Aging hippie guilt has wide breadth (and would be a good rock band name). Today I’m assuaging mine for not raising chickens in my backyard. So, even though the summer heat has begun to weigh on me like a thick wool blanket, I feel a little lighter because I no longer feel bad for not being an urban chicken farmer. This is also a lesson in saying yes when a friend asks you to watch after her dog and then you find, when it’s too late to back out, that she also has two cats, four chickens and a fish (note to self: remember to check on the fish tonight).
As it turns out, chickens may have the highest ratio of poop to body mass of any warm-blooded creature. Had I thought about how often chicken poop is used in mass quantities as a soil amendment, I might have surmised this before today. But I like physical proof of things anyhow. A bit of a doubting Thomas, I am, in most regards.
Chickens poop all day long, anywhere they happen to be and in wet mounds that must include the secret ingredient for super glue. My husband has a long-standing and deep loathing for all things chicken (he doesn’t even care for people who behave like chickens), so our maybe-we-should-try-urban-chicken-farming conversations go like this:
Me: Maybe we should try urban chicken farming.
And then we go back to whatever we had been talking about before my aging hippie guilt had conjured the chicken query.
So, to anyone considering urban chicken farming, think long and hard about poop and how important fresh eggs are to you. I’ve decided to continue buying the organic brand of brown eggs laid by chickens who, the package assures me, enjoy the free range and dine exclusively on a vegetarian diet containing no growth hormones, former chickens, pesticides or bad thoughts.