There is some chicken news at last. As a group we are strangely lacking in curiosity so that a question we often ask of some nameless, invisible, unnamed source would go something like this: Oh Someone out there, what are the genders of our six new chickens? after which we might settle back in a chair with a book or a lap top and wait. Naturally there was no answer, and soon we would have forgotten that we had asked. No answer until three days ago, that is, and so much more satisfactory really than trying to find it all out in some dusty biology book.
I need to back up a little because circumstances had changed since our new chickens had grown big enough to start their dirty work in the garden. With Jack’s help Jim moved the coop a bit down the hill, and put the chickens in their new home. I believe it was for this reason (that the chickens were kept out of the garden) that we didn’t hear them yesterday, and thus it was, that when Betsy took up their chicken feed and clean water, she was greeted not only by the usual gooble and gabble of the hens, but by a very unpleasant strangled croak. This continued at intervals throughout the day; the croaking grew louder, revealed itself as the croaking of two, developed some expertise. They were two roosters and they would have to be expelled. The neighbors, who thought egg laying chickens looked charming picking and pecking and scratching themselves across the back lawn and flower beds in the back yard, did not like crowing at 4:30 am.
Tomorrow we take the roosters to Stone and Thistle Farm. Denise asked Betsy if she understood that she would have to slaughter the roosters, and sell them. Remember, they are organic. Betsy said she understood. Such events as the Slaughter of the Roosters are complicated, and, given the opportunity, can set the mind racing. It goes without saying that our thoughts run together like a bad sentence, don’t make any sense. We are opposed to killing living creatures. Still, some living creatures make such a lot of ugly noise.
But what can you do?
If you were a vegetarian, really a vegetarian, you wouldn’t eat eggs.
So you’re going to buy them seed and feed them leftovers anyway?
The argument doesn’t get anywhere, because it isn’t serious. What in the world are we doing with chickens in our back yard. Yesterday one pecked at my toenails and scratched my foot. They aren’t even very smart, if they think my red toenail is something good to eat. Fiona says they have a brain the size of a pea.
But of course we know all the time how it will all turn out. Denise, who kisses baby lambs goodbye before sending them to the butcher, has no strong feeling about a chicken except when it comes to the quality of the meat. While we are at the farm we will actually buy four of their chickens for the freezer, as Friday is the day they slaughter. You can even get ten percent off if you help. But you can bet we aren’t going to help. We won’t even know if one of our roosters will be one of them. We will eat up what we buy, make soup from their bones, cream of broccoli maybe, or maybe something fancy like vichysoisse. And we will be eating eggs, dozens of them,, omelets and quiches, and fried egg sandwiches for when you’re really in a hurry. Because it’s really cheaper on your food bill when you have the chickens. It’s cheaper too because you don’t need to buy fertilizer for the garden. And you can amuse youself by thinking about the ideas that others have or have had about this bird.
Mad as a wet hen.
The sky is falling
She flew the coop.
There are lots more, I know. I just can’t think of them so late at night. But I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing right now. One, these present chickens are very pretty, and two, they are very respectful of the bottom line. In this day and age how could you wish for more.