|Sarcastic excited face to hide his real excited face.|
Well, it finally happened. Russell got his chickens. We went to the store, they put all these fuzzy baby chicks in a little cardboard to go box, and for less than the price of a KFC dinner, we now have 5 baby chickens.
The kids are absolutely thrilled. They were the ones who conspired with their Dad to make this happen. For weeks they would come up out of Russell's office and tell me random chicken facts. Russell was constantly listening to chicken podcasts while working and doing the dishes (which are also constant). Leaving pictures of chickens and coops open on his laptop. Sketching brooder box plans and making lists of chicken needs. All the while telling me we didn't really need to do it and he was just learning all this stuff for fun. :) Yes, he knows how to work it.
I was never completely opposed to the idea - it's just never been something that I've thought sounded fun. There's poop involved. I try to minimize the poop in my life in any way possible. Luckily Russell is good with all that (kids, and pets both) so it makes this additional smelly burden not too awful. Honestly though, at this point they don't smell bad. Now that they're here I can see that they are cute and fun. I look at them fondly from an arm's distance. Now I just have to figure out how to sort out the pang of guilt that I feel any time we eat chicken for dinner. Which brings me to qualm #2. I try not to think about where meat comes from. I've tried being vegetarian in the past, but it makes me feel crappy, and I need the protein. So I've dealt with the sadness I feel for the little animals by trying to pretend I naively have no idea where meat comes from. (Answer: the grocery store of course!) Having little chickens as pets will now bring that dilemma unbidden to the forefront of my mind again and again. Russell reminds me that at least these chickens will have a good life. Yeah. Okay. I'm dealing with it.
Russell built their brooder box. Set up a webcam. Installed all the heating lamps. Adjusted the heating lamps. Readjusted the heating lamps. Set up a remote temperature monitor. Food, water, pine shavings, on and on and on. He loves it. I love that he loves it. I love things too, other things. But it's great that he gets to do something fun, creative, and new that he loves so much.
The next hurdle? Building a coop. God grant me strength. Literally. I really want to build it and I need the strength and energy to do it. It's the one part of this whole thing that sounds like a lot of fun. (That and one day watching Tess carry around a chicken that's almost as big as she is). I'll let you know how it goes!