My chooks are older and fluffier now. I still suffer from CIA but at a reduced level, probably 5 out of 10 on the ‘CIA Scale of Discomfort’. This is down from 9 out of 10, so from a clinical perspective I have improved significantly. From my perspective, it’s still a pain in the butt.
I fear the only way to eliminate my CIA is to have no chooks. But I have grown fond of my feathered hens and I won’t get rid of them. They live for about 9 years so I’ll have to cope until they have gone to that great free-range farm in the sky. God doesn’t eat caged-chicken eggs!
I have five fabulously outrageous Chinese Silky hens. They are soft, docile critters adorned with lovely pompoms. Silkies are a great bird for the novice poultry keeper and are terrific for ‘tame’ children aged 6 and over. They lay little eggs weighing 40 grams. This means you will need a little teaspoon to fit in your soft-boiled eggy. If you are a horrible person and desire to eat a Silkie you will find the meat to be entirely repulsive and dark in colour.
My chickens are Pompadour, Snowy, Vegemite, Miss Eagle and Henny-Penny. Pompadour, the most arrogant of the hens, has the finest pompom. Snowy is a pure white hen and Vegemite is the colour of yeast extract. Miss Eagle is a suspected impostor having no pompom at all. I was running out of names when I got to Henny-Penny.
These chooks live the good life. They free-range all day and put themselves to bed at dusk. Sometimes I top up their dry food with fresh greens or, if they are really lucky, worms from my worm farm. As a result, when I open the gate to the backyard they go crazy with love and run towards me. This makes it all worthwhile. At night the door is shut securely on their coop. The fluffballs sleep snuggled up against each other.
PS. I have a confession to make. Due to my CIA (totally irrational) I just can’t bring myself to eat my feathered friends’ little eggs. But that’s OK because everyone else does and when we have too many eggs we trade with the neighbours, who give us seasonal produce. Everyone’s a winner. And yes, I am told, free-range, organic eggs definitely taste better.
Note: A repost of a story written a couple of years ago (Tessa is sick with a cold and I haven’t time to write 😉 )