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I'm having another one of my great ideas (said very tongue in cheek.) I am daydreaming of another pet - even more since my parents went on a cruise and came home with pictures of themselves holding a sloth, but no sloth for me. It's not the right time for another dog. I'm allergic to cats. I don't love birds... I have always wished for a sugar glider, but they are really high maintenance. 

In my city they allow chickens. They just have to inspect your coop before you get them. I could have up to 10. No roosters. And I think Silkies are just the cutest little chickens ever. Not 10. Maybe 3? It could be a fun little project, right? I don't care about the eggs so much, they would just be my little outdoor pets. 

It would break my heart if the girls had the chickens for lunch. They've never been around poultry. But I know Maggie is a cat chaser. And she's a squirrel chaser extraordinaire. But maybe if I introduced them to the chickens when they were really little they would understand that they're part of the family too. 

Anyone have any experience with this? Want to tell me I'm insane? Probably I should just forget it, because I can already see myself saying, "it seemed like a good idea at the time." But I thought I would see if anyone has a doodle with a chicken friend.

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No, I'm not big on all those FB pictures and videos of animals I don't personally know, lol. Unless they're related to Jasper. I watched one of his cousins take 2nd place at the Masters Agility Championships at Westminster today. 

Even if I didn't think chickens were stinky and icky, this makes having a dog seem like no work or trouble at all, by comparison. And this is just a little part of it. You have to hire someone to come take care of the chickens if you're on vacation. There are no chicken boarding facilities.
https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/adopting-and-caring-backyar...

Chicken care essentials

Once hens have been adopted, proper care and housing are vital. In addition to regular daily attention, feed and clean water, and securing them in their shelter at night, the following care principles are also essential.

  • Chickens are heat- and cold-sensitive 
    Like dogs and cats, chickens must have shelter to protect them from temperature extremes. Hens and roosters with large single combs are prone to frostbite in cooler climates, and all chickens need shade during periods of heat. It is important that the shelter is both insulated and well-ventilated. Straw bedding will add comfort and warmth to a shelter's floor space, but it should be replaced regularly with new, clean straw.
  • Predator protection is vital 
    Chickens need absolutely secure shelter at night or they can easily fall prey to urban wildlife like raccoons and opossums. Dogs may also attack chickens. They must be completely enclosed in a safe henhouse, with four solid walls and a sturdy roof, every night. Predators can also dig under fences and walls, so this should be considered when planning the chickens' home. During the day, chickens should be kept in a fully-fenced enclosure or yard with proper protection from aerial day-time predators, neighborhood dogs and, in the case of small bantam hens, free-roaming cats.
  • Hens need an appropriate environment 
    Hens need an enclosed nesting space (a "nestbox") in which to lay their eggs. They also need an elevated roost on which to perch at night; this is where they prefer to sleep. Hens enjoy loose substrate such as dirt, sand, or peat for dustbathing, and they should also have free access to grass and other vegetation to engage in natural pecking, scratching, and foraging behaviors. Often-used areas may become denuded, and it is important to provide plenty of space, giving them as much room as possible to express natural behavior outdoors. Hen houses, coops, and runs must be kept very clean at all times, for the health of the chickens and the food safety of the eggs.
  • Chickens will require veterinary care 
    While it may be tempting to think of a backyard flock as a source of inexpensive eggs, hens, like cats and dogs, require periodic veterinary care. Chickens can become ill or get injured, and vet exams and treatment can easily cost over $100 per visit. These expenses should be carefully considered before the decision is made to keep backyard chickens. Not all avian veterinarians are experienced with chickens, so be sure to locate a trusted poultry vet in your area ahead of time.

This conversation has been highly entertaining!    Thanks for the laughs ladies!

Kinda like the old days, Carol. :)

Yup!

Yes!    

Thanks to my DIL's whippets and my son's poodle, these guys are no longer members of the family.......

What an adorable little girl. And the chicken and duck were pretty cute too, RIP. That's the thing. I'm no vegetarian, but the thought of the dogs murdering them bothers me. It doesn't matter that it's the natural order of things. I admit that I don't like to think about where my chicken comes from. I have this joke that *my* meat comes from the meat tree. I know I'm weird, but it works for me.

Meat tree - hmmmm my meat comes from the store where it magically appears clean and wrapped in plastic....  Thanks - that's my granddaugher, Evie.  They still have chickens.  They keep them in a very sturdy coop, let them out when they lock the dogs up.  It is not a totally dog-proof situation..... and 'accidents' happen. Clancy would not be able  to be in that backyard at all.  He is obsessed and would stalk the coop until he found a way in.

Evie is so cute that I think she must be a real handful, because the cutest kids usually are, lol.

I have a cousin who has a snake, and she buys live mice to feed to it. When I said something about how horrifying that is, she said "but that's the way it is in nature. It's the natural order of things." And I replied that in nature, someone doesn't drop the mouse into the snake's mouth. The snake has to hunt, and the mouse has a chance to avoid being eaten; you know, survival of the fittest and all? She had no argument for that. 

Well, to me, deliberately putting chickens, rabbits, and other prey animals in a yard where dogs hang out is kind of like dropping the mouse into the snake's mouth. :)

Evie is lively!  We really enjoy her but she keeps everyone on their toes.

"Lively" is such a good way to put it, lol! 

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