Why do chickens wear pants?

Chickens are some of the most delightful animals to raise. You can raise them for their eggs and meat or just keep them around as pets. Also, they don’t need any fancy food to be happy at all.

When keeping chickens as pets, the idea of adding some human elements to pets must have crossed your mind a little bit. One of those is putting pants on chickens, so why do chickens wear pants?

Why do chickens wear pants?

No, chickens don’t wear pants in nature. But, the idea of putting clothes on animals has been around for quite a while. And there are some fascinating stories around this idea of chickens wearing pants.

the pants-wearing chicken
The pants-wearing chicken


People love playing dress-up, whether they are young or adult, whether you put the clothes on your lovely babies or swapping fancy clothes yourself. We can express ourselves and show love to others by dressing up.

This desire to dress up doesn’t stop at humans. Barbie dolls came out for this exact reason. And when we take a look around, our pets – it can be a chicken – become the target for us to fulfill it.

They may not necessarily like it, but they are like Barbie dolls to us when dressing up. We are fascinated to try out adorable clothes on our pets. Humanizing our pets makes sense since we consider them as family members when we keep them.

With that being said, there are some funny and delightful stories regarding the idea of chickens wearing pants. Here is one of them:

Chickens wearing pants doodles

Imagine that you are in a math class in the 18th century, and you are somewhat bored of what the teacher is teaching. Some of the knowledge slips out of your ears, so what could you do to push away the boredom?

You have a pen and a notebook on the desk, so you decide to doodle something. You would never think that one of your random-idea doodles just so happens to go viral more than 2 centuries later.

That is what happened to 13-year old Richards Beale’s doodles. The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) has shown the world his doodles created when his attention is lacking in his mathematics studies.

Beale’s doodles included lots of images; one of them was a chicken wearing trousers. These doodles were on pages of equations written sometime in 1784.

The viral tweet

A chicken wearing trouser doodle
A chicken wearing trouser doodle


The MERL caused a viral sensation with its tweet of the image of Beale’s book. People generally thought that his hand-writing is nice. His equation was “laid out like a dream” – said Adam Koszary, the MERL’s program manager.

Koszary shared on Twitter Richard’s doodles, including lighthouses, beautiful ships, trees, street scenes, and his family dog, which appeared on his notebook the most, popping up between all the beautiful equations.

But, Koszary didn’t expect to see an 18th-century chicken in some trousers. He then shared a doodle of a mysterious chicken. And this one caught the attention and imagination of thousands of people.

One of the curious readers just so happened to be JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. She said the doodle was truly wonderful.

Koszary suggested that she should make a new series of novels about the adventures of this chicken who wears trousers.

But JK Rowling was “way ahead” of him. She then gave viewers a sneak peek about this adventure, saying that he had made and become a best friend of a duck in a balaclava.

Koszary hoped that through his tweet, more people would come and use them. He found the doodles very charming.

What Richard was doing more than 2 centuries ago is very similar to what modern kids are doing nowadays. The doodle was so relatable, an instant connection was formed.

Internet people doing internet things

It is interesting to see how people react to something on the internet. They may be fascinated by the information, question, and debate about what they see.

In the case of the chicken wearing trousers doodle, there were already some conspiracy theories regarding the chickens. The questions range from being reasonable to borderline funny.

People questioned whether it is a chicken at all, was it really wearing trousers? Why were the trousers solid and resemble Wallace’s trousers in The Wrong Trousers? Was the boy has anything to do with the Hensbroek town in Netherland? Was the boy into heraldry? And the list goes on.

Explanation of the theories

The relation to “Wallace and Gromit” remains unproven. But Guy Baxter, associate director of archive services, explained about the Hensbroek

This Dutch town’s arms used a pun of a name as an inspiration for the design. The name “Hensbroek” literally means “hen’s pants”. So in the 15th century, a mayor used the name to create the town’s canting arms, which consisted of a hen wearing pants.

At the time when Beale was alive, there was the fourth Anglo-Dutch war going on strongly, so the chance of Beale going to the Netherlands was pretty low.

But, he might have known about the canting arms, or it is just a coincidence, we will never know for sure.

Overall, it is enchanting to see this story being shared on the internet. Beale’s silly doodle of a chicken-wearing trousers is so relatable and sparks lots of interesting discoveries to viewers, as well as those who shared the story.


So, why do chickens wear pants? No, they don’t wear pants themselves. You won’t see a chicken rocking a pair of trousers themselves and casually walking around in the wild to show other chickens how fancy it looks.

Animals wearing pants show our desire to dress up ourselves, objects, and pets around us. And chickens wearing pants have created interesting stories for people to follow suit and relate to.