Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I'm gonna get me some chickens
I recently was told and have confirmed that it's perfectly legal for me to have live chickens on my property in the sleepy (well, sleepy except for the K-Fed-esque assface who drives up and down the block pumping the bass in his Delta '88) hamlet of St. Anthony Village, Minnesota. And I really want to take advantage of this. I want some chickens. I want fresh eggs, and I want to throw feed around my yard and let them peck at it. Our back porch or yard has ample room for a coop, and I think the chickens might chase my wife's chihuahua around, which would be funny. The only problem that I can see is that the neighbors across the street have some foxes living under their porch. This may necessitate the purchase of a shotgun, which I could fire as I burst forth from the back door in my overalls when they try and storm my hen house.
Building a handsome coop such as this should be snap.
I may have to go with something more modern / pre-fab, though.
Now I just have to figure out where to get some chicks. I could even try and get a show bird and enter it in some contests. I already own a copy of "The Standard of Perfection", which is the bible for selecting, breeding and judging prize-winning poultry. "Your Chickens: A Kid's Guide to Raising and Showing" also seems like a tome that would be chock-full of invaluable tips.
And for any neighbors (or wife) that may be nervously reading this and fearing that a loudly crowing rooster will soon be shattering the tranquility of our 'hood, take heart: one does not need a rooster to produce eggs! Hens produce eggs in response to day light patterns. In other words, the eggs we buy in the store are not fertilized (meaning they don’t hatch), because a rooster did not "make love" to the hen. Most hens that lay grocery store eggs have never seen a rooster, and an unfertilized egg will not grow into a chicken, no matter how long you sit on it and care for it.
Chickens are interesting to me because unlike other animals, there is absolutely no glimmer of intelligence in their eyes. You can look at dog or a cat, or a gorilla, or an elephant, and divine some sort of reasoning going on therein, however rudimentary. No suck luck with chickens. They are just dumb. Moronic, even. I think even frogs are smarter. It's impossible to even get a chicken to look at you and recognize that you exist (I've tried). They just snap their heads around, cluck, screech, flap, and peck. The perfect pet! I've read that they grow more attached to an owner over time, though it's most likely just a basic response to recognizing a food source. I guess we'll see.
More on this as it develops.