Cat? Dog? Nah, think I’ll go for the two chickens with ridiculously funky haircuts thanks very much.
I’m assuming that’s what this toddler said when her family sat down for the all important ‘what pet do we get’ talk. It’s an important part of family life.
Chickens might not be your typical pet, given their sharp talons and beaks, as well as their usual association with farms and generally not being a household animal, but there are always exceptions.
Like these two, who seem happy as Larry chilling on the sofa with their toddler best friend.
Check it out:
According to my extensive research (yes I did just Google ‘chickens with funky hair’), these guys are a breed called Polish chickens who, as their hair suggests, are fun, quirky and very friendly.
According to The Happy Chicken Coop:
The majority of folks buy Polish for their backyard flock as something ‘different’. They are a bird sure to make you smile when you see them! They are good to raise with small kids in mind because of their gentle nature and children seem to be unable to resist holding and cuddling them – all of which the Polish hen will tolerate very well.
This breed bears confinement very well and due to its inquisitive nature and impeded eyesight, it’s probably best kept penned for safety. It will certainly need dry quarters for the winter months. The head feathering can be a big issue once they get wet and then freeze.
The Polish is not well known for its egg laying ability these days, but they do lay a good number of eggs in general, around 200 eggs/year.
Ever found yourself wandering about the house talking to your pets, then stopping and thinking you’re crazy for doing so?
Well don’t, as apparently talking to pets is actually a sign of intelligence. So is talking to things like cars and plants, but let’s stick to pets for now.
The term for this behaviour is anthropomorphism, which essentially means assigning human characteristics and names to non-humans, including animals and objects.
Nicholas Epley, behavioural science professor at the University of Chicago, told Quartz:
Historically, anthropomorphising has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet.
No other species has this tendency.
An example of this would be calling a record player ‘stubborn’ if it doesn’t work properly and so on.
If you do this, it means your brain is programmed to see and perceive minds.
For centuries, our willingness to recognise minds in non-humans has been seen as a kind of stupidity, a childlike tendency toward anthropomorphism and superstition that educated and clear-thinking adults have outgrown.
I think this view is both mistaken and unfortunate.
Recognising the mind of another human being involves the same psychological processes as recognising a mind in other animals, a god, or even a gadget.
It is a reflection of our brain’s greatest ability rather than a sign of our stupidity.
As if you needed another excuse to talk to your pets!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.