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3rd Place: What Six Chickens Taught My Family

By Nikki, 5 Grade, R. Roger Rowe Elementary School

You might not think chickens are fun, lovable or exciting pets. You’re right. They’re not. Even though they’re not such great pets, they taught our family about how to care for animals, how to reduce food waste, and that it feels better to do something on your own than rely on others.

Our chickens taught us that an animal’s life is fragile and they need our care and protection. My family started off with eleven chickens. When my three-year-old sister decided to play with a delicate baby chick, it didn’t end well. We then had ten chickens. After that incident, we started to pay more attention to them, but we apparently didn’t pay enough attention. We didn’t think about all the predators that were out there. A couple months later a hawk swooped down and grabbed a chicken. We then had nine. So, my dad made a big new coop that fully protected the chickens from coyotes, hawks, raccoons, and even bad weather. On top of that we got special lights, fences and fake owls. By the time the chickens moved into their new safe place, only six were left. This taught us that you need to treat an animal with care and provide protection for them.

Another thing our chickens taught us is how to reduce food waste. Before we got chickens our trash can would overflow with food scraps. Now, after dinner, we put all our extra food into a bowl and everyday we bring it to the chickens. We even take leftovers from restaurants to go and drop them in the chicken coop when we get home. Our chickens inspired us to do something good with our food waste.

Finally, chickens taught our family the joy of doing things ourselves and not relying on others. We used to get our eggs from the store, but now we can get the eggs from our own backyard. When we get our own eggs it makes us feel good about ourselves. We feel good that we didn’t have to rely on the store to provide food for us. In fact, we loved this idea so much that we started getting milk from our neighbor’s goats! I love living off the land. This shows that getting eggs is not only convenient, but it makes us feel good about ourselves.

Even though chickens may not be the most fun, lovable or exciting pets, perhaps there is a lot more that they can offer after all.


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