Another hilarious story by Steve Riddle about Learning to Farm. I titled this one myself: Chickens and Eggs – TR
You know, some people just shouldn’t be farming!
Plus I’m having trouble just thinking of a thread title for how stupid this one was….
Just so everyone knows, NO I didn’t grow up on a farm! But in my encounters with things that lay eggs, such as fish, …or frogs, I just thought this was a given, a part of nature, …the way things are. You know, there are certain times in peoples lives that things of such fierce emotion, it causes them to be unable to talk about it until years later, sometimes the sharing even skips a generation and the information is shared between a grandparent and grandchild. I wonder what that son or daughter feels like when they find out second-hand from their child what war stories grandpa had to tell them. Or, other family secrets….
So, back those many years ago, my only encounter with critters that had eggs was a little caviar I would have at some of the military parties and functions my dad would go to. I could compare that with the fish in the fish tanks, or the small pond and look into the heavy moss and water-weeds and see the eggs and tadpoles from the frogs.
Living on base housing, yes we ate chicken eggs, had them for breakfast on many mornings, had them in cakes and other baked goods, but did I ever see a chicken lay that egg, …..no. So, you just make assumptions. And don’t tell me about that whole “never assume anything, it just makes an ass out of u and me” yes, yes, ….we all know that one. But honestly, I think if you would be truthful with your self, you’d make an assumption too.
So, here we are years later and I have just bought my little farm, and I’m honestly, kinda proud, it’s more land than my father had ever owned. He only had 5 acres out in the country before he passed on. THIS, however, was a farm, …..a 7.5 acre farm, with the barns and out buildings and great big old white farmhouse.
So, proud as I could be, we set up for some chickens to lay eggs. But not being from the farm, I like so many other people out there had to ask that question, …you know what it was too don’t you? “Well, will the chickens lay eggs even if there isn’t a rooster around?” Seriously, that’s not that stupid of a question. (Well, for me it wasn’t) ..because I can get even more stupid-er than that.
So, after getting the chickens AND rooster, I had the next boxes and straw and old shredded newspapers to make nests out of. And even started having a few eggs arriving in the nests which we would go and collect because at the time, we really didn’t want or need replacement chicks. We wanted to eat our bounty! But a few months into it, I started thinking about how fast our free range chicken operation was feeding the local coyote population, and decided that there would have to be some fast administration to the operation if I had to feed the coyote population as well as my family farm operation…..
OMG, I’m so embarrassed, here it goes…. So, I worked in a cubicle next to a woman who grew up as a farm girl all her life and they raised chickens, in fact, the ones I started with came from her family farm. I thought it was nice of her and her folks to offer such a kind offering. kinda like “here, welcome to the farm life”.
So, realizing I had to leave the eggs in the nest if we were to repopulate the diminishing number of egg laying hens, I approached my co-worker and first had to inform her that their kind offering was feeding the local coyotes, it was humiliating, having to admit that I couldn’t really farm, or even keep those land buzzards from eating my hens. She was however, very nice about it all and explained that things like that just happen on farms sometimes, it’s up to the farmer to out-wit the predators.
Whew, glad that was over, she truly understood. Now I just had to admit my ignorance and ask one more question. To which she readily focused her attention to my question, and looking her square in the eyes I asked, “So, how many eggs does it take to lay in the nest before the rooster will come along and fertilize them? and how does the sperm actually penetrate the hard shell?”
I will tell you this, tears fell on both side of that conversation. hers from laughing so loudly that others from our office wing had to come see what was going on, and from me, for being so beyond stupid, that all I could do was cry, ….OMG! what have I gotten myself into? I’ll never cut it as a farmer….