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May 20th, 2011

It was chick day at the local farm supply store yesterday. This is the day when the order of baby chickens is ready for pick up. I love chick day. It’s like live action Easter, with cute little peep peeping babies scratching, fluffing, eating and sleeping. I can watch them for a few minutes. Go “Awww.” And go home.

This is probably about enough chicken for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I like to eat them. And I like omelets. Since I live on a farm, it might seem logical to get a flock of them and move the egg supply directly into the front yard. But I have two cats that like to hunt things which are slow, stupid and handy. And a big dog that likes to jump on smaller animals not so much to hunt, but just to yell “Surprise!”

I am also maxed out on living creatures that need to be housed, fed and watched over. A few chickens would probably push me over the limit. Since I have bad eyesight but a good imagination, I tell my husband what I actually need is a page of chicken shaped stickers that I can put on the kitchen bay window. Then I will mark the spot of the floor where I need to stand to line up the images with the dilapidated chicken coop in the front yard to get the optical illusion that I have live poultry. Really, that will be good enough.

That and a neighbor willing to sell me fresh eggs. Since there seems to be a rush, both rural and urban, to keep chickens, I have got to have a few back to nature acquaintances that are going to be ass deep in eggs once their hobby hens start producing.

My mother, who grew up on a farm in the depression, hates chickens. She used to tell me horror stories about gathering eggs.

And about Ed Gein. I have a weird family. Let’s just talk about the chickens for now.

In my hometown, they were trying to pass an urban poultry ordinance, and my mother is incensed, and complains loudly and repeatedly about “Those people who want chickens.” It just so happened that I sat next to one of the people behind the ordinance at a banquet in Milwaukee last weekend. Her name is Georgette.

Georgette explained to me that, after careful research, she could prove that the number of chickens, the size of the coop, the lack of roosters, etc, would make these birds odorless, silent, and no bother to the community. But that wasn’t enough for the people who complained the loudest. These people objected to chickens on principal. They were all people who, at one time in their life, had been required to care for chickens. And they did not want to be anywhere near a chicken, ever again.

Apparently, actually being around chickens engenders a hatred normally reserved for Nazis and small pox.

I asked Georgette if maybe the chickens don’t bring some of this on themselves.