I never wanted chickens....
For several years my husband wanted chickens. "We should get some chickens," he'd say. And every time, I'd answer, "I'm allergic to chickens."
Well, eventually my daughter -- age 14 at the time -- jumped on the chicken wagon, and the two ganged up on me. That's when I first heard the words, "You won't have to do a thing, Mom! Dad and I will do all the work." That should have been my first clue.
The Pampered Life of Sunny the Chicken -- hatched Sept. 15, 2012
In my quest to help Sunny and her grown-up Aunties become all they can be, I found a wonderful site called backyard chickens online, which hosts a wealth of information from treats chickens love to the ins and outs of predators. I refuse to read further about chicken diapers, however. Yes, people put chicken diapers on their chicken friends.
In all fairness, you need to understand a few things about me. 1. When I was three years old I sat on my mom's lap in the antiseptic white pediatrician's office as the doctor told me to hug my mom. That was just a trick to expose my arms. He gave me six shots in each arm and I didn't cry. But those shots ended up revealing that I was very allergic to two things: House dust and FEATHERS.
My mom and dad, being the excellent parents that they were, soon converted my bedroom (which I shared with my sister) into a dust free room. Gone were the stuffed animals, the fluffy comforters, the throw rugs, the drapes, the toys, the dressers. Everything that had a flat surface had to be placed behind closet doors, and everything within those was in drawers. The only exceptions were the floor, the bunk beds, and the small window sill. My mom dust-mopped the floor DAILY and wiped down the bed frames and the window sill. We each had a home-made white terry-cloth bedspread with orange rickrack, and I was issued a plastic-covered mattress and a plastic-covered pillow. Lori and I each got a washable rubber-filled dog, which we both have to this day. The worst part (besides the pillow -- do you have any idea how loud a plastic pillow is next to your ear?) was that our dog, Daisy -- a doodle before doodles were popular (half poodle and half 'travelin' man,' as my dad used to explain, which wasn't funny until I was much older) -- could not enter the room.
To balance the hand that fate had dealt, my parents converted their utility room to a wonderful playroom, complete with toy boxes and the best multi-level Barbie house ever constructed. But I digress. Back to the FEATHERS: I'm allergic.
2. The second thing you need to know about me is that I'm reasonably organized. Or at least I feel highly compelled to BE organized, even if time doesn't always permit. So, I couldn't really conceive of a keeping chickens without a plan and my involvement. So naturally, since I wasn't going to be involved (at all, having been assured I wouldn't "have to do a thing. . . ."), I assumed the plan-that-wasn't would never actually get liftoff. But it did -- about as much liftoff as a chicken gets when it flies. Or tries to.