Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bad dog, good chicken...

This blog started out as a way for me to document my journey into life as a miro-farmer.  Not turning into a very tiny farmer, but having a tiny-ish farm.  Just so we have that part clear.  So I'm going back to the roots of this blog for today and sharing some deep-ish thoughts about the process so far.
In the last year and a half we have discovered just how much we love raising and growing our own food.  There's a huge sense of pride in seeing and being a part of the whole process.  When I used to buy a package of chicken, or a carton of eggs, they were just products on the shelf.  There was a huge disconnect between me and those chickens.  I'm not responsible for any part of those chickens' lives.  That's the part that's both good and bad about raising my own food.  I'm responsible for it.  It's great because I get to choose what it eats, so that I'm also choosing what I eat.  I give them a safe home where they're protected from predators at night.  I thank them when I collect their eggs.  I treat my birds with respect.  I know that someday they're going to stop producing my breakfast, and therefore someday become my dinner.  Just because I'm going to kill them someday, doesn't mean that I don't care about the quality of life they have now.  I pet them.  I named them.  And I feel awful when something bad happens to them.  Because when something happens to one of my chickens, it's my fault.  If I pick up a package of chicken at the grocery store, I'd never know if that chickens tail feathers were all ripped out by the farmer's way-too-excited dog.  But that's exactly what happened to one of my chickens the other day, and I'm responsible.  I'm responsible for letting my chickens wander wherever they like at the new house.  I'm responsible for my dog.  I'm responsible for the fact that when a chicken wanders very close to a fence with an extremely excitable dog behind it, that there is really just zero chance of containment for that dog, and pretty much zero chance of survival for the chicken.

This particular chicken, however, is one seriously bad-ass chick.  She's currently in isolation from the other chickens, so that they don't peck her wounds.  She doesn't have a single tail feather left to speak of, and has a pretty gnarly gash on her back.  But we've been spraying her back with Vetricin, and despite being pretty worse for ware, she laid an egg yesterday.  We even found a nice little scratch on the dog.  Like I said, a seriously bad-ass chick.
So, today when I'm at the grocery store, and I pass by the egg section, I'll have an ever bigger sense of pride than I usually do when I leave there empty handed.  Because my bad-ass chicken still laid me an egg after being attacked by my dog.  You go girl.

Thanks for stopping by,

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