If you are ever on a business trip and your wife text-messages you that a skunk has nearly killed your 10 children, you probably will question 1) whether you are living inside a seriously twisted Aesop’s fable or 2) if it was a really good idea to have 10 of them in the first place... I am of course referring to my avian children, specifically backyard chickens. My real, human, flesh-and-blood, ... children total three in number. They, too, are learning some parenting skills since we became avian parents. Perhaps you have never raised birds from infancy. Nothing should stop you from proceeding to do so... Tip #1: Start your first backyard chicken flock with a lack of restraint The first step to adopting chickens is to go to the farm store and fall helplessly in love with a sea of puffy yellow fuzz balls. Tip #2: Create a vacation resort for chickens in your basement Chicks are essentially cotton balls glued together and placed atop toothpick legs, so there’s no way my family and I were going to leave them outside. No sir. Instead... Tip #3: Concede the fight dramatically You are really all set at this point to watch the chicks grow up. The only other thing you should know before heading outdoors ... is that you will be charged with cleaning the cage at night. Tip #4: Sleep easier once the nightmares fade Seven or eight weeks into the backyard chicken routine, you’ll safely be able to say it was all worth it, like I did. Tip #5: Use it as an educational opportunity for your real children Scars aside, raising chickens can teach young people several important lessons. Supposedly, we’ll also get free eggs out of the deal. Unless the skunk wins next time.