I have four chicks -- my first ones ever. And can I just say how much I love them? I really do. They just melt my heart. My husband rolls his eyes at me, but he likes them too and my kids are having a wonderful time watching them grow. I got chickens because I enjoyed watching my friend's small farm while she was away. Her chickens made me laugh. She, like the few other chicken owners I know, plans to slaughter the hens for meat when they stop productively laying to get new layers. She has meat chickens as well. I admire that, because I think it's respectful and correct to be responsible for your own food that way. Far, far better than getting chicken meat from a factory farm. But I'm so sentimental. When my chickens slow down their laying, I just want them to have a retirement with me. They're my pets. I'm just wondering... are chickens just kept just as pets very often? I'm sort of embarassed by how much I love my chickens already.