I keep thinking about the term chicken keeping. I’ve seen it and heard it over and over again. Our local pro-chicken movement is called CLUCK – Citizens Lobbying for Urban Chicken Keeping. There’s a website, www.chickenkeeping.com. It’s a common term for having chickens. You keep them, as if it’s that easy like how we keep photos and sweaters. The term chicken keeping doesn’t imply how truly difficult a task this actually is. Keeping chickens happy is easy, but simply keeping them is not. This was the scene we woke up to this morning:Oreo was snatched by a hawk because for about an hour we forgot about her in the yard. We thought it was only by our error that she was taken. We were obviously wrong. We had also thought that if we put a lock on the door so tricky and tight that Cooper and I both struggled with it, a raccoon or possum would never get into it. We were wrong again. We never even considered this form of attack, and now I don’t know what to do.
Even Sammi had won me over…and I’ll admit it, there was a point where I wanted to trade her for another chick. But we didn’t, and then she started flying up to sit with me in my patio chair. It was way too cute to not warm up to her. And Snookie was a lovey from the beginning. She was so mild that I could pet her, and she’d just stand there. So what now? Do I risk more heartbreak in the name of free-range organic eggs, or do I just take a hammer and bust that coop to the ground? I’m torn.
I’m not a farmer with hundreds of chickens running around. These are pets we’re losing. I just had to call Cooper and tell him the news before he saw it on Facebook via my Lettuce Share feed. On the other hand, there’s a lot of fun and happiness that comes with keeping chickens.
But our options are limited as far as where we can physically keep them – it is urban chicken keeping we’re talking about here. They start to smell in the house. They fly around and land on your furniture. It’s not really an option to keep two chickens in our house for extended periods of time.
Although the guy around the corner lets his chicken sleep in his house. At the end of each day, Noodle hops up onto the handlebars of his bike and goes to bed. He lays newspaper underneath the bike to catch her poop. But let me add this, that guy is single. Right.
A chicken or chickens simply don’t fit into the dynamic of our family when we’re under our roof, but we do love to have them otherwise. So what to do now; take a chance; build a steel coop? I just don’t know this time around. All I know is that just like Oreo, we’ll all be missing Sammi and Snookie. This was their last night with us…they took my seat. And one more thing…as I was feeling sad outside, two rain lilies caught my eye – one open, one about to open. Rain lilies bloom in the beginning of summer after a rain storm. It’s the end of summer, and we haven’t had so much as a sprinkle. I’m taking it as an apology/memorial for our girls courtesy of Mother Nature.