My 4 year old son has Aspergers, and let’s just say that despite our best efforts his social calendar mainly involves his siblings so far. His sometimes incessant ramblings about math, Minecraft, and National Geographic combined with a tendency to tantrum if “the rules” are not followed leave his preschool peers alarmed, confused, annoyed or a combination of all three.
Despite my certainty that Adam is destined for greatness someday, I do sometimes worry that he will be lonely, which is why his enthusiasm for our pet chickens came as a delightful surprise. But what has been even better is our chickens’ enthusiasm for Adam. Continue reading
The kids had done their research, so as we headed out to get our long-awaited chicks from SeaBreeze Hens there was some bickering about whether Black Australorps or Americuana chicks would be the best, based on the virtues of “being too big for a hawk to eat it” versus “laying blue and green eggs.” We picked up a sack of chicken nuggets to commemorate the occasion (and to prevent hanger) and arrived just in time to feed some baby goats. Did I mention my kids love Seabreeze Hens? Continue reading
As many of you know by now, I’m not one to sit idly on the sidelines, no matter how displaced I may feel (or actually be). And we all know there’s no better way to get over missing city life than by totally distracting yourself with a chicken coop and half a dozen baby chicks.
I mean, I have carefully evaluated many options for our pet-desperate children, and have come to the determination that chickens are the lowest maintenance/ highest return pet we can handle right now.
For those of you back in NYC who think I’ve totally lost it, let me remind you that we already have a bajillion other birds in our backyard – birds that are busy mucking up our property, making nests all over the place, not being pets to my kids, not laying eggs we can actually eat and not looking particularly pretty. Seriously, have you seen a Muscovy Duck? So I figured, what the heck? Not only can I come up with about one hundred educational components to this homeschooling adventure, but I’m also getting some serious perks pre-chicken.
See, my kids agreed to earn the money to pay for the chickens if we allowed them to have them, and three months later they’re still working hard to earn every last penny. Vacuuming the car out? 50 cents. Dragging the garbage cans back from the curb? 25 cents per can. 50 cents to empty the dishwasher, 25 to put away their laundry. A penny per toy put away – they fight over cleaning up duplos now! And an entire $1 if they sleep through the night without waking us up (a dollar might seem steep, but let me tell you that it is worth every penny). They are happily doing chores, learning about counting and saving money, and happily doing chores! I already love these chickens!
Naturally, being the amazing, slightly OCD homeschooling mother that I am, I immediately started reading up on chickens, chicken coops, and animals that eat chickens and probably live in my backyard. So if you are now considering getting chickens of your own, here’s what I can share so far: Continue reading