Among the pile of spam I received this week, was an email informing me April is National Pet Month. And I thought it was Easter. But forget cats and dogs, and even Easter bunnies, this season’s must have pet is – wait for it – a chicken. Or preferably, several.
Three quarters of a million Brits already lay their own. Obviously, they don’t actually excrete their own eggs – that would be one for Embarrassing Bodies, but they keep creatures that do it for them.
Once alternative and trendy, keeping chickens is now about as mainstream as Coronation Street.
You know when something is no longer quite as cool as it used to be, when a major supermarket jumps in on the act. Yes, Tesco now sell chicken coops. But with prices starting at £140, you’re going to need a lot of eggs just to break even.
Not that I haven’t toyed with the idea of a couple of bantams. In my head, I can just imagine them gently pecking away at the end of the garden. Every morning, they’d greet me with a feathery frolick, I’d gather warm eggs in my Kath Kidston basket , then serenely whip them into a golden breakfast omelette before the school run.
In reality, they would do my head in with all that clucking, I couldn’t be arsed to clean them out, I’d freak out about bird flu, drop the eggs while yelling at the kids to get their shoes on and carry on serving breakfast out of a box labelled Kellogs. The only chickens likely to be entering this house are the ones that come with their own cellophane.
When it comes to self-sufficiency, I think I’ll stick to the allotment. And fortunately, pets aren’t allowed.
In concession to National Pet Month, we do have a couple of rabbits called Digger and Maisie, otherwise known as the little sh!ts, because quite frankly that’s about all they do – other than eat the flowers , dig holes under the fence and escape to the neighbours’ gardens. Before Maisie, there was Rainbow, until her quest for adventure lead her to rabbit heaven – aka a fox’s intestines. Definitely no point getting chickens then.
Oh well, I don’t have a Kath Kidston basket anyway . And I always did prefer crème eggs to boiled.
Which pet would you least like to own?