Hello, we are Ben and Felicity.
Ben and I have no human children (a conscious decision), but we are Mum and Dad to two dogs, two cats, two birds, two chickens, and two bee hives (we are concerned when it starts to rain allot 🙂 ) Our kids are all rescues, with the exception of our wonderful African Grey Parrot, Harry. We can’t even start to explain how much we love our animals, feathered, furry, two legged and four.
Where in the world are you?
Jukskei Park, near Fourways, Johannesburg
How many chickens do you have?
Only 2, but I hope when we have more direction in life, that we will have a few more.
Sophie and Flo
How do you spend quality time with your chicken/ chickens?
My greatest pleasure is the calmness and quite joy I feel each morning when I let our girls out of their palatial home, and each evening when we watch them lazily amble back to bed. My Husband and I jostle to be the ones to greet them each morning and say goodnight each evening. Sophie love hugs, and I find a sense of calm when I hold her tight and she tucks her head into my neck and makes gentle chicken noises. She is particularly fond of my winter dressing gown, and is a bit miffed that its now too warm for me to wear it in the mornings when I give her a huge hug.
What has surprised you most about your chicken/ chickens?
Nobody could have told Ben or I that we would fall totally in love with our Girls in a matter of minutes. They started us on a new and extremely uncomfortable journey of awareness of how awful humanity is to these kind and gentle souls. We stopped eating chicken immediately and don’t miss a chance to educate others on how totally wonderful, intelligent and gentle these beautiful creatures are. Whilst I took a fair bit of teasing from my team at work in the early days, I’ve noticed that they are all very careful about what they bring for lunch these days. I keep a photographs of both of our Girls on my desk so they continue to get the picture.
What do you want to tell people out there (who don’t know chickens as a species) about chickens?
Wow, where do I start; gentle, kind; intelligent; sensitive; cheeky, brave, strong, courageous.
How do you know that your chickens recognize you over and above other people in their lives?
We are met at the gate when we come home by the two dogs, one red cat, and two chickens. Its totally priceless. They recognize the sound of our cars.
In your experience of keeping chickens as pets, what 10 non-negotiable factors do you believe need to be in place to give chickens a life that is physically, emotionally and mentally healthy?
- Taking another pet into the family, a chicken or any other animal, requires a commitment to take care of and love each of them every single day for the rest of their lives,
- Secure and safe home, that is comfy and clean,
- Time and patience to help them settle into their new home. Socializing them with their new animal friends, and setting the boundaries with the existing family pets.
- Cuddles at least once a day, more if I can catch them.
- Immediate action when they start to look ill. By the time they look off, they are usually very ill.
- A wonderful vet, who understands Chickens, and the commitment to take them to the vet quickly when they get ill, no matter how far or how much traffic you need to deal with, and a Boss who understands you when you SMS him and say “I’m late for work, I’m taking my Hen to the vet”.
- A house sitter who understands the Girls, and takes as much care with them as we do (our’s takes even better care of them than we do I think)
- You have to be linked to Candy’s Chickens as pets not food- Chicken Rescue and Rehabilitation page on Facebook.
- Love love love love love, and more love. You will be rewarded a million times over by your Chickens.
If you could say one thing, on behalf of chickens in the world, to the decision makers in your country, what would that one thing be?
Set the chickens free, all of them. They deserve so much better than what humanity has decided they are worth.
Join our FB community ‘chickens as pets not food – chicken rescue and rehabilitation’