Sunday, March 30, 2008

nesting and lambing

To me, nesting is about setting up a home and attending to it. To Ed, nesting is about wanting to have chickens running around his farmette.

My enthusiasm for chickens is low. When I lived with my grandparents in the deep countryside of Poland, the neighbor’s chickens depleted the meadowland of grass and left a trail of droppings so fierce that you could not side step it. Not good news for a little kid who liked to run around barefoot.

Today, the chicken issue came up again. We never set out to look at chickens. They just sort of presented themselves.

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We were at a nearby farm (A-Z Farm) that opened its doors to the public today to show off its incredible haul of little lambs: 62 moms gave birth so far this season, 53 still waiting to deliver.

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It was a wonderful, wonderful sight. Two day old lambs? Your heart wouldn’t melt? Your fingers wouldn’t reach for the fuzzy little head?

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And the sight of the lambs chasing their mommies for a sip of milk! It brought back memories of feeding the very young…

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come on, mom! get up and play!

What I could not tear myself away from was the pen with the pregnant moms. Their discomfort became my discomfort. Some looked like they were on the brink (as indeed they were) and I thought it worth my time to stand, watch and wait.

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…until a woman came up to me and whispered. Listen, I’ve been coming here for four years and I have yet to see one born when I’m here.

I’m so transparent.

There were other farm animals. Baby calves (2 days old), baby goats, pigs and chicks. A farmer shows us this one:

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...yes, sure. Cute.

In the way that my heart and soul goes out to the sheep mamas and their babies, Ed’s attention is on the chickens. I expect he’ll be carting a few home soon. I’m hoping to fall in love with them. I mean, they’re not quite like the lambs, but still… fresh eggs, daily, a sweet little hen in my lap… there are some good images out there. The man could have wanted to raise pigeons. Chickens are tons better than pigeons.

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FOOTNOTE: I am no longer publishing unsigned comments.


  1. I assume Ed has been visiting the Madison chicken raisers site:

    They used to be the "poultry underground" until the City legalized chicken coops, but have links to lots of good info on small-scale household chicken husbandry.

    They sell nice T-shirts and hats, too, if you want to spiff Ed up a bit with a great logo of the Capitol and a dome-sized hen.


  2. Oh, I'm terrible, terrible. I see the photographs of the fuzzy little lambs and I think, "yum!"

    I appreciate that others keep chickens for me, and that my Trader Joe's has astonishingly fresh eggs. Lots of people around here keep chickens, but for me the costs and inconveniences far outweigh the benefits. Although a truly fresh egg is heavenly...


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