Chook-Induced Anxiety (CIA)

Pompadour the Chinese Silkie chicken

Chook-Induced Anxiety (CIA)

Such a tranquil scene. Gorgeous chooks cluck lovingly while recycling scraps into free range eggs. Think again! Those magazines are not telling you the full story.

Yes, chooks are the latest accessory for ethically aware, suburban greenies. They can also reduce the weekly shopping bill. However, beware that getting chickens can result in Chook-Induced Anxiety (CIA).

I will now outline the steps that can trigger symptoms of CIA.

Preparation for chook ownership

Magazines say chook ownership is a piece of cake. It is easy if you can afford a prefabricated deluxe chook house, if you have a handy husband or if you’re not fussed about chicken comfort and casualties. Note – coop must be ready before chickens arrive.

Cute, fluffy chicks arrive

Yes, they are adorable and children spend hours squeezing them! They are also safe and warm inside a cosy brooder box.

Chooks move to the big house

Handy hubby has finished putting together Fort Knox style coop. Only two months late! Note to chooks – apologies for temporary ‘caged chicken’ status. Chooks love the big house but they also love dust baths – everyday. A wire floored coop is not conducive to dust bathing and free ranging chickens elevates my heart rate terribly. The anxiety is starting to rise.

Necessary extensions

Wow, this chook thing is expensive. I wonder when those savings begin to kick in? Now dear, do you think you could build a fence around the coop so my lovelies can dust bath? What do you think about a sunshade? Can we fence the whole backyard? Yes dear.

Rooster removal

Now for the big ticket item – rooster removal. I don’t recall reading in glossy magazines about the top 5 ways to remove roosters. What do you do when the crowing begins and neighbours start complaining? Quick – find someone who wants your roosters. Easier said than done as my chooks are ‘not for the pot’. This is a job for where you have soft hearted people called ‘fluffy feather’ and ‘featherdusters’ just waiting to rescue your roosters.

‘LittleRedHenHouse’ finally gets a response and roosters are saved. At last a sleep in.

Egg laying

But where are the eggs? Oh well, at least my darlings are safe and sound. I’m sure the egg laying will begin soon. Then I can start worrying about broody hens. I’m wondering if this CIA is worth it?

The End


Note: This is a reposting of an article I wrote ages ago. It is all true – I do suffer from Chook-Induced Anxiety disorder, also known as CIA.

I first posted it on the ABC POOL and it was slected by ABC Radio National’s Country Viewpoint (Bush Telegraph) program staff for recording on the 7/7/2009.  Unfortunately they made me read it myself and I sounded terrible – a bit like Mickey Mouse on speed 😉 so I won’t let you hear the originally recording.

I did, however,  enjoy going into the radio studio to make the recording – I’ve always wanted to wear cool head gear and talk into a microphone on the radio – haha.

21 thoughts on “Chook-Induced Anxiety (CIA)

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    1. Hahahaha – no consultations unfortunately slpmartin (he’s too busy with his finches) 😉 I am sure you could handle a few chickens slpmartin – I am just a chronic worrier about such things – the benefits of fresh eggs outweighs the other issues – we never run out of eggs in this household (in fact we give some to our neighbours if we have extra). You would have to be extra careful with those raptors flying around your neck of the woods, though.

  1. Hahaha, Gabe, but they are beautiful and I’ve always wanted some! Thanks for the warning, although it’s out of the question for me now anyway. Why do children ALWAYS squeeze little animals, birdies, kitties, puppies – all of them. Is it love? Or do they just want a reaction, lol? I must say they look like slow, loving squeezes…

    1. No way! Haha – that is why they are ‘not for the pot’ (even the roosters). Chinese Silkie chickens, apparently, are not the best for eating – they have very dark meat and skin and they are very small chickens (despite Pompadour looking huge in that picture), so not much meat anyway (the eggs are small too – 40gms). I do eat free-range chickens from the shop, however, (being a great big hypocrite myself – hahaha). Thanks for stopping by Tilly Bud:)

  2. ROFL! Loved this, Gabrielle…always wanted them but I think you may have just changed my mind. Was it that vision of trying to construct a chicken coop while they charge around sampling the environment, maybe? 😀

    1. Haha – it must be even harder keeping chickens in a cold climate, as you would need some sort of insulation on your coop – don’t let me put you off Kate (my CIA has reduced over time – we’ve had the chooks for about 5 years now and nothing calamitous has happened – touch wood!).

    1. Oh no! If my dogs came within cooee of my chooks, they’d be wishing they hadn’t. It is very hard to keep chickens safe – hence the CIA 😉 You should be having a baby by now, shouldn’t you Graham? Exciting times ahead for your family.

    1. Thanks bluebee (Pompadour is a chook with ideas above her station – haha – you will be hearing a lot more about her in the next few months) – I named her after the men’s hairstyle – haha.

  3. I am calling them chooks now, too — way over here in the USA! Your darling is so lovely. You forgot to mention what happens, though, when your chook becomes a world famous diva!

    1. Haha – Aletha, does this mean we need to build Pompadour a more fabuloso coop (and have another coop naming competition 😉 ) – a diva needs suitable accommodation and protection from her fans. You must give an update on Blanca (if she is still around) – a painting or photo of the beasty – then I can write her a poem of her own (instead of a shared one with Pompi – stars shouldn’t share – haha).

  4. I love your chooks so much. I would love to get some. I can completely understand chook-induced anxiety because I get it with my goldfish and with other animals. Pompadour is the bee’s knees. LOVE HER!!!

    1. She is a superstar, the old Pompi dude 🙂 I should have mentioned the other forms of animal-induced anxiety (tipota already mentioned the Cat-Induced Anxiety, you have the goldfish-induced anxiety; I’ve been known to get an attack of puppy-induced anxiety and the list goes on 🙂 )

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