As if we didn't have enough crazy at out house - I added some. Chickens. When I explain myself, I hope it sounds less crazy, though that is doubtful.
So. My chicken story. Hilariously, and sadly, it began when I was a kid. Always liked chickens. Thought they were funny. I gathered eggs at a friends' house in Southern California, and thought it was the neatest thing to have an all-year Easter egg hunt. She lived in an area downtown that was reserved for small farms and along a horse trail. My, how I loved that place.
Fast forward to now. i wanted to get my kids a pet, but didn't want another dog. I had to give up the last one before I had the twins, knowing I wouldn't have the time or attention to dedicate to her. Jack Russels are very needy and hyper by nature - just what I didn't need in a pet. So, after thinking about what other animals would serve as a good way to teach my boys about taking care of something and ingrain the lessons deeply in their hearts at this impressionable age, I settled on chickens. I saw several backyard coops in our neighborhood, asked some questions, did a bit of "homestead" research, and decided to jump in feet first.
Two weeks later - the chicks I reserved had hatched and I took the boys along with a giant box to pick them up.
We watched them for hours. They were so cute and fluffy!
The kiddos were absolutely in love. This was my favorite thing to see first thing in the morning.
After a couple of weeks, we decided to take them outside and let them toodle around the yard.
They didn't stray far from their box.
Didn't mind being held, either. :)
Will was so gentle with them... made my heart smile.
And now - just over two months later - they are big!
A view inside the coop.
I managed to purchase a great chicken coop for just 100 dollars on Craigslist (the materials alone would have been double that cost, and I am not the best builder), and modified a chain link dog run for a good size area just for the chickens to run around in.
After 2 months of chicken raising, we haven't lost any of our chickens to "unfortunate incidents" and have enjoyed every minute of our little farm experiment. Between the chickens and the garden, I spend a lot of time outside and in the dirt, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It is a wonderfully calming, simple hobby.
If there is something you've always wanted to do, there is nothing holding you back as a single mom (except fundage, so keep it on the cheap) - so while you have complete and utter freedom with your spare time, choose wisely. Find something you really, truly enjoy, and pursue it with everything you've got.
Even if they think you're crazy, at least YOU will be having fun!