My favorite farmer and I have been known to pontificate to our girls about the importance of diversity in the business context of our farm. While both of us would argue that our pontifications frequently fall upon deaf ears, the girls obviously listen enough to be able to use our words to manipulate a situation!
Normally our discussions about diversification revolve around cattle, traditional and organically grown crops, and learning how to market the fruits of our farm effectively. About a month ago, my favorite teenager announced that “in order to further diversify our farm, that our family should get layer chickens.” After all,
“Dad always says that we should be equal opportunity barnyard supporters.”
My immediate answer was “No” as I was not looking to add to my own chore load. Because she is a product of two very stubborn people, instead of abandoning the idea, my daughter proceeded to fully research layer hens via the internet and asking questions of chicken enthusiasts. She impressed me with her thorough research and plan development, and the next thing that I knew she had talked her Dad into going to the lumber yard for supplies to construct a coop.
What began as a family joke metamorphed into a terrific “father-daughter” project. The coop that Ashley Grace constructed is beautiful, functional, and should make a nice home for the 5 Rhode Island Red chicks that our family adopted Memorial Day weekend. The “run” has yet to be constructed because the little chicks will spend the next few weeks growing in an old livestock water tank that she adapted for the chicks.
I am laughing that the new screened in porch that we built last fall is now home to the chicks instead of the patio furniture that I intended to fill it with, and I am chalking this experience up to “the things that we agree to do for our children”. I hope that this will be a fruitful learning experience for all three of the girls, as they will be the primary caregivers for these new “food animals” at our house.
You might wonder what my favorite teenager has decided to name her new chicks…
In keeping with her “intellectual personality”, Ashley Grace named the chicks after Shakespeare characters and a Norse Mythology God:
- Lady Macbeth (Macbeth)
- Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
- Ophelia (Hamlet)
- Moth (Midsummer Night’s Dream)
- Loki (Norse Mythology God)
My favorite farmer is having nightmares about what she may name our future grandchildren…