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 chook.com 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.