The British singer who left the boy band phenomenon that was One Direction to pursue a solo career in 2015 sat down with the Call Her Daddy podcast and opened up about a variety of topics in his life.
Malik touched on his past relationships and also talked about why he exactly left one of the best-selling boy bands of all time.
But one of the things he shared with podcast host Alex Cooper that resonated with listeners was the fact that he is a huge animal lover and has “a lot of animals”—including three cats, three dogs, three turtles, and six chickens.
Zayn's upbeat mood changed, however, when Cooper hit a sensitive spot and asked him if he named any of his chickens.
"No, I haven't" he replied, adding:
"Not this time. I got too attached last time and it made me really sad.”
You can watch the segment from the interview in the TikTok clip here.
Going on a hunch about his melancholia, Cooper asked:
"Did the chickens die?"
To which Zayn solemnly replied:
“Yeah. I took my chicken to the vet to get a scan because something was wrong with her and the vet laughed at me and said people don’t bring chickens here.”
He nervously chuckled at the injustice of being dismissed and delved into when things took a turn for the worse.
“They still charged me for an X-ray and then I took my chicken all the way home and cried and she died in my arms.”
Shocked at hearing the unexpected but heartbreaking anecdote, Cooper awkwardly laughed and immediately explained her reaction.
“It’s kind of funny, not because the chicken died but it’s just funny seeing me take a chicken to the vet I think.”
“She had something wrong with her. We tried to rescue them, they were going to be slaughtered I think but they had all kinds of things wrong with them.”
He capped the conversation with an update.
“I’ve got new chickens now. And they're all healthy and stuff, but I didn't name them for that reason.”
The Call Her Daddy podcast broke the entirety of the interview into ten short segments and posted them on social media.
While any of the clips have yet to be viewed a million times, Malik's chicken anecdote was the only exception that went viral with 20 million views and four million likes.
Social media users were moved by his story about losing a pet and inspired reaction videos–including this clip from TikToker @DanCashio.
The popular influencer took aim at the dismissive vet who broke Malik's heart and he jokingly asked if they were "Fireproof"–a reference to the One Direction hit song–because he was "gonna burn you to the ground."
Comedy team @Durafest2 posted a video in which they recited the dialogue between Cooper and Malik perfectly in sync while playing video games.
RIP 🐔, we’re just happy Zayn is back. #zaynmalikedit #zaynmalikvids #callherdaddy #callherdaddypodcast
Others couldn't stop talking about the chicken story.
It's not surprising how the singer's bond with his hen moved so many people–millions of them, in fact.
Because the way he told the story was just poultry in motion.
Roost in peace, beloved hen.