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July 2, 2008


Spenardo del Sur has ten new chickens! They are all hens from a nearby factory farm. They had recently missed that ride to the slaughterhouse and the farmer needed to get rid of them before the next shipment of chickens arrived.

The farm raises thousands of chickens for eggs that are sold to a hatchery. After egg production begins to decline, the birds are sold to slaughter and end up in stuff like pot pies. 

Because the farm needs fertilized eggs for the hatchery, they also keep a number of roosters. In addition to the ten hens, there were two roosters that I did not take. I felt bad about it - knowing the roosters would be killed and  tossed into the incinerator. But what could I do? I already have too many roosters. Frankencoop is chaotic enough without throwing two scared beat-up factory cocks into the mix.

To add to my Oskar Schindler horror, I was shown the incinerator. It was not very large - kinda like a big barbecue. They showed me where they put the chickens in and the resulting pile of ashes and charred bone bits. They even gave me a couple buckets of the bone meal - a great fertilizer for my gardens.

 

My new hens are pretty pitiful-looking. They're all missing a great deal of feathers. Part of the reason is that chickens will fight and peck at eachother when packed in great density. That's how I imagine they lost their tail and wing feathers. I think they lost a lot of the feathers on their backs due to the constant mating.

When a rooster mates with a hen, he stands on her back. Over time, the feathers in that spot get torn out by the rooster's claws. A number of my other hens have small bald spots on their backs. I call them (in a bad French accent) "zee sexy chickens."

These new hens were missing so many feathers that I've been spritzing them daily with an SPF 30 lotion.

For the most part of their first day at Spenardo del Sur, they stayed huddled together in the pen - even though they had access to the whole great outdoors. This is not unusual. My last batch of factory farm refugees stayed inside the coop for almost a week before venturing outside.

A couple of the new hens have dared to mingle outdoors with the main flock. I imagine they feel terribly underdressed for the party.

Don't worry though - their feathers will grow back. The chicken on the far left is actually a former factory farm refugee.

 

My number two rooster, Cornelius, is absolutely thrilled with the arrival of the new hens. Up until now, Gimpy (my alpha male) has kept the majority of the hens to himself. If Corny tries to mate with one of Gimpy's favorites, Gimpy will run over and knock him off.

There are a couple hens that Gimpy allows Corny to fuck, but with restrictions. When Corny mounts one of the "second-tier" hens, Gimpy runs over to watch and then will grab sloppy seconds when Corny is done.

But, for now, Gimpy is content to let Cornelius keep the new hens for himself.

Corny don't mind if the ladies show a little skin.

 

 

Comments? Questions? Spare change? 

Send it to Jackie at RanchoSpenardo.com

 

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