I love eggs. No, really, I loooooooove eggs.
You know what I don’t love? Urban goddamn chickens.
I’m a farm girl. I’ve had horses, pigs, cows, goats, rabbits… and chickens. And one of the happiest moments of my life was when I bought that first carton of eggs in a grocery store. It’s like magic. You go in, give the cashier some money, and in exchange you get a cardboard carton full of clean fresh eggs that are all the same size and shape and which have been irradiated and sterilized and pasteurized and other -izeds.
I guess maybe that’s the vision that urban farmers have when they get their first batch of chickens. But it doesn’t work out that way. I hate you, urban chickens, and I hate the people who insist on inviting you back into my life when I thought we’d broken up for good.
The first mistake urban chicken farmers make is getting way too many goddamn chickens. Chickens, as science tells us, are basically dinosaurs. And dinosaurs at one point ruled the earth. And every single chicken has the mindless goal of returning us to that state as quickly as possible. That means at LEAST one ovulation per day per chicken. Which means one menstruation per day per chicken.
Oh. Did I call eggs chicken menstruation? Yep. Keep that in mind, you’ll need to know it in a paragraph or two.
So now you, Urban Farmer, have ten chickens. Ignoring the fact that the legal limit is 5 per household (still way too many), let’s look at how many eggs you’re going to have per week.
Eight hens times seven days is… 56 eggs. About five dozen eggs. You gonna eat all those? No. Too many for your household, too few for the farmer’s market. Hope you enjoy the permanent sulfurous funk that now hangs around your compost bin.
Wait, hang on. Why do you only have eight hens if you have ten chickens? Right. Because you forgot eggs are menstrual byproducts and you think you need two roosters.
Roosters, by the way, fight. Each other. The hens. Your cat. They wake you up at night. “I thought roosters crow at sunrise?” Hahahahano. Roosters do not give any fucks about sunrise, they just like the sound of their own voices.
But even if. Even if you had the most sensitive Jack-Johnson-listening night-sleeping roosters ever, there’s the matter of roosterdick. Cock-cock, if you will. You know what roosterdick does? It makes menstruations into protochickens. That’s right, those little red flecks you’re starting to find in your yolks? Baby chickens. And because you don’t irradiate your eggs, those were live baby chickens. If you “forget” to collect eggs for a day or two, you can even find partially-formed baby chicks in your eggs! Delicious!
Still, before any of that happens, you need to retrieve your original five dozen eggs. That means wading through chickenshit, risking lung disease and salmonella, to sick your hand under an angry chicken’s arse and retrieve an egg that looks nothing like a storebought egg. It’s lumpy, it’s tiny, and it’s coated in a thin scrim of effluvia because did you know there is only one way out of a chicken? Yeah, your egg just came out the cloaca, which is a fancy name for chickenpissshitohandalsoeggschute.
So enjoy those fresh eggs. I’ll be over here at the store.
PS If you need help getting rid of the roosters, I still remember how to wring a chicken’s neck.