We went to a chicken show yesterday. I tell ya, if I didn’t know anything about chickens, I would have been outa there in about 5 minutes. As it was, it took us over an hour to find and buy what we we looking for. Images of even the most spectacular varieties of birds on the ‘net is almost a waste of time. Stuff I thought was going to be great (Silver Phoenix) was mediocre. Things I thought were the epitome of lame (Delaware) turned out to be magnificent. And critters that I’d never seen in person (all the little bantams) made me grin for half an hour straight and want to buy a freaking armful.
I don’t want to launch into a rant against industrial agriculture, but being a city guy and having my experience of chicken-kind limited to McNuggets and children’s book illustrations, to find out only now the awesomeness of these critters. . . well, it’s really sad how chickens have been treated an even sadder what most North Americans have been missing.
So here’s the plug: go find out what your bylaws are. I only discovered after I moved out of the city that I could have had up to three hens (but no roosters) in my backyard all these years. WTF. You want free eggs and a quiet little pet for your kid? For five bucks, you can’t do better. At this bird show, it was really heart-warming to see a munchkin on a kiddie stool with a little brown hen on his lap. That in itself was worth the price of admission.