Should I gift someone a Chicken?

Should I gift someone a Chicken?

Should I give someone a chicken?

Should you give chickens to someone you love this Christmas? People give puppies and kittens as gifts regularly, so why not chickens? Chooks are definitely a gift that keeps on giving. They are fun, have heaps of personality and can make great pets. And if you give someone a chicken, you are also giving them a year-round supply of eggs and organic fertiliser. That’s a pretty generous gift!

But giving pets of any sort asks a big commitment of the receiver. And the RSPCA is always full of unwanted animals in February and March, as people give away Christmas gifts they can’t or don’t want to take care of.

So if you are thinking about giving chickens to a loved one for Christmas, a birthday or just because, take our short quiz to make sure that your generous gift won’t cause problems down the track.

QUIZ: Should you give chickens as a gift?

1. Do you live with the person you are giving chickens to?

Yes: 100 points

No: 0 points

2. Does the person you are giving chickens to live with someone (a partner or parent) who is supportive of your gift idea?

Yes: 100 points

No: 0 points

3. Are chickens legal in the area where the person lives?

Yes: 10 points

I don’t know: not all councils allow backyard chickens, so find out.

No: minus 100 points

4. Has your potential chicken keeper talked about getting chickens?

Yes: 20 points

No: 0 points

5. Have they mentioned a reason why they haven’t gotten chickens yet?

Yes: minus 10 points – listen to them!

No: 10 points

6. Have they admired your chickens?

Of course! 5 points

No: 0 points

7. Do they have enough space for chickens?

They’re on acreage: 10 points

They’re on a large block: 5 points

They have a small backyard: 0 points

8. Is their yard securely fenced?

Yes: 10 points

It doesn’t matter because they are on acreage: 10 points

No: minus 10 points

9. How much do they love their garden?

The garden's perfect. And they're at war with the bush-turkeys: minus 10 points

They like their garden but it isn’t perfect: 0 points

Actually, maybe I should get them a landscaper instead: 10 points

10. Do they have other pets they have to find care for when taking a holiday?

Yes: 10 points

They take their pets on holidays with them: 0 points

No: 0 points

11. Do they have a holiday planned in the near future?

They are always going somewhere: minus 30 points

Yes, but they have a pet sitter lined up: 0 points

No, they never go anywhere: 20 points

12. Are they passionate about home-grown food or knowing where their food comes from?

Yes: 10 points

No: 0 points

13. Do they have a chicken coop?

Yes: 20 points

No, but I am giving them one: 10 points (plus lots of points to you!)

No but there's a shed/cubby/doghouse that they have the skills to repurpose: 5 points

No: minus 20 points

14. Do they have dogs or other pets that pose a threat to the chickens?

Yes: minus 40 points

No: 0 points

Scores

Below zero
Rethink giving chickens to this person.

Zero to 80
Chickens might not be the right gift for this person, this year. Yes, chooks might fit into their lifestyle or be something they’d love, but maybe your loved one just isn’t ready yet or now isn’t the right time for a(nother) pet. If you are truly convinced that chickens are the right gift, consider giving a gift voucher for chickens or even an order of chickens to be delivered on a set date, so they can get prepared.

80 to 150
It sounds like chickens may be a well-thought-out gift for this person. They can easily provide a home for the birds, and they will fit into their lifestyle. There are unlikely to be any RSPCA drop-offs here. Just make sure you don’t accidentally get too many roosters!

155 plus
This person is so ready for chickens!

NB: This quiz is intended to encourage readers to think about the potential obstacles to giving chickens as a gift. It is not conclusive nor advisory in nature. It is not intended for use as a decision-making tool. Dine a Chook takes no responsibility for use of the quiz or its results.

Other gift ideas for a potential chicken keeper

'Great, so you’ve ruined my Christmas present idea. What now?'

If you're having second thoughts about giving chickens to your loved one, what about a feeder and drinker set?

  • Give them a gift voucher

A gift voucher is a great way to give chickens. You could get one from your local produce store, or a chicken breeder. True, it’s nowhere near as exciting as opening a box of hens or hearing the adorable peeping of day old chicks. But for adults, this may be the perfect way to give chickens without the stress of a surprise delivery.

  • Give them an order of chickens

An order with a delivery date is the perfect way to give chickens and put the pressure on one of your less-motivated loved ones. They have to have the coop and yard ready if they know when their new feathered family is being delivered!

  • Give a chicken to someone else

Charities like Oxfam, Child Fund, Compassion, World Vision and others give you the opportunity to donate a chicken to a family in the developing world. That means to a year-round, naturally multiplying, source of eggs and fertilizer for someone that really needs it. The birds can be donated in a loved one's name as a gift, and you usually get a card with an explanation of what the gift means. If it isn't the right time for your loved one, maybe they would like to know that someone else gets chickens and that they really appreciate them.

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Should you give a chicken as a gift?