I have a weird fixation with pets. I love animals, and it has always been my fantasy to have a menagerie of critters that follow me around and love me. I was probably indoctrinated with this idea by watching Cinderella one too many times as a child. Growing up I had (not all at the same time) fish, hermit crabs, a turtle, crawfish, a salamander, tadpoles, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters and various sick wild animals that I tried to nurse back to health. For example, I put Neosporin and a band-aid on a frog’s hurt foot, mashed up worms to feed a baby bird that fell from its nest, comforted a road-killed wild rabbit as it breathed its last, and made a bed of cut flowers for a sick butterfly to lay on. Of course I was hoping that once they were well they’d love me and sew beautiful ball gowns for me. No wait, that was Cinderella.
Now, in spite of having the best possible pets (my two dogs who love me immensely and would do anything for me including sew me a beautiful ball gown if they could just figure out how to thread a needle), I constantly go through phases when I think it would be a great idea to get another pet. A few years ago we came this close to getting a corn snake, I wanted an aquarium for a while, and just last week there was a two day stretch where I thought it would be awesome to have a canary. These new pet cravings usually pass quickly, and if not I have Daniel to rein me in and make sure we don’t end up on a TV show about animal hoarding. However, I’ve been toying with the idea of keeping chickens for a few years now, and that’s much longer than my usual pet cravings last.
About this time last year Daniel said, “If you still want chickens in one year, we’ll talk about it.” It has been a year, and we did more than talk about it. We went on the Tour D’Coop over the weekend, which is a tour of backyard chicken coops around Raleigh, NC. Visiting a few coops in person made me want my own even more, especially since some of them were surrounded by the most beautiful gardens (probably thanks to the nutrient-rich chicken poo). I think Daniel is even starting to come around on the idea. If we decide to build a coop it won’t be until next spring, but in the mean time I’m going to attend a chicken keeping class to make sure I know what I’m getting myself into.
Do you keep chickens?
One backyard we visited also had honey bees! Add them to my list of pet cravings. How cool would it be to harvest your own honey?
Buzz buzz, aren’t they cute?
Fun Fact: My “Hive” illustration was actually inspired by chicken wire, but I figured “Chicken Wire” wasn’t a very catchy title.