December – The Official Month of Ungratefulness – Meditation #8

I have baby chicks I’m raising at the moment. They are extremely cute. Fucking adorable actually. They don’t really have a mother. Like most families – it’s complicated. Actually, more complicated than your average family because their mother – well actually their surrogate mother – tried to murder them. So, I’m raising them now.

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When I first got chickens I thought it would be easy. I’d watch them potter around the garden and feel somewhat organic. I’d get a fresh beautiful egg delivered to me every day in exchange for a few handfuls of corn. They would happily roost in the cute little hen house I provided them and in the morning, I’d find them happily eating worms. Not only that but I’d save money on eggs.

So, for my readers, who would like to become urban, or even suburban, chicken keepers, allow me to give you some insight. First of all you have to build a secure house for them and, a safe pen. Even if they will free range you still need a safe pen for days that they won’t be allowed out due to …I don’t know… earthquakes, hurricanes, mass hawk invasion, visits by tigers and bears. Trust me, there will be days they need a pen.

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Don’t assume they will like the house you build for them. You may need to make several adaptations before they feel that it suits their needs. It may cost a very lot of money. By ‘a very lot’ I mean A Very Lot. So, in terms of saving money on eggs, plan to start the value at about $200 per egg.

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Guess what? Chickens don’t lay eggs daily. Those fucking bastards – I’m not sure who they are, but someone makes us all think eggs are a daily thing from chickens and those someones are definitely bastards – lied to us. Chickens vary in how many eggs they lay, when they’ll start and for how long. Now, if you’re smart, unlike me, and you actually want eggs relatively reliably, you’ll purchase hens from a breed that are good layers. Even so, they may stop at any time and for any reason.

Their shit is huge and they shit everywhere. If you have a dog, you only have about 10% of the idea of what it’s like cleaning up after chickens. Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, they shit from the same hole they lay their eggs from, which means that it’s usually at least as big as an egg, if not larger and more voluminous.

If you still want chickens, please allow me to just pop in a few more facts. Some hens crow. No, really, they do. Just like roosters. Even if they don’t, chickens can be noisy fuckers. Your neighbours will not love you. You know what else? Every so often they may decide that they need to sit on eggs, even if they don’t have any. They can sit there for weeks and some will starve themselves to death doing it, waiting for chicks that will never come. It’s tragic and annoying all at the same time.

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Finally, if you have any sense of morality whatsoever, you’ll find yourself, one day, at the emergency vet on a Sunday night with a sick chicken. I hate to tell you but it will probably die because they tend to just drop dead for no apparent reason. The vet will be bemused and you’ll cry.

So, today, I am ungrateful for my fucking chickens, who have not laid an egg in about 2 weeks. I’m currently buying eggs. Free range, of course. What a load of bollox.

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