Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Live Chicks!

My sister-in-law and her boyfriend are the proud parents of four baby chickens! Well, the chicks are a few weeks old now, so maybe not so babyish anymore.

Raising chickens is legal in Dallas, as long as you don't have any roosters. So far so good - none of the chickies are getting the colorful signs of rooster-ism, but they won't know for sure for a couple more weeks.

Roland and his sister had chickens growing up, but it was the first time I'd seen one up close (not counting the baby chicks they had at COSI Science Museum in Columbus). I didn't realize how territorial chickens were; the black one in the first picture is downright vicious and pecks at anything (except the baby grey chick) that gets too close.

My sister-in-law's boyfriend designed and built a high-tech coop in their backyard, and the chicks will be moving to their new outside quarters once it warms up in Dallas. Baby chicks need the temperature to be around 95 degrees to thrive, and without a mother hen or lots of other little chicks to snuggle with, they have to be inside with a heater running 24/7.

I know Roland really likes these chickens and thinks it would be fun to have some of our own, but for now I'm hoping he can go visit his sister's chickens whenever he gets the urge. Besides, I feel that we'd have to give up all chicken stews, cacciatore, stir frys, etc. out of respect and sensitivity for our pets, and I don't think we're ready to make that commitment.