DA has been extremely helpful to me in figuring out how to take care of chickens- DA, you'd probably be disappointed in me to know that my girls really have become pets too!!
My husband just shook his head at me when I made them a "hot breakfast" of rice, corn, and oatmeal this morning...
But maybe I'm not such a softie after all...there is NO WAY my dogs would ever be allowed on the furniture. I can't imagine having 50 lbs of furry collie breathing dog breath on me in the middle of the night!!!
ROFL, Egrogan! My husband swears he can't eat anything he's named. So, I quit naming my chickens. They are "the girls" collectively. He's not had a problem since.
As for the dogs......I'm a sucker and I know it. We had 2 Rotties, 1 160 lbs and the other 110 and they had their OWN couch in the house and they slept with us. Yeah.....they were spoiled! We have 3 utterly obnoxious JRTs now, and they are spoiled even worse.
I think NUMBERS may be a defining factor in whether an animal is a pet or livestock. We have just gotten down to 10 horses, of our own, as we're cutting back numbers and starting to get to the 'retirement' point of having fewer horses to care for. I'm down to 1 boarder's horse, I had 40 plus 20 of my own horses at one point. When 1 or 2 people are caring for that many horses, I don't think you can really call them pets anymore, you don't have time to build the kind of relationship you do with 1 on 1 or 2. We had 50 chickens (attrition, going to have to get some more day olds) and while they're funny and sweet and make great eggs, I really don't get attached to them. I finally sorted out the barn cats and got down to 6 fixed males. Before I did that, I had 60 feral cats hanging around and was going through 200 lbs of cat food a month. Through attrition on the barn cats, we're now down to 3. When you have 60 regulars at the Feral Kitty Kafe, you don't get real attached.
I love my horses and have made a living with them, but I'm far too busy caring for all the animals, foaling out the mares, fixing fence and basically trying to keep them from tearing the place down to ever really look at them as pets. Maybe someday, when we're down to 2 or 3 horses, I won't look at them as every horse on the place has a price and if someone made the right offer I'd let them go.