Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cluck!

I have been up at five every morning at home for the last six months or so.
The reason? We have a rooster.
His job is to till the garden and take care of his hens. The hens' job is  to lay eggs and till the garden.

Atleast, that's what Mian  and I thought till we realised their entertainment value. Having never had chickens before, I had no idea they have  so much personality.
The rooster for example. I have never seen him eat a grub he finds. Instead, he will call one of the hens (usually his favourite- the dark one- I am afraid) and give it to her. When a dog attacked, he fought it till the  hens got away. He's a good guy.
The hens are affectionate, in a chickeny way. They all (rooster included) come when I call. If they see me with something in my hand, they race over in a chicken waddle. They are supposed to live in a chicken tractor, but  post monsoon I've been letting them forage. There's so much lush  growth all over, it must be chicken heaven.
But no, they will come to where I am. Usually, this means the porch. Which means I either have to continually shoo them away or put up with chicken poop. They steal food from Madhu Bhaloo's porch. When she is sitting there.
But bless her, she's risen to the chicken guarding. When they give the alarm cluck, she's there before I am. She shoos her friends away from the coop. She's got a job, my Madhu.

The questions you might have:
Eggs? Yes indeed! two a day of the orangiest, yummiest eggs you ever saw. And yes, there  IS a difference between fresh farm eggs and battery eggs.
Meat? that was the original plan. And we intend to stick to it. Mian and I have been meat-eaters all our lives. It seems dishonest to say 'not these'.

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