Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Feedin' the Cats

Finally! The old, spent laying hens are gone. Tom is oh, so very happy!

For months, they have caused him numerous headaches and eaten far more feed than they were worth. He has been trying to get rid of them all this time, but things just hadn’t worked out until today.

Usually, when we get rid of old hens, they are still laying some eggs and we sell them to folks looking for a few more hens for a backyard flock. We had hoped to do that this time. B & J had even offered to take them to a sale for us. But, when we began to realize how very few eggs they were indeed laying, that didn’t seem like an ethical thing to do. Yesterday, there were 17 eggs from 76 chickens. They also looked terrible. They had never recovered from their battle with the mites.

Years ago, a friend told us how she took her spent birds to the Natural Bridge Zoo. The zookeepers are always on the lookout for food for all the creatures that make their home at the zoo. This worked out wonderfully. When we would deliver old birds, we also got a free tour of the zoo. That was quite interesting…seeing behind the scenes. We hadn’t been there in a LONG time. Tom checked with the zookeeper; she would be happy to take the chickens.

Today, Tom took the old hens (B & J went along for the ride) to the zoo. I suppose some might find fault with us for ending the hens’ lives in such a fashion. But, the hens lived a good life here, fulfilled their “chicken destiny” and now provided fresh, local food for the carnivores at the zoo.

Now, the tigers can “eat more chik’n!”

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