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About chickens who float on balloons, others who are pets

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jun, 2003 05:17 am
EB, your opening story puts me in mind of two things . . .

A friend of mine graduated the University of Illinois with a degree in Animal Science, and a concentration in Meat Science (he could make a truly divine bratwurst). While searching for suitable employment, he worked at Strawberry Fields, the local hippy cooperative store, replete with "wholistic" foods and "natural" foods (i've usually preferred unnatural foods meself). One day, when rather frustrated by other matters, he was approached by a superscilious woman who wanted to know if the eggs had been laid by free range chickens. His reply was to the effect that No, they were not, they had been laid by chickens living all their lives in 9 by 9 by 6 inch cages, the beaks having been burned off to prevent them putting out one another's eyes, and that after having been physically exhausted by feed which put them on an abnormally fast egg-production cycle, they were sent off to Campbells to be cut up for chicken noodle soup. Needless to say, he was not appreciated for his humor or his candor by the cooperative employee committee which ran the place and met every week. But then, he was the only one willing to actually kill mice, who would otherwise have overrun the place, so he was severely chastised, and allowed to continue to slaughter rodents. They did prohibit him from painting mouse silhouettes on the side of the garbage can in which he dispatched the little rotters, though -- it upset the employees with more delitcate sensibilities too much.

The other thing you made me think of was an incident when i was about 11 or 12 years of age. I made money in the summer from casual labor for farmers, one such occupation being cutting the corn out of the beans, or the beans out of the corn. This involved taking a machete and chopping off at ground level the volunteer plants from last year's crop which were no longer appropriate because of rotation. Once while cutting corn from the beans, i captured a ground squirrel, which i put into my lunch bag (a large and capacious canvas affair), and took it home with me. Having arrived home, i transferred the critter to me button down shirt pocket, and washed out the lunch bag to hang on the clothes line. I then took the trembling little creature out and held him in my hand while he bit my thumb frantically and repeatedly, doing no appreciable damage. Then i became dismayed when i thought that he was frightened so badly by the gigantic monster which had waylaid him, and i could feel his entire body trembling in my hand. I felt just awful. I went to the back of the property, which was on the oustskirts of town, and released the little guy, who scampered off into a field of clover, never to be seen again. I continued dejected as i reflected that the two or three miles i had walked from the farmer's field was a hopelessly vast distance on the scale of that ground squirrel's reality--i could only console myself with the hope that he/she was a young ground squirrel, who could expect to make a new life. I've always had a horror of hurting small animals, and dogs, who deserve so much better from us.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jun, 2003 06:28 am
setanta
Reminds me of Jack Kerouac writing in Desolation Angels. He is a forestry lookout having to deal with mice in his little tower. When he finally kills one he is thrown into an agony of remorse. He tells of childhood days when he stopped squirrel murdering kids from harming the animals; now he is no better. The book does a very good job of detailing life spent in solitude, then at the end displays how most of what he had gained from the experience is immediately sloughed off on returning to society.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2003 06:06 pm
I am using Henrietta and Lulu for my avatar this weekend.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2003 06:13 pm
An a nice one it is, too, Boss . . .
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2003 06:20 pm
Smile Some people's dinner are others' friends.
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2003 11:07 am
http://www.randomchicken.com

Also . . . how to hypnotize a chicken:
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_012.html
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2003 11:22 am
Nothing random about my girls, CodeBorg. But I found the site interesting.
Anyone familiar with a2k's gallery knows Henrietta and Lulu (backwards uluL) are now featured among the pets. Henrietta is the one on top of the ledge.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 08:35 pm
I was just re-reading the thread. Nostalgic for my chicken friends.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 08:51 pm
Edgar, I have just returned from the pet gallery where I waded through sloughs of cats in search of your beloved chickens.

Page after page, nothing but cats, but then, near the end, I discovered your feathered friends from the past.

Fine-looking specimens, they are.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 08:58 pm
Chickens are the forgotten heroes of the galleries.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 09:08 pm
Yes they are, edgar, yes they are.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 09:13 pm
As soon as my wife developes the pic, I intend to post one of my puppy sitting on my lap. She's quite the charmer.
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apmom1266
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2004 06:47 pm
I'm also disgusted by the horrible condition of commercial egg farms. I once rescued some hens from a nearby farm that used such awful practices as keeping the chooks in little cages; 2-3 in each small cage. They were quite freaked out when I brought them home and they had so much room. Unfortunately, a mean nasty coon got them before getting to the others; maybe because they were white and easy to see(and smell) at night. I had one that lasted for a year, but she died recently of some sort of respiratory distress.
This year I've got quite a flock. There's the layers' coop and the cockrells' barn. In the laying coop we have a roo and 13 hens and pullets. I don't have a problem with eating chickens, and we don't keep our chickens as big corporations keep theirs. Ours have lots of room, good food, and their end is quick and painless. They are loved and appreciated.
Lately I've been reading about the importance of letting livestock animals eat grass, rather than feeding them exclusively grain. Our ladies do get storebought food, and in the afternoon they free-range. The boys have a long run, and they get lots of bugs and fresh cut grass, in addition to their commercial feed.
I love my chooks.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2004 06:49 pm
That's a wonderful post. Thanks, apmom.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2004 06:58 pm
Free raange eggs-not a great business unless you have infinite kids to hunt em down each day. One of my hens was laying her eggs beneath my table saw (lots of sawdust) I hadnt used my saw for weeks , then one day I went out to cut some shelves and , badabing, 2 dozen blue and green eggs under the table.
We have left instructions with our friends who are living in our place while we are on vacation. YOU MUST COLLECT EGGS!!!. I hope to return to an egg free barn and out buildings.
we have Wyandottes, Auracunas, and Polish . Our Polish rooster is named Jerry Lee.
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apmom1266
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2004 07:25 pm
Thank you Edgar.

Our girls free-range in the afternoon(2pm to dusk), but those few times we've neglected to lock them in, they still lay in the nest boxes. The trick is to make sure they're laying in the boxes before you let them start running free. Nikki and Ebony are the only hens we having laying(I sure hope the pullets start soon) and they can be deep in the woods and if the need to lay comes they run and fly(sort of) back to the coop. Come to think of it, the young ones are nearly old enough; maybe I should look under the tree.;-p They've never used the nest boxes, other than for sleeping.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2004 07:30 pm
our chickens are so goofy acting and people savvy, they stand near the road and line up for treats the Amish throw from their buggies. I had to put deer fencing around my veggie garden before we left home so that our friends could have unpecked butter-beans and tomatoes and undug radishes. Otherwise we like em walking around. Apmom, are you familiar with Polish chickens? They are the coolest buzzards out there.
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apmom1266
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2004 07:57 pm
I think Polish are so pretty. I might get some next year, maybe bantams, but I don't seem to have much luck with small numbers of one kind of chick. So, I'll probably have to make one of the portable coops; one that's fully enclosed with no chance of break-ins that I can easily move all about the property. I also want some Salmon Faverolles, but I haven't seen any around here(rural OK).
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 07:00 am
apmom, are you familiar with murray mcmurray hatchery? they have a website , Its probably something like http:www.mcmurrayhatchery.com
If aanybody has fancy breeds , its them
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 09:13 am
My one pet these days is a lab mix, whom I've spoiled terribly, a great pal for tug of war and other neat games.
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