A visitor to Studley Garden Centre in Warwickshire was upset when asked to leave the store's cafe by the manager because he was accompanied by a pet chicken.
In a letter to the centre owners Hillview Garden Centres, the customer said: "My pet chicken travels everywhere with us and is always carried. As you state you are 'dog friendly', I believed the bantam-sized bird would not present any problems.
"We purchased cake and coffee and sat in an area where I understand barking dogs are a regular feature. Clearly someone had complained and we were approached by your manager who informed us that chickens were not allowed and we would have to leave.
"He was unable to differentiate between a policy that favoured dogs but not chickens, and we were denied the opportunity to finish our drinks and food."
Boyd Douglas-Davies, CEO of Hillview Garden Centres, wrote back to the customer, stating: "The situation that you presented to us is, in my 30 years experience, a first! I can honestly say that we have never considered what we would do if someone walked in to the garden centre with a chicken so you did catch our team a little on the back foot.
"Both I and the store manager are sorry that he appeared a little flustered and abrupt when he came to see you in the cafe. I can only assume that it was the unique situation that unsettled him.
"As you correctly point out it clearly states that we are a dog friendly business. I can’t see how this would automatically extend to all other creatures. Maybe there’s a gap in the market for a cafe that welcomes all (called “Noahs” or “The Ark” maybe) but for the time being that isn’t us and we will remain a dog only establishment.
"Please let me know the value of the goods unconsumed and I will arrange a refund."