I finally gave in. I’m getting chickens. My husband has been wanting some for awhile now. Having never been around chickens, he does not understand about the chicken poop <sigh>. But he will soon find out.
I was not raised on a farm but I did spend the majority of my summers growing up on one. My grandparents were farm kids and when they retired they went back to their roots and moved out to the country and got their own farm. My father was also raised on a farm, though I don’t remember much of his father’s farm, so my experience is from my mother’s parents. And like me, my mom wasn’t raised on a farm, but spent a good deal on one because of her grandparents and when she first married my father. She helped my father train horses. But I digress. My hubby wants chickens. and while I like chickens and know they can be an entertaining and friendly lot, I also remember the poop. It was everywhere. You did not walk into the coop without traipsing through it. Often times you step in it the run as well. But since we live in the city, and can only have a small flock…How bad can it be? I know, I know… famous last words!
But alas I gave in, because I am a sucker for animals. And lets face it, in an urban setting with very few chickens, they are totally pets! Of course, I had to reiterate this to my mother several times. She was looking forward to ringing their necks when they were too old to lay eggs, but a simple reminder that the meat would be tough when they were too old to lay seemed to be enough. Then I reminded her how horrible plucking chickens is. Oh it’s a nasty job! If you’ve never done it, let me just assure you, you are not missing anything. Oh and yes they do run around when their heads are cut off. So the saying “running around like a chicken with your head cut off,” is a saying for a reason. After that my mom put in her request for what chicken breed she preferred, and got on board with the whole “pet” idea. LOL. She and my Dad are looking forward to fresh eggs. In return she is providing me fresh produce from her garden. Another thing she learned from her parents. Even when they lived in the city, they always had a huge vegetable garden.
So back to the pet chickens… My conditions were, 1)I’m not the only one cleaning out the coop and run. 2) The coop and the run have to be easily accessible for cleaning. 3) And the chickens will have supervised free range time in the back yard each day. My husband agreed, so we are building a chicken coop in the backyard. With any luck we will be able to get the chickens sometime next month and by next spring I should have fresh eggs. Of course I dob’t eat eggs, but that is entirely beside the point. I will certainly cook with them and I will enjoy the chicken’s antics. I remember them being very personable creatures. I figure with my mother’s memory of chickens as well as my own, we ought to be able to teach my husband a thing or two. My dad, sadly, is not much help. He’s the horse and cattle expert, and I don’t think the city will allow me to keep horses or cattle in my back yard…