Chickens? No can do
A little over a year ago when my boyfriend and I finally moved into a house of our own (albeit a rented one), we knew we wanted chickens. We got a little taste of the chicken fever after taking on the occasional bird-sitting gig for our previous landlord in return for the girls’ golden yolked beauties .Completely sold on chickens, we figured our new place with a large, already fenced yard would be perfect for a handful of our own comical layers. Even though the city ordinance decried a minimum 7500 square ft lot, our sizable 5500 square ft lot seemed plenty big enough for chickens and we figure that well, with our well laid out map and plans for facilities that would be no where near disturbing any neighbors, we’d be good to go. Unfortunately, we were wrong. No discussion, no appeal. Just a flat no from the city. Of course it rankled us that our neighboring towns to the east and west both have a minimum requirement of only 5000 square feet. But chickens were not meant to be.
Life goes on. After a quiet year with no animals out back, farm life inspiration has finally arrived in the form of soft, cute, quiet–and delicious bunnies–or as ColdAntlerFarm puts it, “the best chicken you’ll ever have”. These critters had been occupying my mind a lot lately and I realized that they were the only farm animal we could raise in our current situation. And their easy care, beautiful fur, quiet nature and delicious meat offered its own appeal. As a first time meat venture, it’s seems hard to go wrong. I mean c’mon, one of the illnesses a rabbit can contract is called snuffles. It’s hard to be too intimidated. And so with Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits in the mail and a plethora of library books scattered around the house, plans for step 1 of Operation Rabbit were put into motion.
I expected Step 1 to include putting a great deal of thought and time into the rabbit facilities before bringing one home. But instead, Steps 1 to 10 happened rather more quickly than anticipated. At 10 pm several days ago, I found myself emailing the owner of several large bunnies and a free hutch on craigslist. All bets were off and the following morning I frantically drove around before work to pick up feed and water supplies. I then drove to the other side of the city after work, braving rush hour to pick up the package deal, but upon arrival realized that the hutch would not ( though I measured the dimensions beforehand, I swear!) fit into my small old Hyundai with any amount of shoving. Then the dear, patient owners helped to partially disassemble the hutch in middle of a freezing wind storm so that it could shoved into my little car in haphazard pieces. And then before I knew it two gigantic bunnies in the passenger seat were being lulled to sleep by NPR while I white-knuckled home past fallen trees and whipping leaves.