Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Farm Animals

One of my favorite games years ago was Scattergories. In case you're not familiar with it, the game consists of an alphabet die, a timer, and a pad (one per player) with a list of categories down the side. One player rolls the die and sets the timer, and then everyone writes words for each category that start with the chosen letter. One of the categories was "farm animals."

Some of them are easy. Letter B - farm animal "bird." Letter H - farm animal horse.

Extra points are given for alliteration. Such as, Letter B - farm animal "baby bunny" is worth two points.

If someone else uses the same answer, it doesn't count. The person with the most points wins. The crazier the answer, the more likely no one will have it, but crazier answers require justification, and so if your farm animal beginning with R is a "rhinoceros" you should be prepared to explain where you've seen a rhinoceros on the farm ;).

I didn't have as much experience with farm animals back then, as I do now. Today, if I were to play and the Letter was R for category farm animal, my R would be a Rhode Island Red Rooster worth three points!

My Letter C for farm animal would be Cornish Cross Chickens for three points ...

... or 36 lbs of chicken meat in the freezer, because that's what I picked up from the butcher today.

Deus Ex Machina took the first batch of broilers to see "Ken" yesterday, and I picked them up today.

We have ten more in the brooder in the house, who'll be going out to the tractor next week when we pick up the last twelve for the year.

Deus Ex Machina figured out that raising our own costs us about $1.86 per pound, which I say is a good price - for a comparable product.

But really, what is comparable to chicken raised in my house and then in the backyard, and then, humanely dispatched in a facility that butchers only a few birds in a day's time?

I've seen chicken for a little as 30 cents/lb at the grocery store, but frankly, I think a chicken's life is worth a lot more than that, and having raised chickens myself, I can't imagine what kind of place those chickens must have lived in that the "farmer" can afford to sell them so cheaply. Feed, alone, costs more than that.

So, even if it cost us more than what we pay to raise our own, I'd still do it, and if we really were raising our own chickens to save money, we could cut out the expense of butchering them by doing it ourselves (which is what makes them cost so much, really).

But that's not the only reason we raise chickens.

It goes a lot deeper than just saving money. Every little thing we do to feed ourselves makes us that much more secure.

Besides, I needed the experience of having a farm so that I would have a fighting chance at winning Scattergories against Deus Ex Machina. Who knew his high school Latin courses would give him such a keen edge against an English major :)? But no amount of E Pluribus Unum will give him a farm animal that begins with the letter K ....

As for me ... I'm ready: Farm Animal, Letter K, Khaki Campbell duck ... and her name is Emily, and she lives in the backyard with PaddaMay, the call duck ;).

No comments:

Post a Comment