Thank You, My Chickens

Lorin Teng, Staff Writer

When the pandemic first started, everyone was bored out of their minds and in the midst of it found new hobbies to keep them going for hours. Between reading and rereading books, waking up at 11 am, baking, and binge-watching Netflix, I had the opportunity to play with my aunt’s cat. Even though the cat was cute and fluffy, I wanted a pet more interactive than just a cat that sits in the corner, licking her paws and making sure she looks her best. My family and I have been looking for low-maintenance pets to own during this time, but we had barriers. We don’t have much yard space, so we couldn’t own large dog breeds such as Huskies, Golden Retrievers, and Samoyeds. Moreover, my mom has allergies to fur, pollen, and dust, so the typical pets—dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs—were out of the question.  My dad started looking on Craigslist for pets, and lo and behold, there was a hen for sale!  

Before quarantine, not many people owned chickens, only 5%, but since then, there has been a 500% increase due to food shortages, according to a group of chicken enthusiasts, and just because chickens can give you a free therapy session! According to Next Avenue, a part of the PBS system, chickens have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. Whenever I have free time or just have to get out of the house, I walk around in the backyard and talk to my chickens. Even though they don’t understand human languages, just watching them makes you want to laugh. They’re goofy, fun to play with, and are very social animals, so they are willing to be fussed over.

Although chickens are pretty noisy, they are worthwhile. You get free and fresh eggs, pest control, lawnmowers who don’t charge (they like to eat weeds and crabgrass), and free compost. You can rest assured that you are eating healthy, as long as you maintain the chickens’ living quarters. My chickens have helped my family budget-wise because we get free eggs at least five times a week, and we get natural compost for our veggie garden. All in all, my experience with my chickens has been extraordinary. They have helped me mentally by offering a source of relaxation, and, physically, by eating healthier.