A guest blog spot by ISS Managing Editor Drew Whitney.
Youll probably think Im crazy when I tell you I wanted to raise chickens. After the last month, Id almost agree. As with keeping anything precious (and as any self-storage veteran should know) safekeeping is sometimes the hardest part. This was my lesson.
The idea was sparked by my friend, Nancy Leary, who asked us to feed the cat and her brood of chickens while she and her other brood were off to Florida. My whole family took delight in this business proposition and, within a week, fell in love with the little peckers. Better still, we ate sumptuous egg breakfastsfree!
Although Nancy is a great architect who has been commissioned frequently to restore some of our towns old buildings to magnificent stature, her barn is in shambles. Even oursat more than a century oldis in better condition. Moreover, ours has old horse stalls, one of which would easily be transformed into a chicken coop. So if the Learys can raise chickens, why couldnt we? Hence, much to the chagrin of my husband, who doesnt easily accept changeespecially more animals (we have two large dogs and four cats)my family went on a chicken-finding mission.
Our six infants were delivered with 496 others to our local pet-feed and farm-supplies store. Alas, we were proud parents of day-old Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks that would probably not be warm enough in the barn since it still was frosty at night. Wed keep them in the room off the kitchen with a heat lamp, we decided, secured in a wire cage lined with newspaper, and the door locked so the dogs and cats couldnt prowl.
What we didnt know is our largest dog would go to such extremes to be one with the chicks. He barged right through an attic door that we thought wed barricaded sufficiently. Not one chick was spared; we were devastated.
My husband and sons spent most of the following weekend in the barn, securing a stall with chicken wire, a self-closing door and a lock. Even the ceiling has chicken wire. We arent messing around.
The next brood of chicks made it home safely two weeks ago. The infants were tenderly placed in their new coop, far from the big hairy monster who lives in our house (and whom we love dearly even though we hate his primordial behaviors). Although the little critters are behind several doors and yards of chicken wire, I still patrol daily, just like a self-storage manager doing checks at his facility. Ive learned something about safekeeping, and so has my family. My guess is youkeepers of so many prized possessions owned by tenantshave long learned this lesson.
In the meantime, the Stone family has invited us to visit their baby goats. And the Birchmores have a new pig. I look at the barn and wonder about expanding our family, but then I remember my dear husband. Chances are if I adopt anymore creatures romanticizing about living on a farm, hell be giving me a ride on his size 12 boot with a free ticket to the funny farm. Then again, I think Im already there.