Last spring we got chicks. They grew into some fine young chickens and everything has been going great. Well, other than getting almost nine eggs EVERY DAY. I eat breakfast with my grandpa most mornings, so it isn’t like I am even home to try to keep up with the egg onslaught. The only good thing about it has been that we do not immediately wash the eggs, which allows them to keep well for extended periods of time outside of a refrigerator. The bad part of that is that I get a little lazy with gathering the eggs.
About a month ago that caught up with me. It had been a few days and when I went to gather them up I noticed a hen in a nesting box. I thought nothing of it, assuming that she was just laying and so I went about my merry. Two or three days later the same thing happened, and again I thought nothing of it. The third time around I realized the error of my ways. Yup. You guessed it. I have a wonderfully bitey mother hen. She went broody on me and now bites at me every time she sees me. Every. Time. Given my inherent fear of poultry I had just been letting her sit rather than agitate her. That worked great until last Friday when mom told me that I had to throw her eggs out.
Saturday Captain America and I spent all day installing new floors in my home and then went to a wedding. I had a few glasses of wine and was feeling pretty darn happy as we drove home and got started on the feeding. Like the dutiful daughter that I am I started out tossing away the very unhappy hen’s eggs. That’s when things got weird. Is it the beak induced welts that make it traumatic? The frantic clucking? You might guess so, but you’d be absolutely wrong. No, no, what made it one of the most traumatic things off my life was breaking an egg and seeing a semi-formed chick struggling out at me trying to breathe, trying to survive; and knowing that I had just destroyed its little chicken life. I left it broken and alone in the cold with my heart broken by crushing guilt and grief. I managed to not cry, which was a feat in itself.
As we walked back to my house from the farm I told the good Captain that I was going to change my stance on abortions; that having just witnessed, just CAUSED, a late term chicken abortion I was pretty sure that I do not support them now. He laughed a little. I don’t think he knew how much it had messed me up, but that’s okay. He was going to find out.
We went inside to get ready for bed. I brushed my teeth and walked into my bedroom where I saw on the floor, you guessed it a chicken feather.
Now I don’t want to say that I broke down, but when CA walked into the room he did find me curled in a fetal position around the chicken feather with a grief stricken look on my face. I was nearly catatonic over the damned feather. I think I looked at him with tear laced eyes and tried to explain to him that the chickens, or God, were punishing me for my crimes against them. I am not sure what happened next; but I think he ignored my frantic mumbling, hugged me and put me to bed. He might have also promised to kill any livestock from now on. Which given the situation was remarkably considerate.
Needless to say I did not kill the rest of the eggs on Sunday, and when I went to pick them up to try to do it yesterday one of them started peeping at me. I’m done. She can have chicks.
Mom is going to kill me.