When my son was 11, he went through an intense chicken phase. We had met a woman with a gorgeous coop who was delighted that my son was interested in her chickens. She ignored my non-verbal hints and armed him with tons of information and even a pet carrier for his future baby chicks. I kept stalling. Finally, I challenged him to read a huge book he picked out at the bookstore about backyard chickens. "Read the whole book and then convince me you know more about chickens than anyone I've ever met and I will let you get chickens," I vowed. I never learn. Overnight, he became a chicken savant and I reneged on our deal. Life intervened and his chicken mania abated a little and I was relieved.
Now, my daughter is 11 and she has joined the good fight. I thought having chickens at their new school would take the edge off this need for chickens at home. No. She recently came home armed with her own chicken book. She bombarded us with chicken facts. Soon, Mr. Angela Daniels was staying up late into the night reading up on every chicken coop building site he could find online. I have been outnumbered and out lasted.
May I introduce our girls? We each picked out 1 chick (and then 1 as a "spare" because we're cynical like that). We have a: Silkie ("Pearl"), a Barred Rock (her name has changed so many times but for the moment, she's "Frieda"), the so-ugly-she's-adorable Madagascar Game Fowl ("Bacon"), the timid "chicken chicken" Gold Sex Link ("Stardust") and the most adorable and full of personality Ameraucana ("Calypso"). My son is the only one of us who had researched breeds based on personality rather than looks and darned if he didn't hit the jackpot with Calypso. What can I say, I am a little smitten with our chickens. Chicken smitten.
Mr. Angela Daniels can currently be found building the Taj Mahal of chicken coops a little too close to a neighbor's fence. I think when it's completed, it could house a dozen or so chickens. Not gonna happen though. We'll stick to our 4 and a spare.