Lauren’s chickens spent yesterday morning in the new music store here in Our Little Town.
Oh they had plenty of company. There were chickens belonging to some friends of ours too. And people selling chicken-related items and giving chicken-related advice. There were also folks there with gardening things, LED lighting displays, and other sorts of objects and literature that you would expect to find in a Sustainability Fair.
But mostly chickens.
Because chickens are cool. They take leftovers and turn them into high-quality protein. They are high-quality protein. And they’re friendly, ridiculous, fascinating creatures. You should have chickens. Yes, you should. You're welcome.
Our Little Town passed a Backyard Hen ordinance last fall, much to our delight. Despite being involved in this, to the point of Lauren actually speaking at a City Council meeting, we haven’t actually gone through the permitting process ourselves, because a) it’s winter and we really don't want to be building a chicken coop in Wisconsin in February, and b) we actually own more than the permitted four hens, which means we'd still have to keep at least a few of them out at our friend’s barn outside of town. Moving four hens into town would not actually save me any driving, in other words. But the option is there and we are glad for it.
So when one of the members of City Council who had been particularly supportive of this ordinance asked us if we could bring chickens to the Sustainability Fair to be held in the newly renovated music store downtown - the kind of retail establishment that had originally been constructed in the late 19th century and was thus full of hardwood floors, tin ceiling tiles, and other lovely architectural features normally too refined for a place where one would keep chickens, even temporarily - what could we do but say yes?
This is why we found ourselves at a terribly early hour on a Saturday taking three six-week-old chickens residing in a bin in our living room, stuffing them (and a fair amount of stuff), bin and all, into my little car, heading out to the barn to capture two of the older chickens, interning them in Milo the Rabbit’s borrowed cage, and then heading into downtown, trailing feathers the entire way.
It was a successful event.
There must have been a few hundred people who wandered by, most of whom were quite taken by the chickens and interested in hosting their own birds – which I suspect was the City Council person’s plan all along. We were bait, but we were willing bait so that's all to the good.
And Lauren was interviewed on the local-access FM station, which was broadcasting remotely from the event. The DJ asked me first, but Lauren boldly declared that she would do it and that I, her dad, would be pleased to remain back with the chickens and NOWHERE NEAR this interview.
I believe the word she used on air was “embarrassing.” Oh well. That’s a 13-year-old for you. I took pictures anyway, thus validating her point I suppose.
But she did a nice job with the interview, and we have spread the Chicken Word.
All cluck, “Hallelujah!”