I was the one who wanted chickens. I'd had them years before as a hippy chick living in the country and I wanted them again. They are easy and they give you eggs - what's not to want? SP went along eventually. He never had a dog and I had Hoagy but then he had two kids and mine were grown so seemed fair in that demented way we might weigh and balance things in a relationship. (Or perhaps it is only me that does that?)
The chickens were a marvel to him though and in his quiet way I saw how he responded to them in a positive way. He was a bit blue the summer that we got them - we were having $ problems and he'd had a couple of difficult projects so... They amused him and lifted his spirits. He began to take over their care bit by bit. I still did stuff but I do lots of things and well, he's up in the morning earlier so he started making sure they had their water and feed.