Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chickening In

"I don't need chickens. I can buy the few eggs we need."


There's nothing like the luxury of having all the eggs we want, for cooking and distribution (I'm a publisher - we use publisher words). I'm spoiled. I want my hens back. I originally dreamed of having bees (like Sherlock Holmes?) but I have to face it - I'm a chicken farmer. We should do what we're good at.

"Food dish? No, it's a nest. Because we think so."
So here they are from the Airport Garden, five little Ameracauna hen chicks (99% guarantee from a nice bunch of people who keep love-me cats in the shop). The young man who sold 'em to me could talk chickens all day. Green eggs, evidently. Cool. I like color in my shells. Nothing as huge as the big pink eggs laid by old Rhode Island Red, but not quail eggs, either.

The first day, two chicks would fit in the feeder. Not the next day.
The five little chicks were given working-horse names. You don't give working farm animals - or goldfish - fancy personal names; it's a jinx. So meet Goldie, Blackie, Brownie, Pinkie and Stripes. The names might as well be yelled by Andy Devine in Stagecoach.

Yes, they're in the bathtub. The young man asked where I was going to keep them.

"In the bathroom."

"Oh. You're smart."

Most people must stick baby chicks out in the shed with a light. How am I going to get them friendly by picking them up and talking to them, if I can't drop in on their heated room whenever I feel like it, instead of putting on a coat and boots and finding excuses not to? Besides, they're so darn cute. 

Hey, I'm not the only one. The old farmer up here never talks about how his back-bred Jersey calves are successful, or his little Devons are blocky or milk well. They're "cute." He doesn't have a farm, he has a petting zoo. And is successful with all his beasts. Love = success? What a concept.

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