The Ugly Truth About Chickens

They stink, they eat their own eggs, they peck each other bald and consume more feed than what it costs to buy the organic, range-free eggs. All of these truths were tolerable until we inherited my Dad’s dog, Max. Max doesn’t care for chickens. In fact, the only chicken Max has any affinity for is a dead chicken. He can kill a chicken quicker than a .22 bullet to the heart. When the chickens went into 24 hour confinement, so did their excrement. They no longer free ranged and that quadrupled their feed amount at about the same time corn based animal feed nearly doubled in cost. Raising chickens was no longer fun, relaxing or rewarding. It became tedious, expensive and frankly, quite smelly. I had a friend in need of some chickens, so I boxed them up, loaded them into the back of her SUV and said farewell to my chicken raising days.

There is now an eerie calm and hushed silence out on the farm. I no longer have every bird within a 5 mile radius stopping by for a bite to eat or quick drink from the chicken pen. There is no 4 AM rooster crow to remind us that the sun will be rising in the next 3 hours or angry cackle from a mad hen warning that the dogs are too close to the pen. No frozen water to break or tote by 5 gallon bucket in the sub freezing temperatures. Do I miss my chickens? Hmmm…. Ask me in a few more months.  I’m now thinking bunnies are the wave of the future on the Jordan farm – or maybe a little pig – or a couple goats – or a new calf…

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