Saturday, February 26, 2011

husbands and hens

What is it about husbands and laying hens? I don't have a husband, so I can't about talk them with any base of knowledge, but I do know a thing or two about chickens. Over the years since I started this site I have gotten a lot of emails regarding the little beasts and the most common theme throughout them all paraphrases into something like this: I really want to get chickens, but my husband doesn't like the idea. Maybe some day I will wear him down.... And then the email goes on to explain why he feels that way. Usually the perception is that chickens are more mess, noise, and work than anyone wants to take on. I suppose if you wanted to convince your husband that you wanted to start a 200-hen egg operation—that would be the case—but all you backyard chicken hopefuls out there can rest assured that chickens are easy. They're quieter and calmer than your neighbor's beagle and cleaner than your kid's gerbil. And, unlike the neighbor's barking dog and Spiffy-the-Habitrail-Wunderkind—chickens pay rent. They lay eggs! Amazing, free, glorious farm-fresh eggs. And your husband gets to do all sorts of manly stuff to help you prepare for them. Things like making coops (carpentry!) and going to the feed store to heft 50-pound bags of feed (manly grunting!). And if he's not into the whole pickup-truck scene he can impress his foodie friends with his gourmet eggs or have the coolest pet on the block. Plus, at the end of the day he can watch them torment the neighbor's beagle, whom you hate.

So what's the deal guys? C'mon, get your woman some birds.

39 Comments:

Blogger CallieK said...

Yesterday one of our cats threw up on the just laundered chair cover, another cat peed on the backdoor mat and my sister's dogs puked all over her bed. I'm pretty sure a couple chickens would seem like a breeze!

The Russian is not so sure tho- every time I mention it he gets that wary look in his eyes. His family back in Russia is already convinced we live in a village because we have a garden in the backyard. There's zero green space in St Petersburg so everyone gardens at their summer house, outside of the city. I can just imagine what they'll think about chickens!

February 26, 2011 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Pricilla said...

I have had gerbils and I have chickens. The chickens are not cleaner than the gerbils...with that you and I differ.

February 26, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Finding My Truth said...

Chickens are crazy easy! AND...my husband likes to just watch them as much as I do. I think he might even be a little jealous that they follow me around the yard. But I believe I had some hesitation to deal with as well. Not quite sure why although the feeling of a farm is not really his thing.

February 26, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Your post made me laugh.

February 26, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger MilkMaid09 said...

The thing about my Husband is - he likes to bluff. Which gets him in trouble. This is how I've gotten all my animals so far. I say, "I want to get some chickens," He says, "Sure, go ahead." Thinking that I'll never follow through with it - surely it's just a passing fancy. So then when I tell him that I'm off the Post Office to pick up 25 chicks, he just smacks himself in the forehead. Hey, he said I could do it. . .
If women are looking to just get a few - you can keep them in a rabbit hutch that you can get pre-built at most feed stores and CoOps. Soo . . . if they're there when he comes home one day. . . no harm, yes Fowl!

February 26, 2011 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Eaglescout said...

Would love to have some chickens, but local town ordinance kinda gets in the way.

I hear the chickens ROCK when it comes to pest control and offer incredible fertilizer, etc.

I'm sure the neighbors would not really mind - town officials here have a tendency to show up from "anonymous" complaints......

February 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM  
OpenID sissyjane said...

I've brought home way too many Golden Retrievers...

He won't even listen!

I want chickens...BUT, what do you do with them in the snow? Don't they freeze? Do you have to have electricity in the coop for a heater?

February 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Bee said...

Lol!!
I went to the feed store last fall and they had two week old chicks that were deemed 'too old' so they were marked down to .99 cents. there were seven of them, "Black Sexlinksthey" they called them. They looked lonely. So I bought them and snapped a pic with my iPhone and sent it to Trapper....
"Is that what I think they are?", he called to ask.
Yes, indeedy.
"whatever keeps you outta trouble.", he replied.

Good answer, Hubby, good answer.
And considering he eats eggs just about every morning, it's a win win situation ;)

I expanded the hen yard last week.... ;)
Stay tuned....

February 26, 2011 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

My husband bought me day old chicks as a housewarming present! I have to say, out of all our animals: cat's, dog's, horse's and chicken's, the chicken's are by far the easiest animal we have. Children included. Actually when the kids get to be to much, I go out to the chicken coop to relax! They are like having a fish tank you can interact with, and also much easier then a fish tank!

February 26, 2011 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks for posting this for my husband. Usually I'm the one who reads your blog, but I know you had him in mind when you wrote this one!

February 26, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger damnyankee said...

You are so right Jenna. Every time I say I want chickens my husband gets this funny look on his face and says "they bring too many critters." Then I said that's why you have guns. Still no luck. I'm gonna keep working on him. I love to watch chickens. They're comical. The other day one of my husband's friends stopped by my ranch with a homemade wire cage full of mature "red star" hens in the back of his pickup. They were gorgeous. I was jealous. He said to me you have cows I have chickens! I said I'd rather have chickens.

February 26, 2011 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger E said...

free eggs? only if you haven't noticed the price of feed recently - and it's only going to get more expensive. Of course so will store bought eggs...

February 26, 2011 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

My husband was exactly the same way - "They are too loud and smelly and their run will be ugly." After a year hearing this, I said "Tough, I'm getting them anyway." So I, with the help of my father, built the coop and run and then brought home 7 chicks. We have had the chickens for 2 years now and my husband thinks they are wonderful. He freely admits he was wrong on all counts.

February 26, 2011 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger The Weekend Homesteader said...

My husband thought I was cuckoo for cocoa puffs when I told him I wanted chickens a few years ago, but I'm not one to be denied. Now, he LOVES them, and can't imagie life without them, and he asks me everyday how many eggs we got that day. So, all you husbands out there, step up to the plate!

February 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I'm sending the link to this post to the husband immediately. Chickens currently are not allowed in my City, but I've drafted an ordinance and am trying to convince City Council to get on board and make them legal.

February 26, 2011 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

My husband thinks they're creepy. "they run like velociraptors." I tried to explain that the velociraptors in Jurassic Park run like CHICKENS because no one's ever seen a real....anyway. He spent our 17th wedding anniversary building an enclosed pen anyway, and this week he refashioned an incomplete rabbit hutch (no roof, no doors) into the taj mahal of nest boxes. 14 eggs from 7 hens in three days. My 10yo son and I love the girls, and he loves us. (Our daughters eat the eggs, but are indifferent to the birds.)

February 26, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

There really aren't a lot of valid reasons for not having chickens if you want them. Husbands are afraid they'll have to do all the "work" but it is so rewarding the women hog it. Unlike dogs and cats that have to be kenneled when you go on vacation, it is easy to get someone to tend the chickens for the eggs.

February 26, 2011 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Grant Wagner said...

To be honest, in my house, the situation is different. I want the Chickens, the wife doesn't. What's a guy to do.

February 26, 2011 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Jenna, I think you need to get lawyered up and prepare to sue Tractor Supply! Them so-n-so's are calling their spring fowl sale "Chick Days". Sue! Sue, I say! (or at least make 'em stock your book beside the birds)

February 26, 2011 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Hey Maggie, I think a lot of feed stores have been calling the annual poultry sales "Chick Days" all across America for years. I think the title was supposed to be a pun on that, since it follows the daily life of chicks and that's when everyone gets their birds. I'm not sure, to be honest. I have never named any of my own books!!

February 26, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Ivy Mae said...

I know that I whine about how overwhelmed I am a lot, so when I suggest something new, anything from getting chickens to adopting another child, my husband is not on board. Probably he thinks, well, we can't handle what we've got, so why would we add something new?! That's when I have to explain to him that I was just venting and really I can handle a flock of chickens and maybe another child or 10.
*disclaimer: I am not equating keeping chickens with adopting children. :)

February 26, 2011 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I have news for you: it's not just chickens.

I could have sold my house in Florida over and over- women fell in love with it, but the husbands kept seeing what was wrong with it. One wife even threatened divorce if she didn't get my house.

You know who bought it? A single woman. Her dad looked at it with her and didn't think its detractions were a big deal (they weren't).

So all you single ladies out there (you included, Jenna): do everything you want to do while you're single because your husband will put the kibosh on your plans.

By the way, I had to wear mine down on the chicken thing. I'm going to build the coop, and he knows I need the manure inputs for my garden. I think he's just resigned himself to the idea.

February 26, 2011 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

Alas, for me it's not hubby, but the big, bad HOA that deters our eggy desires. Next house...

February 26, 2011 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Big Al said...

Ok Where do i buy a shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

Talk about a timely post Jenna, I LOVED THIS! Today my sweet man took me to our local bookstore on a date (half hour in our fave place without kids :) and bought me "CHICK DAYS" along with one called "CHICKEN COOPS-45 building plans for housing your flock"
I am so excited, he less so, but I am making progress I think based on shelling out 35.00 in books to read about it :) I am very, very excited, and love the tee shirt too! great post.....p.s. YOUR BOOK IS AMAZING!!!! I love it's simplicity, and the pics make me know I can do it :) THANK YOU! I have other books from my library and your's is the most readable and least daunting! cannot wait to hear cheeping in the bathroom!

February 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I don't want to get anyone in trouble here, but my tactic has always been to just do whatever it is I want to do. :) I wanted chickens, so I got chickens, and my husband couldn't say too much about it. His motto - "Happy wife, happy life."

February 26, 2011 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Oh, and in case anyone feels like holding my feet to the fire, my husband is entitled to the same courtesy! We RARELY tell one another what we can or can't do.

February 26, 2011 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Lyssa Kaehler said...

My husband views my chicken fondness with amused indifference. He was worried about what the city would do if we got busted for having them (too many, too close to the house for city standards, but I just did it anyway and haven't had any problems yet. He loves the eggs.

February 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

You just pegged my husband. Got the chickens anyway. He helped me build the coop. Have to sling my own 50lb. bags of feed. He likes the eggs though he is glad that they live on the far side of the yard. Glad to hear I am not alone out there in dealing with my "not so into chickens" husband. maybe we should form a club in solidarity.

February 27, 2011 at 1:42 AM  
Blogger tami said...

And I thought it was just ME! I had no idea husbands around the world were on an Anti-Chicken crusade! My guy had to spend some time doing work last year for a commercial chicken farm. Scarred him for life. Whenever I bring up the topic it's "no chickens, No Chickens, NO CHICKENS!"

Sigh.

February 27, 2011 at 4:53 AM  
Blogger The Improbable Farmer said...

Compared to our beagles, the chickens are easy. My husband became totally convinced when I made eggs Benedict and frittatas from fresh eggs. Now he helps out all the time LOL.

February 27, 2011 at 5:15 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

This post is getting read word-for-word to my anti-chicken man, who believes all those things. (He also thinks he's the reason I haven't expanded to chickens yet, but we have really limited space and a great twice-weekly farmer's market in the neighborhood, and I think it's better for me to buy eggs from the farmer and then raise as much food as I can, rather than trying to do a little of each and end up with not enough of either).

Plus I don't think he's capable of building me a coop that will keep out urban raccoons, possums, stray cats and stray children, all of whom scale the fence into my yard on a regular basis in the summer.

But I'll get my chickens yet. It may just take a different house.

February 27, 2011 at 11:38 AM  
OpenID gileadgoats said...

My first laying hens were my 40th birthday present from my husband just after we bought our house. He's gone now, and I own the farm on my own, but I'm never without some chickens now :)

February 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Jenna, you wrote this for me, didn't you? :-) The problem here is that my hubby already has construction plans here (convert a garage to a bedroom) and at his mom's (siding). So it's not fair to put another project on his list. I've got a 9 year old who's pretty good with a hammer, so Tyler and I may have a project this spring.

February 27, 2011 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

Lol! For us, it was the other way around. He wanted the chickens, and I didn't. Not because they're messy or smelly or loud, but because I didn't want one more critter to take care of. Needless to say, we have a dozen chicks in our entryway. They ARE awfully cute. :)

February 28, 2011 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Allie said...

Hubs loves animals, so it's not much of a fight to get him to say yes. His biggest concern with them is that we'll never be able to go on vacation and if we have to move, what'll we do with them?

I told him that if we move I'll just follow the U-Haul down with my barnyard in my backseat! Unless we have to go to Canada... then it's off to freezer camp with everyone!

March 1, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

My husband was hesitant to get chickens at first, but now loves them. He can't believe it took him so long to agree to them!

March 1, 2011 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

*LOL* I'm in the opposite situation - I'd love to get chickens, but my wife is reluctant. Unfortunately, the point is moot, as the town we moved to has a bylaw which doesn't allow for chickens :(

March 1, 2011 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

My husband's actually the one pushing ME to get chickens! :) We can't make the chicken workshops this year, but are hoping to attend one next year if you plan to continue them? Pretty please? :)

March 22, 2011 at 11:44 PM  

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