Well, it's finally happened - in the most unexpected of places with the most unexpected of...um, creatures. Truth. Last Sunday Nightowl became entranced and then fell hard for the fluffy, feathered chicken.
Members from our congregation brought a small selection of animals to church last Sunday. All the kids classes got turns mixing it up with the goats, sheep, ducks, chickens etc. At the end of the service I went to pick up Nightowl from her classsroom. She wasn't there. I finally found her on the playground in a quiet space with a sweet Bantam hen nestled in her lap.
She'd been there since her class visit; she remained there throughout the coffee hour and into the beginnings of the second service. During this time her newfound chicken friend spent the entire time nuzzled in her arms sleeping, pooing (amazingly this didn't faze Nightowl at all), and finally laying an egg (this was quite amazing).
She was reluctant to part with the hen but we did finally make it home. Now we talk chickens, chickens, chickens morning till night. Nightowl wants chickens and (luckily??) our city code allows urban chicken farming - up to five hens on a city lot.
So we are now researching chickens, coops, chicks, safety, feeding, 4H and etc. Plus we've had a family talk about caring for animals and responsibility. Add this to our complete dedication in supporting our eldest - whatever direction her interests take - and you get the fact that we are considering chickens. We've decided that if Nightowl can show us that she can take some responsibility for the pets we currently have (two dogs and three cats) then maybe when she is 8 or 9 we'll consider getting a coop that will be her primary responsibility.
She's gung ho. She's taken over the cat care. She doing a daily cat box cleaning and is responsible for feeding and watering . So far she is quite cheery about it. This is good for me too as I am glad to shift that responsibility. So, we'll see if the romance lasts beyond the next few days or weeks. But for now she's pretty content with her dreams of future chickens. I keep overhearing the comments she makes to herself: "Won't it be great to have fresh eggs?" "Maybe the coop could go here." "In the winter I'll have to dig a path to the coop so that I can make sure my chickens get enough love and attention."
Ain't love grand?
The City Chicken
The Path to Freedom
The Banty Chicken