Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Family pets

We have allergies at our house. Not many, really. We suffer from hay fever and seasonal type outdoor stuff. Bryan struggles with poppy seeds. I suppose we are quite fortunate to not have any other food allergies. Our biggest allergy issue is animals....specifically those with fur. Something that has been primarily Bryan's allergy, as the kids have grown, Brandon too has started to suffer. So as you can imagine, this impacts mightily our choice of family pet. Dogs are out. Hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and even horses cause grief. And oh my, don't even get Bryan started on the complete evil that is cats!

So what does that leave for us? You know...after I put my foot down on anything that comes from the reptile or amphibian family.
Fish. Which I kill far too easily.
And birds.
We have 5 parakeets that live in a big cage in our kitchen. And we like 'em. They make happy noises. Or at least we consider it happy until there is just too much noise with the radio blaring, this kid singing, that kid trying to have a conversation with another sibling, the dishwasher running...all competing with the nonstop chirping. Then it gets to be a little much. But for the most part we are hugely entertained by our parakeets and enjoy them tremendously. We're so used to the chirping it hardly fazes us. But as there are 5 of them, they've made friends with each other and for the most part only tolerate us when we are feeding and watering them. They are not big fans of sitting on our fingers or coming out to play.

A few months ago we inherited 3 chickens and 2 ducks. They still had that new-animal-baby cuteness and so we were enamored. I figured the novelty would wear off when they grew to full size. And though I expected to be happy about the eggs they would eventually lay, I didn't intend for them to become anything more than farm animals.
So I was surprised when they started getting personalities. And becoming dependent on us for not just food but social interaction. They are free range animals in our backyard so we find them frequently up on our deck pecking at the back door. Every time I come out to water the plants or do any kind of yard work, they come running and follow me around. If I sit on the porch swing to do some reading, it is not uncommon for one of the chickens to jump up next to me and make herself comfortable snuggled up next to my leg. They patiently let Lilian hold them and pet them and play with them.
In short, these farm animals have become pets. And for a family where pets are few and far between, it has been a lot of fun.

Frosting on the cake....we get 2-3 eggs a day. Bet your dog can't do that!


Mindy said...

I never realized that they could be so calm, and act like pets. That is pretty cool!

Darn allergies, we have them too, so no pets for us!

Shauna said...

We have tons of allergies to furry things as well. But you are a braver woman than I am-we stick with fish (even though our aquatic mortality rate is enormously high) because they can't run around the house or yard and I never have to clean up after them! Luckily for me, my kids like fish. :-)

Julie DeMille said...

I had no idea chickens could be so friendly. Don't tell my daughter,she's been wanting some forever. (Of course, she has an annoying dog, so I can say no to anything right now!)
I love that picture of Lillian with the chicken. Adorable.

Melissa@thebblog said...

I get 2 or 3 poop nuggets from my dog every day does that count?