Travel Tips

I like chickens.

In fact, my very first story for Like The Dew was about a proposed ordinance in Roswell that would outlaw keeping chickens within the city limits. I never heard how that turned out, but it was a quite heated dispute.

I have no problem with eating chicken. Southern fried chicken (which means it must be real chicken deep fried in real grease by a real southerner) is in the DNA of anyone raised south of Baltimore. (So are Varsity onion rings but that is a different story.)

Outside the city, chickens are a common sight pecking around the yard, either waiting to lay their eggs or get whacked in order to uphold Southern dietary traditions.

But what if the chickens are purely for eggs, aren’t in danger of meeting a pot of grease, have taken the place of the family dog, and can’t be left alone when you go on vacation?

What do you do if you have chickens in the back yard that are protein-producing pets? With names? You’re not going to leave them at home while you frolic in a tourist-infested resort are you? Sure, you can ask undependable neighbors to gather the eggs. But who will feed your cluckers a balanced meal? Or give them a little treat at night? Or scratch little Fluffy on the stomach?

You simply cannot run the risk of depending on your lousy chicken-hating neighbors to be responsible stewards of your precious poultry.  You’ll do what any responsible chicken lover will do: you’ll take little Fluffy someplace where you know her stomach will be scratched and she and the other precious little things will be safe, pampered and coddled.

Unfortunately, your opinions in the US are the neighbor, a chicken sitter, or to take them with you.

But in England chicken owners can take the brood to a chicken hotel.

Really. You can’t make this stuff up.

Google lists several chicken hotels in the British Isles, but two stand out.

David Robbins, a 31 year-old cabinetmaker in Cornwall, has opened The Chicken Hotel. Mr. Robbins said in an article on Oddity Central “With more people looking to escape the rat race and move out into the country with a bit of land, keeping chickens is becoming more and more popular. But what do you do if you go on holiday? Who looks after the chicken?”

The Chicken Hotel, that’s who.

According to their website, both room and board is provided with, and I quote, “all-you-can-eat buffet style meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner (including drinks.)”

“In the morning, as they exit their penthouse suites, our guests will be greeted by beautiful panoramic vistas of rolling green Cornish countryside.” The penthouse suites have a fenced lawn for pecking and socializing.

You’ll be comforted to know that the whole operation is surrounded by an electric fence to keep the foxes out.

Mr. Robbins collects the eggs and saves them for you.

But, you say, I want more for my chickens! What about scratching Fluffy’s stomach?

Stomach scratching is not on the list of extra services, but you can get your special chicken the full spa treatment. This includes pedicure, nose-job, and wing clipping.

The hotel will also transport your chickens to and from their home. If it’s little Fluffys you want, there is a nursery for eggs that are in a family way.

The Chicken Hotel is located “at the end of a country lane on a small farm in the hamlet of Boskenwyn (near Helston).”

There are two other chicken hotels that caught my eye. One is called “2 Chickens and a House” and the other is … wait for it … “Fowlty Towers.”

Julie Smith, owner of Fowlty Towers, says she provides 5 star accommodations as well as treating her guests to a walk to a local pub.

I provide you this information as a public service. It does, I admit, seem a bit weird, but the fact remains that people who keep chickens think of the birds as pets. Having someplace to take Fluffy while you scurry away on a vacation makes sense.

The litigious chicken keepers in Roswell ought to consider an American version of The Chicken Hotel. You could call it The Fowlmont. Or the Hotel Interchickenental.

Or something like that.


Photo: from the Chicken Hotel's Facebook page (fair use).
Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a professional mentalist and mind reader who presents his unique and unforgettable program to conventions, college and universities, sales meetings, private parties, business and civic clubs and more. He has also appeared at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta and produces, along with Jerry Farber and Joe M. Turner, Atlanta Magic Night at the Red Light Cafe in Midtown. He is a member of the Psychic Entertainers Association, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Georgia Magic Club,Buckhead Rotary Club and Friends of Jim The Wonder Dog. You can learn more at He is the author of three books: "Living The Dream," the story of the first ten years of FedEx; "Superman, Hairspray, and the Greatest Goat On Earth," a collection of mostly true stories;, and "Yes Ma'am, You're Right: The Essential Rules For Living With A Woman."  Mark's day job is as a freelance writer and communications and marketing consultant. Mark has traveled around the world twice but has never been to Burlington, Vermont. He does not eat beets or chicken livers, and he has never read "Gone With The Wind." He is the only person he knows who was once a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists. He is a fifth generation Atlantan,  the father of three, and the grandfather of five. All offspring are demonstrably perfect. He lives in Smyrna with his wife Rebecca (aka The Goddess) and two dogs: Ferguson, an arrogant Scottish terrier; and, Lola, a Siberian husky who is still trying to figure out what the hell she's doing in Cobb County.