now and those adherents want to reopen horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. The latter see them as pets and find killing horses for meat and eating horse meat, abominable.

The legal category is important but how we treat our animals is so much more important. As you sow, so shall you reap.


Jul 19, 2020
Cape May NJ
Growing up on the family farm....I always had chickens I viewed as livestock. Of course even then there were pets with benefits. We always had dual purpose birds so some were food others were layers.

Now as a near retirement person, I have my back yard pets with benefits. But also raise birds for the table.
With those animals I allow myself to care for their needs and give them the best short life possible....something commercially produced meat production does not provide for them.
Of course I do not get emotionally involved with the table animals. But I do care for them and appreciate that they will in time be harvested to nourish the family. I am thankful for each and every animal and am grateful for the gifts they provide.

My pet chickens are bantams and salmon Faverolles, silkie and buff Brahma bantams, gold laced Cochin, LF Buckeyes, black austrolorp, americaunas. OEGB

My RIR dual....eggs/meat

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