My step-Mom, Sue, has wanted chickens for a while. She and my Mom live in a row house in a town on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. They have about 1/8 acre on a long, thin, narrow lot. The very back of it is very shady, and difficult to garden in. And Susie, with my encouragement, has determined that the best thing they could do with that portion of the yard is get a few chickens. She's checked zoning and the board of health, and it looks like a few hens will be fine.
The problem is, my Mom doesn't want her to have them. She thinks that chickens are too weird (my mother and step mother live in the only state in the Union where a lesbian couple with chickens is a lot weirder than being a lesbian couple with no chickens ;-), and that they don't belong there. I, of course, being the helpful daughter that I am, have been doing everything I possibly can to abet Susie on her poultry-quest. I got them Heifer fund chicks this year, and told my Mom that I got Sue some chicks. My Mom's response? "I hate you. I really hate you."
Still, Mom has softened up some, even though she doesn't like to admit it. She was recently heard to say the words "our chickens." Now according to her, she immediately regretted it, but still, that's progress. My sister Rachael just bought a house in a nearby town, and has been admiring the Polish hens from the Murray McMurray catalog (they are cool looking), and my youngest sister's husband wants some ducks (youngest sister is not to enthused). So there's considerable family peer pressure to get into the poultry game (me, I'm musing on whether to add turkeys and more geese...)
But I also thought that my Mom, who is currently recuperating from surgery, might also be moved by some testimonials, particularly from people who were a little ambivalent about the chickens in the first place, or who are raising their poultry in cities and suburbs, rather than out in the country like me. So if you have chickens, and you were either a reluctant poultry owner or a town or suburb dweller, leave a comment reassuring my Mom that chickens are cute, chickens are friendly, chickens are fun, and if you are already kind of weird, having chickens just adds to your luster ;-)