Archive for July, 2011

Chicken Souls

The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.
-Martina Navratilova 

After travel and internet difficulties I’m back! The chickens are huge, stinky and, well, not cute. They’re outside in a chicken trailer, so I guess they’re not technically free-range but they’ve got plenty of room. They huddle together in a big group in a sunny spot or scrabble in pairs over food or water. They’re fairly hideous and I must say I feel no attachment to them at all.  I’m ready and willing to fry up and eat them.

While it’s a struggle to see the chickens as individuals, it’s still upsetting to lose one. The chicken trailer has (or I should say, had, it’s since been remedied) small triangular spaces in each corner where a chicky could (apparently) get trapped. Cory found the unfortunate chick stuffed into one of the corners with a broken neck. Cory suspected fowl play. Just kidding…we think he got pushed up under the plywood and his little neck couldn’t take it. Danny fired up the excavator and disposed of the body. Well, at least that’s what he said he was going to do, it may have been a joke…it’s hard to tell.  

The pigs are doing well. I bought them a baby pool to play in when it gets hot. They love it. I can’t express how satisfying it was to see them plop down in it the first time. It’s extraordinary how different my feelings are for the chickens versus the pigs. I think of the pigs as food, there’s no question. When I look at Walter’s back legs I clearly see little hams, but I also look at their faces and see clearly defined personalities and preferences. Walter likes peaches better than watermelon. Flo will always choose the melon. Only having two pigs it’s easy to see them as unique little souls. If I had fifty, this might not be so.

I’d like to think I’m not swayed to prefer to pigs merely because they’re cuter. I’d like to think I’m not that shallow. We have 25 chickens so it’s much more difficult to get to know each one, and that’s assuming they even have unique personalities. I don’t really have enough experience with chickens to really know. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go out to the chicken trailer and sit with the chickys…I’ll report my findings.