Posted by: canthold | August 21, 2007

Thems Chickens


I spent this last weekend getting in touch with my outer Farm Girl. I say outer because it wasn’t just a state of mind, it was an actual function. I took care of my neighbor’s chickens while they were away and I got to know, first hand, what it’s like to have the feathered companions up close and personal.

The Other One

The coolest part is petting them. They’re very tolerant and soooo soft! They followed me around, too, which is quite funny. It made me feel like Dr. Doolittle. I probably shouldn’t make that reference because I haven’t read the real book. I did see the movie with Eddie Murphy, though. Does that count?


My neighbors let me take the eggs in return for watching the chickens. I think I gathered five all together. I got three the first day and only one for the next two. I somehow expected three each day, but what do I know about egg production? You should have seen the look on one of the chickens faces when she saw the eggs in my hand. She looked pretty pissed off. I hid them after that, just in case.

The funny thing about the eggs was they were covered in chicken shit. It was kind of gross, but the first time I’ve ever been able to use the term chicken shit and actually mean shit from a chicken. Is shit still a bad word? I don’t let my daughters use it. I tell them it’s a “mommy word” along with a long list of extra vocabulary words I acquired in the Army. I like to think of them as seasoning to spice things up a bit. (It’s too bland for me to yell, “Goll darn it!” or “Poopy head!” But I do it when I have to.)

I loved the idea of getting fresh eggs every day, but I learned through the course of the weekend that I don’t want to get chickens of my own. My neighbor said they started with five and I think they had four when we moved in. They’re down to two now and it would be too much for me to bear the loss of such a cool pet. They’re at risk of dogs, cars, raccoons and who knows what else. My heart breaks too easily. I cry when we lose fish and I’m a complete mess at the loss of a cat. I can live vicariously through my dear neighbors, though, and I can house-sit for them when they are away from home. That’s good enough for me.


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