Our family spent three days over the weekend at my aunt's log cabin house near Hudsonville, Michigan. Her family has several acres with lots of woods, and there are plenty of places for kids to run wild and do dangerous and unusual things.
Anneke and Claire got their frog-catching gear a few times and walked up to the pond, about 1/4 mile from the house. They weren't too successful because the frogs are getting really smart about avoiding small children.
The big hit this time was the chickens. My aunt has 24 chickens and one (mean!) rooster. The girls were absolutely enamored.
First thing each morning, Claire would run up to the coop and check for eggs, and she'd go back at least three or four times a day. She was usually pretty successful, finding 17 eggs in just one day's span.
Maddie and Kate mostly like to stand and watch through the wire, probably because they were warned in no uncertain terms about the mean rooster, who had pecked one of my cousin's kids a few weeks ago.
My aunt sent us home with a dozen farm-fresh eggs, which we took back with us on the Lake Express Ferry (more on that trip in an upcoming blog post).
We also came home with something else: kids who want urban chickens. Dan sort of likes the idea but is skeptical. After all, last winter we noticed a gray fox making regular rounds through the snow in our yard, and last night there were two raccoons peering into our back window as we were eating supper. Despite living in a city neighborhood, we have plenty of wildlife. We'd have some fierce competition for the eggs, if not the chickens.
But who knows? If we figure out a way to keep them safe, if we can justify the expense, if our neighbors can be bribed with occasional fresh eggs and, most importantly, if the City of Milwaukee decides to make it legal by passing enabling legislation (which seems to be on the backburner after Shorewood's chicken ordinance was defeated last May), we are going to have to consider raising our own.