Many of us are animal lovers and enjoy showering our pets with attention. But there are some folks who pamper their pets beyond limit.
Janet Payne starts her days off in the kitchen-- whipping up a healthy, and nutritious breakfast for her girls.
"I would normally buy a whole cantaloupe, but this was just easier. We might give them that whole tomato this morning since they have company," says Payne.
She has six girls: Henrietta, Gabby, Rosy, Patsy, Loretta and Lilly, and they're all red heads. "They are very spoiled, very rotten, very doted-over," she admits.
On the menu is a mixed green salad with an assortment of fresh fruit and veggies.
"They like bananas. They love grapes, but those get a little expensive," says Payne. "Normally, chickens love watermelons, but mine turn their little beaks up at it."
And there is definitely no smelly chicken coop for Payne's girls -- they live in chicken luxury, with insulated walls for extra protection. Her devoted husband built their humble abode, even though Payne says "he thinks they are an expensive habit."
Home improvements are always in the works. Payne says that playing classical music or adding a ceiling fan would help her chickens to relax, and in turn they will lay more eggs.
Nothing is too good for her girls. "Most people do not go to any of this extent, but I say if I am going to have them, I am going to treat them like royalty," Payne explains.
And a happy chicken produces the freshest eggs.
Henrietta has won her "mother's" heart. For months, Henrietta stayed inside while Payne nursed her back to health, but she had to wear her chicken diaper around the house -- an accessory that Payne says all chickens should have.
She's mastered the art of putting on the chicken diaper, and she's even figured out a few tricks. "If you put a coffee filter in, it makes cleaning up a breeze," she says.
Clearly, she loves animals and especially her chickens.
"The only animal I am not able to bring home and rescue is a snake," she says. "No snakes in the house."
That's obviously not the case at Nancy Frahlman's home.
Her 10-foot-long boa constrictor is Samantha, and she likes to watch snake shows or anything on National Geographic.
"When we are watching TV at night, she may lay like this for a couple hours," says Frahlman.
But Samantha doesn't get to share the bed like Cosmo, an Argentine tegu that loves to cuddle. "He slept with me in the cold, and early in the morning he came and cuddled with me under my chin," Frahlman says.
But he wont be cuddling in bed again anytime soon. He bit her arm while they were playing.
"He likes affection and he shows it, but I've got to remember that he's still a wild animal and they will bite," she adds.
For both women, their "pets" provide them a great deal of affection.
"You just fall in love with them; they are just so easy to take care of," says Payne.
"I'm not into knitting or crocheting," echoes Frahlman. "I have to have something more exciting."
Even though they aren't traditional pets, they are still treated like royalty.
Payne even says that when her girls quit laying eggs, she's thinking about having her husband build a chicken retirement house, and then she can get a new flock of hens. As for Nancy, she plans on getting rid of a few of her babies, but Cosmo and Samantha will stay.
Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.
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