3.13.2008

Why I'm Not Cut Out To Be a Farmer


There has been one thing nearly all my city friends gasp and moan about when I tell them I'm raising some chickens.

"You're not going to eat them, are you?" they all pant with horror.

And I assure them that yes, some of them are eventually eaten but this is the natural scheme of things, not to mention far preferable to eating caged and tortured poultry. I mean, my chickens run around happy for many months first and anyway, we don't butcher them ourselves, these very nice people do it for us, and have you ever tasted actual real chicken that has been running loose on a farm eating bugs and grass and all the things it wants? There's nothing like it.

But this year it happened. This year I haven't been able to eat any of our chickens.

Next thing you know I'll be like my mom's friend who lets all her birds die of old age.

I don't know if it's because I hatched so many of them myself in the incubator (which I put right behind my comuputer desk, a cat-free zone) rather than order them in the mail as I had the previous two years, or if I'm just getting mushy. I also took all those photos of Goldie's hidden clutch of babies, stashed away in our basement window. This year I got too attached.

And this year I haven't been able to eat a single morsel.

At least enough snow has melted for the birds to be able to go out. They don't care that it's still cold, or terribly windy, just that they can get to the ground to scratch in the earth.

Here's the intrepid Goldie, mother extraordinaire.


One of Goldie's offspring, now grown-up at 10 months of age. She gets her beard and earmuffs from her dad, Odo.


You can also see the beard on this girl...


...and her funny earmuffs.


From this year's hatches, we only kept one rooster--this fellow I call the Hamburglar (at top left), whose mother is obviously one of our two Silver Spangled Hamburgs (both called Kira). He is quickly becoming the bane of father Odo's existence. He came running over to see what the girls were doing at our deck.


There won't be any incubator hatching this year because of inbreeding. I've gotten so attached to these guys that I'm thinking maybe no new birds at all. Isn't Hamburglar handsome?


Some of the "Easter Eggs" these hens lay. Yep, they're naturally green/blue-green.


And furthermore on the farming thing--I hate gardening. With a passion. Plants don't make any noise when they're thirsty, they just quietly die on you, and that's exceedingly depressing. Maybe it's soon time to hang up my coveralls...

12 comments:

Dee said...

Oh don't do that ... we won't have any of your gorgeous farm pictures to enjoy.

This city girl needs those pictures!!! They remind me of home.

Carrie K said...

That's the one annoying thing about plants, the lack of verbal communication. :)

And ha. Love your chickies.

Chris said...

Wow, you're going to be completely overrun with chickens!!

I grew up on a farm, but I haven't looked back since I left. I hated gardening and swear I spent 1/3 of my childhood weeding...

Gattina said...

I think you behave as I would behave, being a city girl and playing farmer, lol ! I could never eat a chicken I knew life before ! It happened to me the first time in Sicily there was one chicken in the garden for the sunday meal I fed it and played with it and on sunday when I found a piece of it on my plate, I just got sick and ran out of the room, lol !

Anonymous said...

I love chicken, beef and pork but if I had to kill for my own meal I know I would be a vegetarian.
I too, would get very attached to all the farm animals.
Veggies are good....
Happy Friday...Enjoy the weekend
Joanie

Becky said...

I love chicken pictures! I'm bringing you some egg cartons Saturday at the Loft.

Uhles said...

Is there nobody concerned with the sanctity of carrot life?

pins&needles said...

I love seeing your chicken pictures. I'm sure if I raised chickens, I would eat them too. I would have to quickly get over not wanting to kill them because I like not being a vegetarian. I've never eaten a not-commmercially-distributed chicken, but I bet it's super tastey and not watered down. I've eaten veggies that haven't touched a truck before and they're to die for so I can imagine the poultry is beyond that. I also think those eggs are cool. I know the factories bleach the eggs before distributing them, because most people don't know that eggs naturally come in all sorts of colors. My roomie told me that they show up in that color because of the proteins in the chickens' diet. So I guess if you changed up the diet, the color of the eggs will change too? Not an expert, just typing what I'm thinking.

Obsidian Kitten said...

oh boy, they are Super-tasty. i realized i lied in my post b/c one night my mom did cook one of the chickens and we ate it. but i haven't been able to cook any this year. the previous 2 yrs we did tho and they are SO delicious--it was as if i'd never tasted chicken before.

actually the color of the egg has to do with the breed of chicken. i know--who knew? so the type i have this year got the green-blue egg gene from our rooster Odo. turns out it's a dominant gene, the colored-egg gene. of the older hens, some lay brown and some lay white. they tell you in the poultry catalogue what color each type of chicken will lay. isn't that cool?

as for carrot life--you do almost hate to pull some of the little ones, they're so cute.

and i *loathe* pulling weeds. they deserve to live as much as any other plants, right?

Laura said...

One way to get over the problem of your food being too personal is to trade with somebody with the same philosophy - you eat their chickens, they eat yours, and you don't know their names but do know that they were happy, healthy chickens who led the best possible life a chicken could have and ended up having just one "really bad day." I can eat my friend Marty's chickens no problem - but my own? Not as long as they all have names!

Laura said...

Also, if you want a new rooster, I have a very handsome Icelandic rooster at home who would be happy to service your hens. No colored-egg gene, but a great color/pattern variety to offer.

jessie said...

Say it isn't so!!!!

We are doing "meat birds" this year, since we too are kind of attached to our poultry. We're up to five free-range heritage breed turkeys now, and we have no plans to eat any of them. Pity, but they're fun to have around!

And gardening? My garden is doubling in size this year. I don't know if I'm up for the challenge. The watering is no problem. The weeding...?