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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chicken Romance

With this nice weather I couldn't help but think about spring!  This led me to think about farming and how I have yet to share some of my fun stories about being a farm girl.

We started with 2 cows, bulls to be exact, that we brought home in a large dog crate lined with straw.  They were young and their mothers wouldn't nurse them (I am not sure the whole story behind that) so we bottle fed those little fellas until they were old enough to be weaned.

The next adventure was adding chickens to the mix.  I was so naive to the whole world of chickens so you can imagine my surprise when I learned that you can order chickens online and they show up in the mail.  Like, "May I please have a box of 50 chickens please?"

The day they were expected to arrive, I called the post office to ask if they were there yet.  As they ask me to hold, I can clearly hear peeps and tweets at an impossible to ignore volume.  I couldn't believe they had to ask me to hold to "check".  Then again, maybe they get boxes of birds routinely.  This certainly was new for me!

We raised those birds from little peeps into a flock of real live chickens.  Doug had mentioned more than a couple of times that he wanted to get a rooster.  Okay... here is where things get a little... lets say interesting.

It was Valentines Day in 2005 and I had decided that there is nothing more romantic than going for a drive to buy a rooster!  I did some research and found a flea market that advertised that they sold poultry!  As soon as Doug arrived home from work, I told him of our upcoming adventure!

We wrote down the directions, packed the same large dog crate that brought home two baby cows, and we hit the road.  After a few wrong turns and long and windy roads, we found our way to the flea market.  We drove down a long gravel road we saw a huge lit up parking lot with about about 95% of it completely vacant.  We climbed out of the car, slightly nauseated from the back country roads, but staggered up to what appeared to be the entrance.  A man in coveralls and a stereotypical farmers hat ask with a tired drawl, "What cha lookin' fer?  Ain't nothin' left here tonight."

"Really, I asked?  I thought it said that it was open until 2:00 am!  (I know... crazy right?  But that is what the website said!)" I replied, almost sick that we had come all this way for a romantic Valentines Day rooster and would be leaving empty handed.

"Naw.  That is only if dere is still stuff left to be sold.  Ain't nothing left in dere but a couple a chickens."

"We want a rooster!" I exclaimed.

"Aw well, then you might find one of dem in 'ere."

We got a little paddle for bidding (I had no idea it was an auction!  I was learning so much.) and walked into a barn that smelled so awful I had tears welling up in my eyes.  There were about 10 people sitting in metal chairs on poopy floors.  But, we were on a mission.  We were getting a rooster!

Then, the bird that we wanted was rolled out on the stage.  An auctioneer started the bidding at 25 cents.  No joke.  A quarter!  We raised our paddle.  Then another man bid 50.  Then we countered with 75.  We were prepared to spend 20-40 dollars so it was starting to make sense how a flea market  could be open until 2 o'clock in the morning going in 25 cent increments.  Then when we offered $2.75 for this prime specimen of a bird, the other man looked at us as if we were completely looney for spending that kind of money of a old rooster.  We just laughed and went out back to claim our feathery prize!

We loaded the bird into the crate and carefully set out for the return adventure.  It took all of about 45 seconds to realize that this was going to be a long drive.  Every slight turn, bend in the road, or tap of the brakes would send the bird careening into the opposite corner of the crate with a giant flap of rooster wings that would send my hair blowing forward and into my eyes.  I drove very slowly and deliberately, but it was inevitable that the bird would slide and flap.  Every. Single. Time.

As we neared our home the rooster was doing a very little flapping and a lot more sliding.  Doug had reassured me that even if this bird didn't live, it had been a very romantic adventure.

When we finally got home we opened the back of the SUV and both deduced that this bird didn't look good.  It was messy with poop, lethargic, and looked as if it was clinging to a shred of birdy life.  Doug gingerly lifted the crate out of the vehicle an placed in near the chicken coop.  The hens all started coming out to see what the hubbub was about.  They didn't seem to notice their new friend.  Doug decided to put some chicken feed in the crate leading out to see if the rooster would find the strength to exit his slippery nightmarish home.  He didn't move.  I was close to tears as I watched the hens start moving toward the newly placed feed and the rooster didn't move.  Not at all. 

Then, one hen pecked at the ground a few times outside of the crate.  Without more than a couple of seconds passing, the rooster came flying out of the crate and took the hen by the neck, tossed her down on the ground and it took my unfamiliar eye about 2 seconds to realize that I was a voyeur of chicken sex.  After the rooster completed his end of that deal, he strutted around like he was on top of the world.  Sex brought our rooster back from the brink of death.

That rooster ended up living and having many months of chicken sex.  Who said getting a rooster for Valentine's Day isn't romantic?   


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