You heard me.
I totally want a chicken.
I blame Dr. Crosby over at AboutVetMed for putting the idea in my head in the first place- I had said something to the effect of, “I don’t do birds,” and she said, “But what about chickens?” and I had to admit I had never really given the idea much thought because as she correctly surmised, by “birds” I meant “parrots and cockatiels.”
I grew up in semi-rural Massachusetts, with farms and dairies within walking distance. My cousins had geese who terrorized me, yet I was so fascinated by them I continued to risk life and limb to visit them every chance I could get. I spent the latter 25 years in suburban Southern California, with a brief 4 year foray up into the farmland of Northern California for vet school. No one I knew had livestock, and I have to admit it wasn’t particularly high on my priority list these last couple of decades.
But now that I’m old (cough cough) and wise, having spent enough time on feedlots during vet school to be horrified at industrial food production before Omnivore’s Dilemma became a bestseller, I am trying really, really hard to get back to basics a little more. We have a small planting box with tomatoes, lettuce and carrots. I think about where my food comes from now.
I try to make it to the Farmer’s Market as often as I can, and this last week one of the sellers had fresh eggs. I’m pretty sure it’s been years since I had one. Oh. my. god. I must have a chicken, I decided.
I told my kids I want to get a chicken and they laughed at me, which was about the same response my husband had. I don’t know why it’s such an odd thought- yes, we’re in a suburban development but I HEAR ROOSTERS every morning. Someone around here has one. I can see the remnants of an old chicken farm from my frontyard. We have the space for a small coop. As long as the chicken remains in the yard, its greatest enemy would be Brody.
My husband said “Absolutely not,” which was what he also said to getting another dog. I chalk it up to fear of the unknown, being a tried and true city boy. I’m not talking a llama or a camel here. It’s a little teeny chicken. How much work can it be?
Help me out here. Who has chickens? Tell me they are delightful and easy to raise and would be a fantastic learning experience for two young children who are growing up in a world of centralized food production. They NEED this experience.