The world's most pampered chickens are living in more style than you ever thought possible.
Nobody loves animals more than we do at Country Life. But for some owners, it seems, love alone is not enough; there must also be extravagant consumerism.
Where there is a desire, of course, some bright spark always pops up with a product. And thus, we present
A word of warning though: Ross Garner of insurers NFU Mutual has cautioned that owners of these sorts of curious need to ensure that they have proper insurance against accidents or theft. “Pet owners are willing to create some weird and wonderful homes and accessories for their animal companions,” he says. “But their pets’ accessories could also be extremely expensive to replace.”
The Versailles of Hen Houses
Openly stating that your inspiration for a designer hen house is the Palace of Versailles is a bold statement. It comes complete with a nesting area, a living room, a broody room and a chandelier. (We have to confess that we never knew chickens craved artificial lighting.) There’s even a video here in which the creator, Svetlana Simon, talks you through the whole thing.
Even more extraordinary than the list of features is the price tag: a staggering £82,000. (In fairness, this price does include 10 chickens. So think of it nearer the £81,800 mark.)
For those of you who despair of such things, or consider then a grotesque nouveau riche demonstrations of money without taste? Well, we’re not saying you’re wrong. But the exact same accusations were levelled at Louis XIV when he turned his father’s old hunting lodge in a small mining village into the greatest palace ever seen in Europe. Maybe that Versailles comparison is apt after all.
The Buckingham Palace cat house
Turrets, ramparts, walkways, peep holes… this extravagant home for the feline in your life might have been named after the Royal Family’s central London residence, but from what we can see it probably has more in common with Windsor Castle.
That said, if you’re dead set on finding a place for your car to live which features several bedrooms, ramps, slides (slides!), ladders and scratching posts, your choices are probably limited – and at a ‘mere’ £1,800, it seems like good value compared to the hen house above. Just make sure you have a big enough kitchen / utility area, since this imposing edifice is nine feet tall, six and a half feet wide and almost four feet deep.
The Caravan Dog House
Dreamt up by Italian design guru Marco Morosini and sold by a Dutch firm for a shade under £1,000, this ceramic doghouse is actually absurdly cute.
And even cuter would be the sight of your child or grandchild hooking it up to the back of their tricycle and taking little Fido for a spin. What could possibly go wrong?
The Baywatch Dog House
The caravan above is just 20 inches deep, so for a larger dog you’ll need a larger house. Time, then, to look at the Baywatch-inspired lifeguard hut dog house. Hand made, hand painted and priced at a whisker under £5,000, it comes complete with tinted windows, shutters, a removable chew toy, and ramp.
What it doesn’t come with is miles of sandy beach and glorious California sunsets; you’ll have to ask yourself where you’re locating this one before taking the plunge.
The Cat Tree House
One for urban dwellers, this, whose cats might go several months without seeing real vegetation. This seven-foot, £1,025 cat tree is made out of oak and cedar and apparently “designed to encourage your kitty’s natural animal instincts”. Which all sounds great until you realise it means training your moggy to climb your silk curtains and leave dead mice underneath the kitchen units.