Do you know that a farm cannot be complete without the presence of animals and fowl, and the odour which each produces, along with the more material manifestations of their being? In layman terms, a farm’s got to have animal smells, and chicken poop; crude, but to the point.
And so, we acquired chickens, just three to begin with, for their eggs. The fact that we approached a large egg producer in the area, who had thousands of laying hens, and asked if we could buy three, seems now to be totally ridiculous. But this is what we did. We did it without any planning ahead. Boss got the chickens and was asked where he would put them to get them home. A good question, as we had been out for a drive, and pulled into the egg farm on the spur of the moment, having nothing in the car to put the chickens in. The family cat was also present.
“Just throw them in the back”, Boss said, “As soon as we get the cat cornered and the kids settled down.” The girls were not entirely thrilled with the idea of sharing the back of the car with three frightened hens. One never knows what scared fowl will do, and the children or I, for that matter, were not looking forward to finding out.
That was the easy part, getting them home. Getting them from the car to the barn was the problem. These chickens were really scared, but through perseverance we managed to get them settled, and within a few days they were presenting us with eggs. They appeared to be quite happy in their roomy, almost palatial new quarters, for they were accustomed to small wire cages where they could not even turn around. We had given them a new way of life and they repaid us with eggs and a constant supply of garden fertilizer.
Our farm was growing. We now had a cat, two rabbits, and three chickens. Through the years, at various times, we had as part of our menagerie, upwards of fifteen broiler chickens, which are a story in themselves. We have raised geese, ducks and two pigs. With each addition came events which will forever be emblazoned on my mind, and which added their own stroke to the deterioration of my emotional and mental stability. I will therefore afford each group their own section.