You’ve heard of people putting clothes on their dogs, but how about putting diapers on chickens?
It’s not a joke: luxurious, colorful, stylish chicken diapers are here, and they appear to be here to stay.
The stylish cloth diapers, which are affixed around the backside of your favorite fowl, have become increasingly popular as more people have begun keeping chickens in small backyard coops or as pets, The Outline reported.
Back in 2013, NPR reported that the the business Pampered Poultry shipped 50 to 100 diapers a week to farmers and pet owners across the country. The Outline contacted around a dozen chicken-diaper distributors and found their sales estimates ranging from “a dozen per year to nearly ten thousand.”
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The designs run the gamut. Solid colors. Spotted countryside-chic. Rainbow, forest green, quilted or floral. The #chickendiaper tag on Instagram has hundreds of posts.
“The market is enormous and there’s lots of competition,” Traci Torres, of the business My Pet Chicken, told The Outline.
Chickens have become increasingly popular as pets in the last few years. In 2017, the Los Angeles Times predicted they would become just as beloved as family dogs.
“Most of us got our first chicken because we wanted fresh eggs. What is unexpected is that these animals will become family pets. I did not expect that at all. It was a shock to me when I started giving them names so that I could distinguish them,” blogger Kathy Shea Mormino, known to her fans as “The Chicken Chick,” said, according to the Times.
There have been some health concerns — the growing popularity of keeping household chickens may be increasing salmonella cases, reported the CDC — but that hasn’t stopped the growth of the practice. Or the popularity of the diapers.
Although pet owners like their chickens to look fashionable, there is a genuine need for the diapers as well. The birds aren’t potty trained, and if they’re going to be inside-pets, they need to stay clean.
“As you can imagine, dressing your chicken in a diaper is a super easy way to allow the birds into the house without the mess. Chickens can go inside and mingle with family, hop on the couch, lay on your lap, or snuggle up on your head at night. They can be as pet worthy as humans let them be without leaving a trail of droppings,” wrote the website Homestead Spirit.
The diapers can be fitted with disposable liners or treated to be waterproof, meaning the waste can be washed away.
Some people opt to make their own, as Homestead Spirit suggests, but there are plenty of businesses eager to sell as well. The price can vary. The cheaper options average around $17, while others soar as high as $30 or more.
Bemused social media users chimed in on the rise of chicken diapers after they began trending early in August.