We were one of the many families who got pandemic chickens last year. By some miracle, all eight of our baby chicks survived to adulthood, and now we have eight hens running around a pen in our backyard. No roosters, though, we don’t want our neighbors to hate us.
When my husband first built the fence around the pen, he didn’t build it quite high enough, and the chickens escaped multiple times every day. Instead of running free to the large open field behind our property these dumb birds ran towards our house EVERY TIME. So we’d hear them clucking, and my kids would dash outside to round up the offending chicken and toss her back into the pen. It only took a few weeks of this chaos before my husband fixed the fence.
After about 6 months the chickens started laying, and let me tell you, it’s nice to never have to buy eggs at the grocery store. Except… apparently our family doesn’t eat eggs all that often. Even though we only have eight birds, it seems like half of my refrigerator space is taken up by egg cartons. A friend stopped by yesterday afternoon and took four dozen and we still have four more cartons in the fridge. My kids say they’ll open an egg stand on our street and sell the eggs, but it keeps snowing and thwarting their plans (Laramie weather, amiright?)
Besides the constant supply of eggs, the chickens also serve the very important purpose of giving me something to do with the ridiculous amount of food waste my kids generate. Chickens, it turns out, will eat pretty much anything, unlike my children. So if the kids don’t want to eat the crusts off their sandwich? “Feed it to the chickens!” Tried the broccoli but won’t eat the rest? “Feed it to the chickens!” Took too many chicken nuggets and now they’re full? “Put them in the garbage, we’re not creating cannibals!”