For the past three years I have taken my kids to the local IFA store in early spring when the baby chickens come in. Every year Erik and Claire ask for one. And every year I say no. Well this was the year of the chicken, so for Easter I surprised both Erik and Claire with two chicks.
(It isn't really "the year of the chicken", I think the correct animal for the chinese calendar is the ox/bull/cow...but frankly considering the size of our backyard the bovine just weren't an option.)
Erik named his chick Rocko (yes Rocko is a reoccurring pet name in our family) and Claire named hers Sarah. They turned out to be great pets. After they were a month or so old they would spend the entire day in the backyard scratching in the dirt and eating bugs. They would take naps on our lap, and would run to us when they saw us carrying their bag of chicken feed.
When we got them there was an "exit strategy" in place. Erik and Claire knew that they would be temporary pets and after 5 or 6 weeks they would go to a different home. That 2nd home turned out to be that of Jeff's uncle and aunt, Randy and Marie. During the day these chickens are still free range, running around keeping Randy's enormous garden pest free. At night they have a fancy little coop to keep them safe. I'm telling you they have the good life.
Photos from when we visited the chickens last month.
Megan holding Sarah.
Erik and Rocko.
This third chicken belonged to our neighbor Ben, but it also joined the others at Randy & Marie's. Here is Ben reunited with 'Chicken Nugget'. The bird is MUCH larger than when Ben saw him last and it appears he is not quite sure what to think!