Urban chickens are brilliant  ( The Guardian)

When my son insisted he wanted chickens for his 10th birthday I was unconvinced: chickens, idiotic, smelly, and raucous, were no part of my dream menagerie. Nevertheless, some part of me – I’m going to call it “the stupid part” – thought they might be fun so we acquired two anonymous brown hens in a cardboard box from a man with few teeth and a strong entrepreneurial streak.

Theo with one of the hens.
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Theo with one of the hens.

Within days of their arrival I had fallen for them, hard. I don’t know why. Eggs are nice, but hens are smelly and raucous. They also show no affection, have reduced our small back garden to a scale replica of Passchendaele and wake me – and the entire neighbourhood – at 6am with their vociferous complaining.

Our newest hen, Pepper, compounds this by escaping daily, then lurking near the back door so she can fly up and peck me in the face. Nevertheless, I am infatuated (far more so than my son, who likes his hens, but believes that I have become “weird”).

I spend my free time and income on grooming and nutritional esoterica from hen pervert websites and bring bourgeois shame on the Normandy farming part of the family (for whom a chicken is essentially lunch) by taking them to the vet for their various infections and infirmities.

Urban chickens are a sickness, an addiction, a gateway drug to more chickens. I will continue down the path to chicken perdition until one day I wake up having turned into the Duchess of Devonshire, except destitute, friendless and living in a field of guano.

on more realistic stories on owning pets go to The Guardian

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