“We've been toying with the idea of raising our own chickens.”

English Lesson: We've been toying with the idea of raising our own chickens.

You live in the country. Recently you and your partner thought that it would be nice to have fresh eggs, so you thought about getting chickens. You describe this thought with a friend who already has chickens.

We've been toying with the idea of raising our own chickens.

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raise (animals)

You can "grow" vegetables, but you can't "grow" animals. You have to "raise" them:

We're growing tomatoes, carrots, herbs, all kinds of stuff.

When I was a kid, my uncle used to raise sheep.

To "raise" something means to help it grow. Things that you can "raise" include:

  • raising crops
  • raising animals
  • raising children

(someone) is toying with the idea of (doing something)

"Toying with" an idea means to consider whether or not you should do something. You're thinking that you might do it, but you're not sure yet.

For example:

I've been toying with the idea of studying abroad for a semester.

I'm toying with the idea of cutting it really short.