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I’m becoming my mother, part kzillionty

We stopped here to buy eggs today. Yup, it’s a thatched roof. There’s a fair number around.

The construction of this little cottage is unusual — the walls are made of small wooden logs set into the walls sideways — with the cut ends sticking out — and then mortared around.

I don’t know if it’s genuinely old or not. It can be hard to tell.

We’re thinking of getting a few chickens ourselves. I’ve mentioned it.

I hated our fucking chickens when I was a kid and swore I’d never own one, but…I dunno. I feel seriously under-animaled. And the cat won’t let me have a kitten.

Cons. We have a small garden, so there’s not much room. Chickens live for ten years but only lay for five — and we’re huge pussies about killing stuff. Particularly stuff we know by name. Also, we wake up to a garden full of fox poop every morning, so we can expect to hear a lot of beGAAKing in the middle of the night until Monsieur Reynard digs his way in and makes a savage end to the whole experiment.

Pros. Behbeh chickens!


Comment from Pupster
Time: April 14, 2010, 10:28 pm

I have a friend who has both chickens and guinea fowl. The guinea fowl are much, much cooler. Smarter and more self sufficient. The only problem is they don’t like to lay their eggs in a fixed roost, they hide them all over the damn place.

Have you ever considered peacocks?

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: April 14, 2010, 10:37 pm

It’s all the rage ’round these parts to have chickens, so what the heck–be one of the cool people and get some.

And a big dog to chase away the foxes. 🙂

Comment from Mike C.
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:03 pm

The only thing more stupid than a domestic chicken is a domestic turkey.

Aside from a democrat, I mean.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:06 pm

PS – love the thatched roof.

You are fire-proof, yes ?

Think slate.

Comment from Dawn
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:10 pm

Behbeh chickens mean you have to get a rooster and roosters are barbaric. My neighbors had an especially ornery one and he would tear all of the feathers off of the hens he particularly liked. It was very Ike Turner. It made me think the bald chickens were just big old sluts.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:17 pm

No, no, no…NO ROOSTER. The rooster was the main reason I hated our chickens. They don’t crow at dawn, they crow whenever they fucking feel like it; which, in his case, was usually three in the morning, right outside my bedroom window.

Mother insisted the hens would be “unhappy” without a rooster, but ours was grossly oversexed and pestered those poor hens until their backs were as featherless as the ones you describe. They would sit down suddenly whenever they saw him coming.

By “behbeh chickens” I meant buying day-old hatchlings.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:21 pm

Also, if you’re becoming your mother, where’s the photocopy of the Stoaty nekkid polaroid?

‘Jes askin’

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:24 pm

No, no, no…NO ROOSTER

Um. I thought a rooster was a necessity if you wanted eggs? I mean. . .they don’t get fertilized AFTER they emerge from the chicken.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:36 pm

Stoatie, what if you dressed up the kitten as a weasel? Would you be able to bring it in then? 😉

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:43 pm

I’ve thought about a ferret, Scoob. She would TOTALLY HATE it, but I don’t think she’d be jealous. It’s amazing; she flipped out the moment she saw Damien the kitten in our house.

Nope, Can’t hark. Totally not necessary for eggs, just for fertile eggs. Chickens just plop out eggs naturally (for a while) without any provocation. The hens who lay the eggs you buy in the supermarket have never seen a rooster in their lives.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 14, 2010, 11:53 pm

Ah. Interesting. Sad, but interesting. What the hell do you suppose mother nature was thinking?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know about mammalian reproduction and all. But somehow, a chicken egg, with the shell and the white and all that stuff, well it just seems so ELABORATE for something with no function.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 15, 2010, 12:11 am

Huh! I wouldn’t call my fried egg sammich “no function”! 😉

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: April 15, 2010, 12:17 am

Hark, Mother Nature was probably thinking about scrambled eggs without what George Carlin so eloquently called “Hen Cum”.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 15, 2010, 12:31 am

Mercy! Uncle B & Scuba, I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe. Okey-dokey, I surrender! Function’s where you find it!

Comment from Nan E. Goat, PhD
Time: April 15, 2010, 12:34 am

Never minded chickens, but milk cows–gak! I milked three cows by hand for five years to pay for a $150 horse. Yes. I’m retarded.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: April 15, 2010, 12:52 am

As I pointed out in the other chicken post, a cock bird stops a dominance hierarchy (pecking order) from forming among the hens which usually leads to one not laying.

But they are so, SO annoying. We had a couple of feral ones that poked about in the valley behind my apartment. One or the other would let out a screech every five minutes morning, noon and night. The landlord ‘removed’ them (what their fate was I neither know nor care) but by that point I was on the cusp of going to the gun shop and buying an air rifle. I was a bit surprised they weren’t taken by the family of raccoons that live in the neighbourhood. A few urban foxes would have been very welcome. Actually, what I would have liked would have been Giant Freakin’ Weasels.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 15, 2010, 2:52 am

Sock, be gone!

Comment from Mark T
Time: April 15, 2010, 8:52 am

A couple of thoughts. Peacocks? You must be daft. One visit to Holland Park and you’ll be convinced why people use peacocks instead of pit bulls. Right at the beginning of the Hebrews’ Chorus when the dramatic tension was palpable, the peacocks started in: ca-RREEO! ca-RREEO! Extraordinarily impolite fowl.

Then I have to question the Carlin quote. Um . . . “hen cum??” As my eighth grade girls used to emit in class, “OhfergrOOOSe!” And, seriously, isn’t it more of a case of eating “chicken periods?”

Comment from Pavel
Time: April 15, 2010, 12:42 pm

If one were stationed in Turkey, and one’s landlord owned a rooster, and said rooster parked itself right under one’s bedroom window every single morning, and one’s spouse hated the said rooster with every fiber of her being, and one were to have a fight with one’s spouse and, by way of payback the following morning, one were to entice said rooster to crow mightily and repeatedly by means of making barely audible crowing sounds of one’s own (whereupon said rooster will think he’s hearing another rooster from way off, and he’ll be FUCKED if he’s going to let that bastard go unanswered), and shortly thereafter one’s spouse were to drag herself from bed befrazzled and sleepy-eyed and wildly annoyed, and grumble about said rooster, and one were to smile inwardly at one’s great cleverness; well, then, one would have a certain fondness for roosters.

Comment from Pavel
Time: April 15, 2010, 12:43 pm

As hungry as all this talk of chicken excreta is making me, some of us have to get to work.

Comment from Elphaba
Time: April 15, 2010, 2:09 pm

Peacocks suck mega amounts of ass (loud and exceedingly obnoxious birds). I’ll take a rooster over a freaking peacock ANY day…

Chickens, I can speak to, as I have (currently) 14 hens and 1 rooster living in my back yard. ‘Tis true that roosters will crow at any godforsaken hour, and they do abuse their lady-friends. We ended up buying these for all our girls. I give you, the Poultry Saddle: http://hensaver.com/

We bought all of our chickens in one batch, and they arrived together in a box via US Mail at 3 days old. More than a dozen were roosters, so we did have to butcher most of those. Not a fun job, but very good eating…way better than what you’ll buy at your local Wal-mart. I also LOVE the eggs. The flavor is far superior to anything in the store, I don’t care if they DO claim to be “range fed.” We do intend to let some of the broody hens raise some beh-behs at some point, when we have the space prepared to separate them from the rest of the population. Having chickens has been educational. I totally get why they are where they are in the food chain. 😀

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: April 15, 2010, 2:48 pm

>And the cat won’t let me have a kitten.

My sweet Cod, this once stout and hearty American Sweasel takes orders from cats.
The days of doom are upon us. I predict that future actions of the Sweasel will hinge upon approval of English sparrows, non-objection of cabbage caterpillars and positive vibes from 2″ newts.

The thatched house is where they keep furryfooted hobbits who are expected to fetch hard currency from gullible tourists thus enabling this lugubrious Britannic drollery to last a few days longer.

Although to be fair, the thatched house is very high tech compared to neolithic kromlechs of large stones haphazardly lumped together in circles where the proto-Englishers played naughty hide-the-sausage games.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: April 15, 2010, 2:58 pm

All I can think about it the poop, they gotta poop, your yard is small, it will be full of poop. I hate poop, therefore no cats allowed in this house. As for the dogs, they have their own little space for it and I don’t venture into it, the hubs sole job is to scoop that poop. Bleah, hate poop.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 15, 2010, 4:19 pm

I think some care in choosing names for fowl can alleviate some of the slaughter day anxiety. Names like “Sunday, With Dumplings,” or “Born To Be Fried!” or even “Old Roaster” seem like fine names to me.

Peacocks were popular as watchdogs on farms when I was a boy…because they are very loud and aggressive birds. And as intelligent as your average barnyard fowl like a rooster or a gander. Which makes them great for keeping away foxes and stuff, cause they’re too stupid to realized they’re lunch and will attack anything.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2010, 5:57 pm

Meh. I’ve pretty much nixed the chicken idea. I wouldn’t like keeping them in an enclosed run all the time — we don’t have room for a big one — and I’d hate to think what they would do to Uncle B’s flower beds. Let alone the vegetable patch.

Which also lets out most things on four legs. I rescued a baby bunny from the cat earlier, but he squirted out of my hands like a watermelon seed…

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 15, 2010, 6:40 pm

Good point, EW1. We always name the semi-annual steer we raise. One year, “Cheeseburger.” The next, “Meatloaf.” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

That way, the day we load them up in a horse trailer and bring them home in boxes doesn’t come as a complete surprise.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2010, 7:55 pm

My mother did it the other way ’round — gave livestock people names, then later called the meat by that name.

Worst thing, she named the milk cow Mother. So we had to go milk Mother for a while. I was pretty happy when she went dry.

Comment from Pavel
Time: April 15, 2010, 8:44 pm

Eew. You actually touched those squirty thingies on a milk cow’s hangie-downie thingie?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2010, 9:26 pm

For the longest time, Pavel, I hung onto our last packet of Teat Wipes.

Because “Teat Wipes” makes me laugh like a drain…

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: April 15, 2010, 9:37 pm

Just got back from our Tea Party, it was quite successful. We had local Fox news, that’s it. You would think that those protesting where the precedent was actually at would get some time, but no. I had my service dog with me and carried a sign that said, “my dog will get better health care.” She was quite a hit!! We had tons of support from those driving by, lots of waves and honking. I heard from a friend of mine that works at KSC that they were literally held prisoner in their offices. The roads were closed AND an American flag was asked to be removed by the WH. I’ve seen pictures and there are flags around, so I’m not sure what was really moved yet. I’m sure I’ll hear more. Stoaty if you want to see Star and I go check out our FB page! She looks soooo pretty!

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: April 15, 2010, 10:03 pm

I really wanted to go to our local party (Sacramento), but with no sick leave left couldn’t take the pay hit. I’m looking forward to hearing about it, though.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: April 15, 2010, 11:45 pm

Nina, Me too. Strapped down to the desk, couldn’t make it downtown. I doubt the local channels will provide any favorable coverage…if at all. Sacramento local news is about as left-leaning as it gets, outside of well…I guess everywhere in CA these days.

Comment from Spad13
Time: April 16, 2010, 2:04 am

Weas yes teat wipes are funny but the jar of “Bag Balm” my uncle keeps by the sink in the bathrrom is a real laugh.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: April 16, 2010, 4:49 am

Thanks to Bag Balm, my bag has the supple richness of fine Corinthian leather.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: April 17, 2010, 6:15 pm

I recommend ducks instead of chickens. The Campbell duck is every bit as prolific as a chicken, lays a much higher quality egg, and has none of those “cannibal velociraptor” qualities that chickens have.

We just hatched out a bunch:

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 17, 2010, 9:38 pm

Awww…those are adorable, Bob! But a little disturbing to see them on a plate with chopsticks. I like my sushi fresh, but that’s ridiculous.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: April 18, 2010, 5:15 am

Yes, but doesn’t the yellow one just bring the “sass?”

The plate with copsticks thing was for the complainer. We would never actually eat one of them.

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: April 19, 2010, 7:19 pm

But a little disturbing to see them on a plate with chopsticks.

Sure was. Have you ever tried to pick up something covered in feathers with chopsticks? You’ll go nuts…

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