Mom, Mom? Shouts my 5 year old, Zander.
Yes? I reply.
Can I feed the chickens? Zander asks.
Of course. Check their water too and let me know if you need any help, I answered.
Ahh! I wanted to feed the chickens, pouts Quintin, Zanders older brother.
You can go ask Zander if he wants your help, I suggested.
Ok! Smiles Quintin.
It was only 6:30am in the Audisho house but there was plenty of activity happening. As I sipped my tea and watched the boys from the window, they were running after the chickens, feeding them and working together to get them water I couldn’t help but notice the smiles across their faces. They hadn’t even changed out of their pajamas yet. They were learning responsibilities, caring for other living things, working as a team and loving what they were doing. With the sunrise backdrop, it was a picture perfect moment.
But, that was last week and it will not be happening again for at least a couple years. It can only happen again if we move or if our city changes it’s laws. See we live in Chandler, Arizona. Chandler is one of two cities in Maricopa County that does not allow chickens for all residents.
You see, it all started awhile ago. I wanted fresh eggs and the kid wanted pets. We visited a friends hour with chickens and the kids had a blast! They asked for chickens. Since, I already wanted some it was a no brainer for me. We got my husband on board, because really, who wouldn’t want fresh eggs. Then, wahlaa! Before, we new it we had chickens and a coop.
Months went by and nobody seemed to mind our chickens But then, our chickens stopped laying eggs for a week or so. We were not sure what to do but a few other chicken lovers suggested to get a rooster. We borrowed a rooster for a week. We originally thought it would be for a day or two but it turned into a week. It was a great week!. The very first day one of our chickens started laying eggs. By the 5th day we were up to 4 eggs a day! That is almost one per family member, which was our goal.
Well, the rooster left, our girls were still laying and all was well. Until, the City of Chandler code enforcement knocked on our door and told us our chickens had to go. We found them a happy home with friends we can visit every once in awhile, which is great but the silence of the backyard and the sadness on my children’s faces when they look back there is still here. Over time, they will want to play and explore in the backyard again but until then we are reminded that we can’t always have what we want even if we are doing no harm to anyone else.
I get it, the rooster was loud. The dogs that bark loud and wake us up or don’t let us sleep are loud too. The cat that sneaks in my backyard, messes around and even poops in my garden disturbs us, especially since I’m allergic to them. It’s not that I do not like cats and dogs. It just that they need care, can carry diseases and be disturbing to neighbors as well. So, why can’t we have chickens but they can dogs and cats? At least they give us breakfast.
What are your thoughts about chickens?