23 Sep

My chickens don’t all have names. Most of the ones who do are simply named after someone they resemble, like there is one rooster who looks exactly like my friend Tim (and acts like him, too). Then there are also:

Sir John A MacDonald
Marlon Brando
Bob Bowers, after a toothless old man I know

The ones who have their own names are the old biddies: Thelma and Bertha; The young ladies: Monica, Georgie, Sharky and Gretel; old man (he is the bitter old guy who sits at the dive bar all day with nicotine-stained white beard and hair); King, the tiniest rooster…and then there’s Brain, the pink one.

In the mornings, I go into the chicken coop and throw out all of the roosters  because I keep the layers penned for the first part of the day until they lay their eggs, and then let them out to free-range the rest of the day. The roosters don’t need to be in the pen, and if they are in there, they just rape the hens all day and stress them out. So they get to be free as their reward for being trouble-makers. Some of the others figure out how to escape the pen, and why wouldn’t they? Being free is the best. But Beaker…king rapist that he is, is the only one who escapes in reverse. He gets himself back into  the pen so he can have access to the females. The jerk. I throw him out, and 10 minutes later, there he is.

The cocks love to act the hero when a hen is about to be fucked. They will run up, going, “Hey! Leave her alone!” (I even saw one bitchslap another with his wing), but as soon as the first takes off, the hero becomes the rapist.

The meat birds have incredibly-large feet (probably genetically adapted to balance them with their rapid weight gain), and they crowd around me when I show up with water or food. It is really easy to step on their feet, and they scream at me angrily.

When I think about how massive the little dog or the grown chickens must be to the chicks when passing by the brooder, I imagine how startling the world must be to them. No wonder they peep like they are being murdered whenever I come around. The all-powerful giant who feeds and waters, moves them around, makes the light come and go. I knew it. I am god to chickens.


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