Summer, sun and cackling chickens. Visualizing this image requires a little imagination, and look: there is a feeling of happiness – at least for most people.
Elderly villagers have known this idyllic picture since childhood – many of them have disappeared over the decades: But for many years, and especially recently, it is impossible to believe your eyes and ears, even the neat bourgeois residential neighborhoods that you can hear and see them giggle and they scratch. Breeding chickens in fashion? Due to the crown pandemic? Or maybe a longing for idyll and home?
Overall, keeping pets as a hobby seems to be on the rise. In the villages you can meet not only chickens, but also sheep, goats, pigs and other animals can be found in gardens and often on the outskirts of villages – kept mainly for recreational purposes.
What constitutes a new enthusiasm for animal husbandry?
In the Netzhammer family from Erzingen, the wonderful Emil strolls through the overgrown, fenced-off part of a large garden, always accompanied by his harem. But one of the ladies is missing, she takes care of seven chicks in the barn, the little ones are only a week old, and they are already making a lot of noise.
The 12-year-old daughter of the Jule family knows a lot about chickens and is happy to provide the information: “We have chickens because of the eggs. We can collect up to five each day. And what’s great too, they eat whatever kitchen scraps come out. However, you have to be careful, the fox once tried to kidnap a chicken in broad daylight, but the brave Emil chased him away, but he lost his tail feathers in the process.
The Netzhammers focus on eating healthily with organic food. “Organic eggs from healthy, organic chickens that are kept in a species-appropriate way are important to us,” says Jules’s mother, Nicole Netzhammer. For them, it is less of an idyll, because keeping chickens involves work and responsibility.
Chickens are almost like pets
Nine-year-old Jolanda Streule, Jules’s cousin from Gurtweil, would also like to present her chickens. “We have six beautiful Orpington chickens, they are very tame and can also be teased,” he says cheerfully. Her mother Susanne Streule adds: “Our chickens are almost pets, they have good character and the children are enthusiastic.”
That the family decided to buy chickens was clearly due to Corona – suddenly more time and rest at home. “We have Corona chickens,” he explains bluntly. Anyway, her husband always wanted chickens so the time was really good.
Hobby pet owners need to take this into account
Animals make you feel at home
It is different with Patrickrutschmann from Geißlingen. For him, animals mean home. “I grew up with animals, cows, pigs and even ponies.
The 41-year-old is thoroughly Geisslinger, works for the local Mack company, plays at the local music club and is very close to his home village. Some time ago, he fulfilled his desire to live with animals.
“The crown played no role for me,” he says, opting for the Quessant Sheep, a Breton pygmy sheep. “It should be a small breed that doesn’t take up that much space,” he says. The Ram Johnny, two sheep, baptized Lucy and Maggie by their three-and-a-half-year-old son Clemens, took off.
Meanwhile, a second dollar was added which quickly provided two small bucks. As if that were not enough, there were two goats as a birthday present. But there should be no more animals in therutschmanns. “Now I’m going to build a fixed bridle with a movable shelter, then everything is perfect for us,” says Patrick TRUCKMANN with satisfaction and happiness.
While individual motives for keeping pets as a hobby may be, one thing seems to unite all pet owners: it is joy and love for pets.