Last night I gave my Chicken 102 workshop. Here are some notes on the experience:
- Even though I came prepared with a cone, even though I talked about how to humanely kill a chicken using a cone, every time I mentioned the act, I stumbled over the word. Stumbled, as in fell flat on my face, couldn’t even say the right word. Kill, dispose of, cone? Finally a man in the audience came to my rescue and like a parent gently leading a child to the coffin, told me that the word was “harvest.”
Harvest. It’s a good word. The end of a successful season, the fruition of your labors. Something that is appreciated.
It’s a good word.
- That young family was there (with the lava lamp girl) and this time, after I had answered the question “what is the smallest flock you should have and what is the largest” (smallest is 3 birds, largest depends on your space and resources) she asked me, if chickens are flock animals, and if I had a chicken living in my house, then wasn’t that chicken lonely?
I told her that this was a clear case of do as I say and not as I do. Charlie has flock members (she’s sitting next to me right now as I write this) but they are just birds of a different feather. Charlie is a unique situation and as much as we love her in the house, I’ve got to go on the record as saying that I don’t recommend that people start raising chickens in the house.
- Apparently Guinea hens are not stupid.
Many times, I have heard about how stupid Guinea hens are. They won’t come back to the hen house, they can’t find their way home, they don’t know how to get down from a tree. (fyi, I’ve heard the same things about domesticated turkeys.) One couple mentioned the Guinea hen they had who was noisy, funny looking, but not at all stupid. Their hen came in at night to roost and managed to be an effective watch dog during the day sounding the alarm whenever any thing or any one came into the yard. (Just as a note, this hen is a male, his female counterpart was killed.)
- This time I didn’t leave a picture of a chicken’s internal organs on the board for the Spanish teacher to find the next day. Instead I left it in yellow pastel for the meeting organizer to wash off her portable chalkboard (although there was a short discussion about how if left untouched, it would certainly be a conversation starter.)
- Someone in Concord knows how to make some of the best brownies I have ever tasted.
Go forth and enjoy your chickens, Concord.