How Caring for Backyard Chickens Stretched My Emotional Muscles

How Caring for Backyard Chickens Stretched My Emotional Muscles

The New York Times-Science·2020-12-02 06:04

A few years ago, my wife built a backyard chicken coop, and we sent away for five baby chicks, each of a different, wonderfully named breed: Barred Rock, Cochin, Australorp, Buff Orpington and, believe it or not, Red Sex Link. They arrived in a box in the mail. Their status was ambiguous from the start. Were they really members of the household? We never, after all, allowed them into our house, once they’d got past the chick phase. Were the chickens — named, by our daughters, Pepper, Barney, Sunny, Lemon Soufflé and Princess Catkin — pets? Yes, in a sense: We cared for them and found them good company. And to answer the question that we were regularly asked: No, we never had any intention to eat them. These were primarily birds bred to lay eggs.

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