Quiz: What Kind of Chicken Keeper Are You?


There are as many kinds of chicken keepers as there are breeds of chickens. And often the breeds you choose to keep can be a clue as to the type of chicken keeper you are. Read these fun, tongue-in-cheek profiles to figure out which kind of chicken keeper you are. Or maybe you already know....


The Homesteading Chicken Keeper
Homesteading Chicken Keepers largely raise a flock to complete the permaculture or ecological circle. They grow massive gardens, using the chicken manure to fertilize those gardens, and likely haul around the chickens in movable tractors to rotate their flock to various parts of their property to control weeds, bugs and contribute to the nitrogen levels in the soil. Or their flock will be a free-range flock which is guarded by an alpaca, geese, sheep or goats who also have their 'jobs' on the farm. The chickens are put to work in the garden in the off-season and rewarded with as much bug-eaten, imperfect produce as they can eat. They likely sleep in a coop made from upcycled pallets and sheet metal.

The Homesteading Chicken Keeper keeps chickens because they want to know where their food comes from, what foods their food eats - and might have a bit of a prepper mentality, if the truth be told. They likely have researched how to preserve eggs indefinitely and they can and ferment all their extra garden produce. They usually raise chickens both for meat and eggs. Oh, and they make their own apple cider vinegar to dose their chickens' water with.

Typical Breeds in their Flock: no-nonsense dual-purpose breeds like Rhode Island Reds, Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Brahmas, Delawares and Wyandottes
Any roosters? For sure, they need to hatch new chicks each spring to keep the flock going and their family fed
Chickens in the house rule: Never
Vet on speed dial: Nope, all first aid is administered at home with the chopping block as Plan B
Telltale sign: Fresh Free Range Pasture Eggs sign at the end of the driveway


The Chicken Godmother
The Chicken Rescuer regularly drives around with a dog crate in the back of their SUV, just in case... Any hapless chickens purchased from swaps or the local feed store will join a family that likely includes multiple cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters and likely a few kids. The Chicken Rescuer has a heart of gold and feels that every animal will have a better life under her care, so just can't resist bringing home the runts of the litter or any animal that tugs at her heartstrings. 

That chick with the twisted foot in the bin at the feed store that looks half dead? Give it to her, she'll lovingly nurse it back to health and it will go on to live happily for a decade or more. The chicken wandering the neighborhood that no one knows who it belongs to? It will eventually end up perching on the Chicken Rescuer's porch railing and find its forever home with her. Her backyard is likely filled with coops and pens of all shapes and sizes that she's bought from Craig's List, where the animals under her care all live in harmony.

Typical Breeds in their Flock: Any and all
Any roosters? Of course, they need rescuing too
Chickens in the house rule: Once they figure out the dog door, there's no keeping them out!
Vet on speed dial: Of course...with all those animals, it's a must
Telltale sign: Poop everywhere


The Foodie Chicken Keeper
The Foodie Chicken Keeper loves her chickens, but what she really loves is their eggs. She recognizes the superiority of fresh eggs from chickens who roam her yard eating grass, weeds and bugs. The Foodie Chicken Keeper's fridge and kitchen counters are likely overflowing with bowls and baskets of eggs. She prizes her Copper Marans, who are rumored to lay the eggs favored by top French chefs.

A gourmet cook as well as a baker, the Foodie Chicken Keeper anguishes over eating her hens. She knows it's not good practice to eat the goose that lays the golden egg, but on the other hand knows in her heart that meat from her birds would be just as superior as her eggs are. But likely she instead buys organic, free range chicken breasts from a local Amish farm and goes on enjoying all the fresh eggs from her girls. 

Typical Breeds in their Flock: Good layers like Australorps and Leghorns, plus a few Marans 
Any roosters? Oh, no, never...roosters don't lay eggs!
Chickens in the house rule: Never, they might hop onto the counter and spread germs
Vet on speed dial: Most likely...healthy chickens lay the most eggs
Telltale sign: The Food Network playing in the background on TV


The Empty Nest Chicken Keeper
The Empty Nest Chicken Keeper won't admit it, but the chickens have replaced her children who are off in college or out on their own. She started with a small flock of chickens as a fun hobby possibly, to have something to do, now that the kids are gone. Maybe building a coop sounded like a fun project. But her flock has quickly morphed into being surrogate children of sorts. The Empty Nester was yearning for something to pamper and nurture now that the house is empty, and quickly found that chickens ADORE being hugged, snuggled and mothered.  She loves to talk with her chickens and is thrilled to find that they 'talk' back!

The Empty Nest Chicken Keeper likely sits with her chickens in the morning while she sips her coffee, and then again in the afternoon, with a glass of wine or iced tea in hand, chatting with them as they roam around the backyard looking for bugs. She genuinely enjoys her lap chickens and delights in whipping up homemade treats for them. She of course regales family and friends with amusing anecdotal stories about her chickens antics and her cell phone is full of photos of her girls.

Typical Breeds in their Flock: Docile, friendly breeds like Buffs, Australorps, Silkies, Cochins and Faverolles
Any roosters? Likely, since the Empty Nester has a habit of hatching her own chicks to fill her coop with new babies each spring
Chickens in the house rule: No....well maybe sometimes if one seems to be under the weather, or its a rainy day, or there's a good movie on...and of course there are chicks in the brooder in spare bedroom and another batch in the incubator in the laundry room
Vet on speed dial: Most definitely. She has also looked into the pros and cons of vaccinating
Telltale sign: Chicken decals on the back window of the SUV next to the stick figure family


The Uptown Chicken Keeper
The Uptown Chicken Keeper raises her chickens with class - often in an urban neighborhood. She's on top of the latest styles and fads - and started raising chickens because it was trendy. These are the chickens who live in a top-of-the-line coop and eat only organic feed and treats.  Money is no object. Their coop is reinforced with the best predator protection, because she really loves her girls and would never want harm to come to them, but everything has to look good because she often entertains. The Uptown Chicken Keeper is always telling friends how wonderful chickens are, and she often brings eggs as hostess gifts when she goes to a dinner party, arranging the eggs in the carton by color. She's secretly glad to be the token chicken keeper in her social circle - it's a great conversation starter. And she likely was on the committee that pushed the town to allow chickens in the first place.

She traipses around town in her muck boots, equally as comfortable in them as she is her LBD (little black dress).  She's classy and well bred, but can often be found on weekends on her knees scraping chicken poop off the floor of the coop.  She grows herbs in window boxes just for her girls, and scatters fresh herbs and flowers in their nesting boxes - which of course sport pretty curtains. She orders all her chicks from private breeders, choosing each for their appearance and the color eggs they lay. She is extremely proud of her gorgeous flock and how they look, although she claims to raises them for their fresh eggs.

Typical Breeds in their Flock: Colorful egg layers such as Ameraucanas, Welsummers and Olive Eggers, along with some stunning Lavender Orpingtons or Speckled Sussez

Any roosters? Most likely not since she hosts lots of backyard soirees and doesn't want her guests to be the victims of an unprovoked attack nor her well-planned background music marred by incessant crowing
Chickens in the house rule: No, their coop is nicer than the house anyway
Vet on speed dial: She would if she could find one in the city
Telltale sign: Williams-Sonoma catalog on the counter open to the Agrarian section


The Crazy Chicken Lady Chicken Keeper
We all know a Crazy Chicken Lady Chicken Keeper. She likely started out fairly normal with a small backyard flock, but then one day she was browsing Amazon.com or walking around the local home store and discovered the world of chicken paraphernalia. She now sports a chicken-print apron to collect her eggs, muck boots adorned with chickens, a different chicken tee shirt for each day and of course her kitchen is decked out in everything chicken. She didn't start out this way, but over time, she has evolved into every marketers' dream because if it has a chicken on it - she'll buy it.

Her flock is doted upon, of course, and they too sport all kinds of paraphernalia including saddles, sweaters in the winter, tutus in the summer, and leashes for walks around the neighborhood.  She has all the latest new-fangled waterers and feeders, and can often be found just lounging in the coop with her girls. And she might actually (gasp!) have a house chicken or two sharing her home with her!

Typical Breeds in their Flock: You'll find a mix of breeds as wacky as she is - Silkies, Polish, Naked Necks and Frizzles

Any roosters? Sure, the more the merrier - plus they make collars they that can stop a rooster from crowing and saddles to keep the hens from being injured
Chickens in the house rule: Do you need to ask?
Vet on speed dial: She's on a first name basis and brings her chickens in for regular check-ups
Telltale sign: Chicken-shaped mailbox


I would guess that most of us embody a little bit of each of these various kinds of chicken keepers. Clearly, I do! And I dare say that the chickens that any of us raise are happier and healthier for all of our nutty quirks and foibles. So, let's hear it. What kind of chicken keeper are you?

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