It's true, Lucy and Ethel are off to a better place. No, not that one, where their molecules get all mixed into the great scrambled egg of the universe. We are ending our backyard chicken experiment and sending them to a nice home in the country. The person adopting them has a variety of poultry out in rural Florida that can free range over an acre. Our girls will have more company (maybe even that of an attractive rooster, nudge nudge) and can get out of the coop and back to their beloved free-roaming, bug-gobbling ways. We cooped them permanently early this year when we realized we could never win the chicken vs. garden war. For all their teeny tiny brains, the girls were remarkably persistent and pretty ingenious in the pursuit of our produce. Now, we've had a number of altercations involving what we think are feral cats getting into the coop late at night (there are bazillions of them here in the urban hood). It could also be young raccoons or rats. Who knows? But, the ongoing cost and stress of trying to create an animal-proof coop that still keeps the girls happy is proving to be more than the benefit of keeping them. Considering that Jeff is now rarely eating eggs and Jared isn't here often enough for us to keep ahead of the egg curve, we had to admit that this experiment has run its course. We learned a great deal, that's for sure.
The girls are sweet and very successful at doing their chicken thing, and we made sure they're going to a good home where they'll be treated very well, if not spoiled rotten. And why not? When you think about what a chicken manages to do with that whole egg-laying thing, they deserve a little spoiling. Consider, oh female readers, that you would have to produce something like a 4-pound baby every 28 hours for two to three years to replicate the feat of these little laying machines. The mind boggles at the thought. We certainly have a new appreciation and understanding for where at least some of our food comes from, and in this disconnected, pre-packaged, styrofoam-cartoned 21st century world of ours, that's a precious thing.
Anyway, while we're very sad to lose them, we're happy to report that the Saturday Morning Market kicks back up this weekend. If we're lucky, the egg vendor will return and we can continue to have a few better-than-grocery-store eggs from happy, free hens even without our backyard girls.
Alors, bonne chance et bonne vie, chers poulets, et merci bien!