This has not been a hardship. The chickens are very little bother, and the children have been loving it. All through the Easter holidays we could fill any low points in a day by going to see the chickens.
After the first couple of days we got braver, and allowed them to leave their coop. Eva assured me she could catch them again. And indeed she could, catch one of them. Carrot, the inexplicably named white chicken, is extremely placid and allows herself to be picked up and manhandled with the tolerance of a very benign bunny rabbit. Her compatriot in the coop, whose name sadly we forget, and who is therefore known to us only as ‘the black one’ is altogether more wily. She requires two of us approaching her in a pincer movement, and pouncing, and even then it takes considerable time to entice her out of the shrubbery. They are both delighted to eat grass rather than chicken feed. The designated food is barely touched, day after day.
Even so, we go through the ritual of topping it up, collecting the eggs, replenishing the water, letting them out for some exercise, and catching them again. Doing these things in the wrong order has resulted in a number of eggs being smashed on the ground. But no matter. The entertainment is worth far more than the eggs.
Based on current experience I have no objection to chickens as a household pet. Possibly there is more to it if they are actually your own chickens. But they are certainly winning in the contest over dogs (see ‘Dog sit’ post, coming soon. Oof).