Eight days ago my family was chicken-less and pretty normal. My husband and i work opposite shift so someone is always with the kids. So last wednesday we woke up, i went to work, the kids and the husband went to the gym, then the park, then to take naps, then ate lunch, played around the house, then husband went to work, i came home, made dinner, watched a little tv and did baths and bed. after everyone was in bed i'd research chickens and think about how to make them work in our life. It was all pretty boring. Then on Thursday we bought 5 chickens. Since then, every morning i have cleaned out their alfalfa straw, and changed their water. Before i even go to work, my kids and i are outside feeding chickens out of our hands, deciding what their special treat should be today (green? sunflower seeds? Oats?) and wiping off one pasty little booty. then we put them away, wash hands and get dressed for work/the day. At work i think about chickens all the time: Are they warm enough? are they too warm!? when do i suppose i'll get eggs? Should i get more chickens? they seemed very cramped in the brooder, should i move them out to the coop? I need to put up the chicken wire in the coop windows so they dont get out before i can move them in there... Then i come home and i change the chicken water again, feed them again, let them free range while the kids chase them around the yard. Then with all those chicken thoughts comes chicken lifestyle byproducts: What do i do with all this pooped on alfalfa?! Now we compost. We have a weeks worth of compost steaming in a composter in our back yard as we speak. The watermelon i cut up for the kids to snack on didnt get its rind thrown out in the trash, its over there waiting to turn into fabulous dirt! Man, it is so nice outsides. It seems a shame to waste energy with the clothes drier... Right now a load of laundry is drying on the very cheap starter clothes like we have running between our porch posts. Today, on our day off, we did not watch TV or hang around the house. We went to home depot to get chicken wire and a clothes line. We put up our clothes line and pinned up some clothes, then we went as a family and spruced up our coop. The kids laid sand down on the floor and stuffed the nesting boxes with straw (even though they are a ways off from being used) while my husband and i put up chicken wire. Before we knew it it was 830 and the kids were filthy, happy, hot, excited and tired. The chickens were safe and snug in their coop, spending their first night out of the brooder. This weekend, we'll be enclosing our run, building our above ground garden which will hopefully be all set up with a drip system in time for the second summer season (its too hot to start for the first season at this point) Anyway, i just thought it was amazing how finally pulling the trigger on the chickens has lead to a full on farmer lifestyle for us and how much happier i have been this week than i have been in a long time.