I’ve known for a long time that I’d never kick into survivalist mode in an apocalypse. I’m more of a smoke-’em-if-you-got-’em type. That said, right after the shelter-in-place order was issued, I contemplated if I should build a bunker. Instead, I bought chickens.

I figured, Why not? My daughter loves animals. We already had a dog and two turtles. And I was intrigued by the idea of a pet that doesn’t have to live inside your house and earns its keep in eggs. And what better time than a worldwide quarantine to set up a backyard chicken coop and buy a box of chicks?

I wondered at first whether, given that everything was closed, I’d have to order them by mail (was that even possible?), but it turned out Belmont Feed & Seed — a specialty store in Avondale catering for the past 25 years to fanciers of chickens, pigeons, bees, exotic birds, and various farm animals that can adapt to city living — had remained open as an essential service. So I donned my mask and gloves, and a few hours later my daughter named the newest members of our family: Peggy, Candy Bar, and Blinker. They won’t lay eggs for a while yet, but they’ve already provided hours of entertainment, far more than we would have gotten from digging a bunker.