Thursday, June 10, 2010
To cluck or not to cluck...
Ok, so I have chickens on the brain.
I love chickens! For pets that is... and eggs! I am really quite terrible at eating them... tho I have attempted many times. Killing is a whole other story, that I know for a fact I would not participate in on my own free will! Not that I raise issue with eating chickens as food. I might not choose to do so myself, but if you raise chickens for your own families consumption... I see no harm! If your neighbor raises chickens/beef/pigs... etc... for there own personal consumption and sell a bit to you, I also see no issue!
Small scale local butchers and meat producers should be allowed to produce the meat of our communities.
I grew up with backyard hens. We had various different chicken coops in various different backyards and they always were a complete and utter pleasure to have around. As a kid, not only could I name all the hens, pet them, chase them and collect their eggs, I also had the fine pleasure of introducing myself to the barnyard mice that lived in the chickens food! I loved to open the chicken feed and giggle while the lil' grey mice scurried up my wee arm into the hood of my jacket. My mother enjoyed this game less than I, but in the end, the chicken bond grew between her, myself, the chickens... and the inevitable mice.
There is certainly plenty of chatter out in the world right now about the security of our food and what kind of 'foot print' our families leave on the face of our earth. My own awareness of my addiction to 'foreign' food is now measurable. The nutritional density of food is also becoming very easy to measure. Some nutritionally dense food can be harvested and raised in our backyards. Some comes from far off countries that need the fair trade support of strong, economic power-houses like Canada. I am not wanting to stop purchasing food that is nutritionally dense and now embedded in my families diet, I just want to be smart about it! Food that is shipped from abroad once a year, is much more reasonable than say lettuce shipped once a week!
If having 2 hens in my backyard provided me with approximately 10 (at least) eggs a week, 30 weeks as year... that is 300 eggs from happy, healthy hens that my family had to enjoy that year.
25 dozen eggs that I didn't have pay $4.00/doz for @ the grocery store. Of course I have to ensure my chickens are healthy and I need to give them safety and security in order for them to produce for me. But the fear of backyard chickens needs to be put to rest. Feeding chickens kitchen scraps and letting them scratch the earth for grubs is a great start. Throw in some grain and corn in the winter and pop a heat lamp and a bail of straw in their roost and they will thrive!
Love goes along way these days.....
Backyard chickens don't stink, they don't carry bird flu (unless they are trapped in a barn never seeing the light of day with 15 thousand other hens) and the mice??? Well... that's is up to your discretion.
I am not going to run out and get myself a couple hens for my backyard right now.... tempting.... adding to 'Wild Kingdom' always is! I simply want to openly discuss with myself the pro's and con's of what we eat.... and where it comes from.