So last year my husband really got into gardening. He built himself a nice big garden with raised beds and six foot high fences to keep the deer out. He probably had 300 tomatoes come out of his garden, along with a few other vegetables. The garden was a great success and he is already itching to turn his thumb green this year. I caught him scouring gardening websites last night, looking for just the right foods to plant and when to plant them.

Since my husband got his garden last year, I’ve been on him to build me a chicken coop so I can get a few chickens. Of course, there is a catch. My husband will agree to the chickens if we can also raise grouse. I’m pretty sure when he told me his stipulation I looked at him like he had sprouted antennas.

I was surprised to learn from a friend, who is very knowledgeable in the bird world, that people do raise grouse. So, now I have resigned myself to the fact that we will be raising grouse along with chickens. It’s not exactly what I wanted, but I’ll take my chickens any way that I can get them.

Once I have my own chickens, I will be able to have all the fresh eggs I can handle, and I may even eat a chicken or two too. Well, I will have to see how attached I get to the little buggers before I eat one, but the eggs are definitely fair game. I can’t wait for this spring when I can go pick them out.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.

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