Yesterday we went to visit Brady and Holly’s farm. They bought the place several months ago as a weekend getaway for their family. It’s a not so little slice of heaven in south Tennessee. Postcard perfect.
We loaded up the truck and took the kids down to visit them with a couple of other families from the neighborhood. Because we’re “avoid the highway whenever practical” road trippers, we took the scenic way down. Along the way, Casey spotted a giant sign that read “Ask us about our chickens” at a local farm store. So we turned around and asked about them.
I walked into the store and asked the first guy I saw about the chickens. He showed me to an area that had baby chickens (or chicks as it were). They probably had 200 of them or so. I asked how much they were and and he looked me straight in the eye and said $1.25 per. I nearly choked on my coffee. Never dawned on me that you can actually buy a living, breathing, chicken for 1 dollar and twenty five cents. He asked how many I would like and I said “well, I’ll take twenty.” As he began to quickly shuffle the chickens into a box, I am beginning to rethink my not so little house warming gift for our friends. It’s not like we’re buying them a nice plant and a bottle of wine. Twenty baby chickens might be a little much and, not knowing anything about the upkeep, I said “hang on a sec, let me think about this…I’ve never owned a chicken, and these aren’t for us. They are for our friends that just bought a farm.” He said, we would have to buy a “blue light”, a coup, and a couple of other things to keep them warm, etc…. Which I thought was a little too much so I said, “do you have any older chickens that don’t require much maintenance at all.” He said, “sure, follow me around back.”
Around back there is a large coup with probably 40-50 grown chickens–both hens and roosters. He said these didn’t require much at all – just a place to get out of the wind, some food (which he pointed at), and some fresh water. I said, “how much are they?” He said, $12.00. I pointed at the largest, most beautiful rooster of the bunch and asked, “how much is that one?” He said, “well that one’s $12.00 too.”
I am really shocked now…. You can actually buy a fully grown, 2.5 foot tall, beautiful rooster, for $12.00. I said, “I’ll take two.” Since they are flock animals and all…
So he grabs a big muskie net and scoops up a couple of chickens (we settled on hens), puts them in a bag (the white one above) and ties it off with a snap tie. This is a plastic bag and we have 25 more miles to go before we arrive at the farm. I am thinking about the horror-stricken faces of the kids when we arrive with our house warming gift – a couple of suffocated chickens in a plastic bag. I said, “are they going to be able to breath in there.” He said, “how far do you have to go still?” I said, “about 30 minutes probably.” He said, “well I will cut some breathing holes in the bag then.”
So we load up the chickens in the truck (which is a Suburban – with 3 kids and 3 adults) and take off down the road.