Saturday, December 24, 2011

It Becomes Normal

When husband leaves for work, he calls home to check in on all of us. How's wife, how's Buddy, how are the chickens? It's sweet, and I'm sure most spouses do as such when traveling.

There's a new set of questions now that the chickens are laying. Did you collect eggs? How many today, what color were they?

And then my favorite (careful, not exactly appropriate for young children):

Did you sex 'em up good?

Yes, husband asks me that about the chickens. Because now that they are of laying age, they are also of mating age, and they instinctively crouch down to "accept" a rooster when we come into the coop. Silly me, I had kinda thought that they were just being friendly and suddenly very generously allowing us to pet them, but no. They are just being proper hens looking for their male counterpart.

Glennie, um, offers herself
Brendon takes it upon himself to not only pet them, but to kinda grab them and wiggle them a bit. He thinks that this will trigger something in their chicken psyches equivalent to mating fulfillment and thereby translate to more regular (and perhaps satisfying?) eggs production.

Who am I to argue? Am I any more chicken expert than he? So yes, I do it too. I mean, good heavens, I don't want frustrated chickens! And I was the one who gave away both of their roosters.

Admittedly I never expected to be crouched down in a chicken coop, roughing up a little hen according to my husband's wish that I sex 'em up good. Once again I find that we are making up a very strange set of rules by which we make our lives in this house, in this neighborhood, with these animals.

Does she look irritated to you that I am not Brendon? I don't think I'm imagining this.

So not exactly the idyllic image I had of a little backyard mini country farm. Our hound doesn't herd the chickens but rather tries to eat their eggs (he can tell how much we like them, so he likes them too). Our chickens don't come to us to be petted because they adore us. And we shake their little chicken rumps because we think it will stimulate egg production.

He could at least not drool when he looks into the coop, come on now

Yeah. Disney's not going to adopt this as a script anytime soon.

And the thing is, it doesn't even phase me when he asks. I just reply yes or no, depending on whether any of the hens were feeling, um, frisky enough to let me. Like the rest of the things we've done with the animals and the house, it's been a combination of what we think we should do with them and what actually works in reality.

So. It's normal for us to ask this question. And when I'm actually doing it, I look up at their warming red light in the roost and think, at least that's appropriate.

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