Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chicken Chronicles: For want of an egg

I'm starting to get a little concerned. For the past couple of months I've been on the lookout for a farm stand that sells fresh eggs.

This is puzzling and a bit disturbing. As recently as two years ago, I knew of four places I could get eggs grown on the premises. Now, I got bubkes.

I've known the joy of a good farm egg, and I also know how much of a pain it is to grow your own. Some four or five years back I ended up with a dozen chickens who, at times, produced a dozen golden-yolked and delicious eggs a day.

The chickens, like many of my Projects-with-a-capital-P, were the result of a severe case of Shiny. I don't even remember what sparked the idea. I had no prior exposure to chickens -- I grew up in the city so the whole farm animal thing was new to me. But my enthusiasm (and the interwebs) would be enough to carry the day, right? After a furiously intense period of research I bought chicks, we built a Chicken Tractor, and eventually turned the shed into a coop.

Things went along pretty well until the day I found one of the Black Australorps crumpled in a heap. I didn't know why but guessed it couldn't be good. I got her into a cat carrier and brought her into the house. But then what? You don't take a chicken you paid less than a dollar for to the vet... do you? (Yeah, I can hear you farm-savvy folks out there snorting your coffee. Told you I was clueless.)

I called a pal with a small farm and in short order I learned more than I ever wanted to know about hens becoming egg bound.
"So what do I do?"

"You stick your finger Up There and break the egg. If you don't, they die."
After my vision cleared, I performed a fairly predictable Gollum and Smeagol routine: "We can do this." "No, we can't it's too weird." "But we must! Think of the poor chicken!" "Eff the chicken! No f'n way!" "Just f'n do it, you pussy!" "Get off my ass, you pushy bitch!" and so on. Luckily I was able to get a grip before it came to blows.

After much pacing and hand-wringing and garment-rending and breast-beating and ululating*, with the chicken sitting in the cat carrier looking catatonic and pathetic and emitting random mournful squawks (brrrrraaAAWwww....), I decided I could do it. But I couldn't do it alone.

I called Hubby and laid** it out for him. I told him I needed him to come home and hold the hen while I tried to break the egg... the hard way.
(cue crickets chirping over stunned silence...)
He came home on his lunch hour and held the poor thing while I shoved a (gloved) finger Up There and felt around for something egg-like. But unfortunately, as much fun as that was, there was no joy that day. I could find no egg to break.

As with most dark experiences in life, there was one positive result from that traumatic episode: Hubby got to tell everyone at work that his wife called him home to molest a chicken***.

Be sure to catch our next episode of Chicken Chronicles, in which our clueless couple tries to euthanize a chicken without traumatizing their quiet suburban neighborhood or themselves.

* Not really.

** Ha! I'm gross!

*** My mission statement: When in doubt, always do what makes the better story. -- A stand-up comedian I can't remember, sorry.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe if you had played "When I Think About You I Touch Myself" the hen would have snorked that egg right out.

    Ah, things we learn too late in life to be of use.



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