Imagine the culture shock of a kid moving from very urban Newark, NJ, to a farm in Michigan that included not just an outhouse, but chickens. Chickens who pecked at my skinny little nine-year-old legs every time I walked through the yard on the way to said outhouse. It was terrifying.
Chickens seem to be the current must-have item for many people I know. A friend in northern New Jersey built a palace for her new brood. Another acquaintance ordered 50 baby chicks through the mail. At the assisted living where I work, we joined a farm project where we borrowed an incubator and hatched 12 baby chickens. We had to turn the eggs every 90 minutes. Do mother chickens do this? When do they sleep
I recently read a book called HOW TO SEDUCE A TEXAN by Karen Kelley about an out-of-her element city girl reporter who goes undercover to a dude ranch to do an exposé on the hero, who is on to her and puts her in the most primitive accommodations imaginable. And that included not only chickens but a psychotic rooster. I felt her pain.
Now I’m not only reading about chickens but I’ve acquired four grand-chickens with the names Checkers, Siren-head, Cupcake, and another one I can never remember because who names their chickens? At least these chickens are safely confined in a lovely chicken coop—isn’t that what you call the houses chickens live in? Because this isn’t really my area of expertise. But I don’t want to think about the possibility of eating a creature I’ve been introduced to by name.
My grand-chickens aren’t about to become anyone’s dinner anytime soon, as far as I know. Their function seems to be wandering around making strange little sounds and laying multicolored eggs at an alarming rate.
I’ve been sent home with many, many eggs every time I visit. So although I don’t want to make a meal of a creature I know on a first name basis, it seems I have no compunction about munching on my…potential great-grand-chickens. Is that a thing?
In self defense I learned how to make something called a frittata, in a big old iron frying pan, which again reminds me of country living, but what could
I do? My world has gone so chicken-crazy that my husband started talking about whether we could have a few chickens on the little balcony of our tiny two bedroom condo. If that ever happens, I’m flying the coop.
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