EA seems to be going the "splinter" route, from "one huge expansion pack every six months" to "tiny niche expansions every month." I saw the writing on the wall back when Barnacle Bay was released, and I swore to myself that I wouldn't encourage them by buying these exorbitantly priced mini-expansions from their store. But then I heard there was an actual working chicken coop and I kind of lost my mind, so here we are.
Another interesting new addition
The chicken coop is part of the new "Laid Back Country Living" pack. It is currently on sale for "only" 1,250 SimPoints through April 18th. (Of course you can't just buy 1,250 SimPoints you have to buy 2,000 for $20 and then keep the change. Argh.)
The pack also includes some cute new country clothing for your Sims, including a gingham dress and overalls for the entire family. But obviously the big attraction here is the Fowl and Feathers Chicken Coop, which is not currently available for sale as a standalone item.
Philosophically speaking, the chicken coop is a lot like the beehive that was introduced with the Supernatural expansion pack. Your Sims tend to the coop by feeding it once a day ($5). When you feed the chickens, you get eggs which you can either collect or leave. If you leave the eggs for long enough, they hatch into a small flock of chicks.
You can cook with the eggs, or sell them (either directly from your Sim's inventory or through consignment). Every once in a while you get a rotten egg, and every once in a while you get a special exotic egg which is purple and can be sold for $1,500.
For solitary Sims, the social interactions are a big bonus. Your Sims can play with the chicks (when you have some) which not only boosts Social and Fun, it also gives you a positive moodlet ("Chick Magnet"). Your Sims can also talk to the chickens by asking them silly questions about the meaning of life and such.
And finally, you have Charles the Evil Chicken. (Technically Charles is a rooster but whatever.) Your Sim can argue with Charles, and can even pick a fight. This is pretty entertaining to watch. Charles also crows at 5AM every day, which can give your lot a nice touch of country living. Pair it with some horses, and you've got yourself a real farm!
Image copyright The Sims 3/EA Games