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Posts Tagged ‘laying hens’

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Rabbits are nauseatingly cute. I’m not attached to them – really, I swear I’m not. Actually, they’re a bit of a pain in the arse. Every time I woke up to pounding rain in the middle of the night over the past two weeks, I’d fret about the baby rabbits’ well-being until I forced myself to leap out of bed and disappear into the wet storm at odd hours, searching for rags or other bedding material to keep them warm. And still, three of them died, due to I don’t know what. (The capriciousness of the worst October weather ever? Hot, wet and windy.) So, in all honesty, it would be much easier to get rid of them than to keep them. But, I can understand why Americans in general don’t eat rabbit – we have an obsession with cute, and rabbits are ridiculously so.

Cute Overload

What is not cute is a chicken who screeches as soon as the sun comes up (about 6:30 right now). In the interest of maintaining domestic civility and keeping my neighbors from killing the chickens in the night, I got rid of one hen. So, there were three hens and now there are two. I gave the noisiest one to a woman who keeps a rooster – I don’t think she’ll be bothered by the noisy hen. I simply lost my sense of humor, especially since, it seemed to me, that the hens were withholding eggs. The remaining two chickens continued to make broody noises during the day, but it is less bothersome. Due to their broody noises, I became convinced that they might be hiding eggs, rather than witholding them. So, I had to go egg-hunting, which meant laying down some cardboard and crawling under the dark, damp, deck where the chickens spend time.

And, I found nothing, even after I interrogated the chickens as to the whereabouts of their eggs (all they wanted to do was peck at the cardboard). So, I tried a different tactic: lavishing them with old cheese and giving each one her own nest box.

Each hen gets her own nest box
And it worked! I may have the most spoiled city chickens ever, but they are now laying lovely brown eggs with rich orange yolks almost daily. Which leaves me free to enjoy the best part of urban livestock-rearing: eating the long-awaited results.

They refuse to lay eggs unless they get to read Sunset magazine very month!

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