Chicken catwalk

Morning lunatics, here’s yesterday’s Sunday Times column. About nappies for chickens, I shit you not. 



You reach a certain point when you think you’ve finally got a handle on it all. It comes with some bumps and scrapes of course, but over the years you figure out what goes where, who does what, and why things happen. And then you read about people who make nappies for chickens and it all goes out the window. You realise you were mistaken, you actually know nothing about the world and it’s inhabitants. At all.

I don’t know how I found I don’t even know how the people at found I keep Googling it again to make sure I didn’t drop acid, or dream about it. But there it is in full, 100%-serious colour, a website where humans sell nappies for chickens.

We prove over and over again that we aren’t to be trusted at the top of the food chain. We have dogs, cats and goldfish as our mainstream pets – furry things, waggy things, judgmental things and swimmy things, which you think would offer enough variety.



Then there is a handful of what I like to think of as second-tier pets, unnecessary but acceptable. These are your parrots, silkworms, hamsters, other fish, llamas, guinea pigs, and rabbits. And then we move to our third tier of pets; snakes, spiders, rats, piranhas, iguanas and ferrets. These are not acceptable but have somehow slipped in under the radar. There is no need for more is there?

When we hit tier four we’re looking at things like baby alligators (which get flushed down the loo when they grow too big) and Gremlins. I’ve seen the first movie, which didn’t go so well. I can’t vouch for what happens in any sequels, but I suspect it leaves a mess.

The Frequently Asked Questions on runs to four pages. To my mind there are only two questions that need to regularly be asked here;

Frequently Asked Question Number One: Should I put a nappy on my chicken?

Answer: No.

Frequently Asked Question Number Two: If my chicken lives in my house, how do I stop it pooping on the couch if it isn’t wearing a nappy?

Answer: Easy. Your chicken should not live in your house ever, under any circumstances. There, crap couch problem solved.

It’s as simple as that. I see no reason this conversation should take up any kind of space in the world when there are much more pressing questions to be answered frequently, like when is the next season of Real Housewives of New York airing? Does Zuma think we’re all complete idiots? And is there a God



The site hosts a photo gallery. Picture a chicken wearing a pair of dungarees, which come in a billion designs, from stars and stripes to Spongebob Squarepants. There’s also a twelve-page illustrated guide on fitting a nappy on your chicken. It keeps sounding like a euphemism to me, like how to spank your monkey, but it’s not, it’s legitimately a twelve-page document on how to fit diapers on chickens.

They claim that ‘these custom reusable garments (which are made from either a synthetic knit or a swimsuit fabric) will allow your bird to have freedom of movement in your home without the mess.’ And if your hen needs to lay an egg, no worries, ‘the diaper pouch is big enough to contain poop and eggs. But please remember, the bird has to carry the diaper and it’s contents, and carrying an egg off her backside may not be the most comfortable thing for your hen.’

Just because the word ‘chicken’ sounds like the word ‘kitchen’, doesn’t mean the one should be allowed to potter around in the other at length. Unless it’s dressed in lemon and herbs or peri-peri. If the universe wanted chickens to be toilet trained, or wear clothes, nature would have given them opposable thumbs and the ability to sew.

I should have stopped clicking there, but like today’s pet owners, I couldn’t stop myself. I discovered this bit of marketing magic elsewhere on the site: ‘Are your hens going bald? Or maybe you just want to dress up your chickens or turkeys, for fun, show, or ID. Then these designer saddles are for you!!!!!’

Saddles for turkeys? The only saddle I want on my poultry is made of gravy and thyme. And isn’t a saddle for riding? Now in my mind all I can see is the smallest jockey in the world riding a turkey, and I can’t help but picture him wearing a nappy.



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