I agree! People who don't own chickens can't figure out the big deal..until they get chickens. There is something about owning and caring for a flock of animals that is different than having a pet...it's a source of pride and their lives hold a certain beauty and peace.
I had never understood why the Bible used references to sheep so often and about the relationship between sheep and shepherd until I got some sheep. Then I finally got it! There is something so interdependent and nurturing between sheep and shepherd that it's hard to explain...a special bond that goes beyond pet bonding and more like the bond of mother and child.
For instance, most dogs will greet most humans with tail wagging and delight, but the sheep only really trust their shepherd and will treat most other people with suspicion. They feel safer when you are there and will look to you for protection from danger. As the verse says, "my sheep know my voice and they follow me"...and it's true! They won't follow anyone but the shepherd and that gives me a feeling of maternal nurturing towards the sheep.
Chickens are a bit like that as well, once you keep a flock awhile and bond with them in a certain way...they will act more calm around you and you alone, they want to be with you wherever you are and not just for food reasons..it's like they seek you out to provide themselves with the comfort and assurance of your presence. You are their safety even if you are not one to coddle, pet or handle your birds~which I am not~they seem to look to you for guidance, much like the sheep.
I agree bee! My flock follows me and when others come out they don't do the same. Just talking in general outside they seem to hear and come right to me. I don't however pick up my chickens or coddle. Not sure why. I will occasionally pet one when it takes some scratch or scraps from my hand.. I guess I don't see them like a cat or anything. I do love watching them in the yard. It's like a giant aquarium almost..