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Eggs at Last

I has chickens. Three 1/2-grown hens; 1 whats-it leghorn (maybe) cross and 2 1/2-breed aracanas. Still cheeping, not clucking.

We call them, 1, 2, 3. Because I can't tell two of them apart and I refuse to name food animals, even if they are only for eggs.

I bought them from the old bachelor farmer up here. He showed me his Dexter cattle, his half-breed Jerseys, his half-breed Boer goats -- including his 300-pound buck -- his many chickens, ducks, and one big handsome turkey. And about a bajillion Min-pins. And two donkeys. He says he wishes he had a cat, "But they run off or my dogs kill 'em."

I told him to get a BIG cat. Preferably a mean old farm cat. "That's what's spanking dogs is for," I added.

The farm is what you'd expect of a place run by one old wirey guy; dozens of half-finished projects, but all in pretty neat piles. No odors of rot, just clean manure, dirt, grass and wood. Beat-up old trailer, but all the animals healthy, sweet, unafraid - and spoiled rotten.

As I helped him unload the 50-lb bags of feed, he remarked, "See where all my money goes?" But first he had to yell at all the goats and tell them to get off the truck.

When we chose the three hens, he said, "If any of them are roosters --." I finished, "We'll eat 'em."

"Yeah, you could eat 'em. Or bring it back and I'll give you a hen."

I wonder if any of the animals out here get eaten. He seems to live on the milk. He says he used to "Sell milk as fast as I could pull it," but the county got in the way ($#!!! industrial farmers!).

That is possibly not so much a farm as a petting zoo....