I knew about chickens; that they are, like most birds, pretty productive of manure and they don't mind where they leave it. So why did I jump in and volunteer to adopt four hens when one of my daughters had too many? I'm still figuring that out. It hasn't been difficult to manage. I quickly made plans for a 'chicken tractor' thanks to comments from another daughter on our family chat. Within three days of the chickens coming home to roost I made them a tidy little home on wheels that I can roll around the yard so that the distribution of fertilizer is equalized. We've gathered about 7 eggs, and observed with regret when one egg was destroyed by the chickens. Chickens are fun to watch, at least as much fun as fish, and when clean and dry they are rather handsome.
So I guess that in the long run I would have to say that although chickens can hardly be considered pets, because of the manure factor, they are handsome, fun to watch and now and then you get a very fresh egg.