Hippie Town

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Well, we’ve found the answer to that proverbial question here in Africa. For us, it is the chicken. First we bought the chicken and now we get the eggs! And here is where I confess that I have just gone straight hippie out here in Africa. First it was the herb garden, now free-range chickens. I already eat everything all-natural – as if that was even an option here. Pretty soon I am going to give up on shaving my legs and wearing certain undergarments. No one here would blink an eye, but I might have to break those habits before I return to the States huh?

We ended up buying chickens because we thought it would be cheaper to just raise our own eggs than buy 20 of them each week, which is what we were doing – there is a lack of meat around this joint, so eggs are often our protein. I decided to have a small chicken coop built 3 months ago, which ended up being a chicken palace and costing a ridiculous $150 (just don’t ask), so we were already over budget before we ever got started. Friday, we finally got chickens to go in the chicken palace. Our guard went with us to the local market to pick out the right chickens and to make sure we got a fair price. We hadn’t been back from the market more than 2 hours when he came to the door with our first egg. Kim and I were so excited that we had him pose for a picture with the egg. He just started giggling, certainly thinking that these little firinji girls were losing it. Really, who gets that excited about an egg? We bought 4 hens, but after having them for a few days are realizing that only two of them are laying eggs, and even those two are only laying every other day. When we mentioned the problem to a couple of our workers, they looked at us as if we were so silly and proceeded to tell us that we needed to have a rooster around to make the hens lay more eggs. Duh. Well, I don’t know that much about chickens, but I do know that you don’t have to have a rooster to get eggs. What I started to wonder though was whether or not the presence of a rooster really might cause the chickens to lay more eggs. Didn’t really seem right to me, but they acted like it was the most obvious piece of knowledge in the world, so it got me curious. In order to get more information on this topic, I did what every good agriculturalist does – I googled it. My internet sources all readily agreed that no, a rooster was not at all beneficial at causing hens to lay more eggs, although it did state that this is a common misconception. So, now, who to believe, Wikipedia or the African subsistence farmer? That’s a hard one. #gallery-737-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-737-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 100%; } #gallery-737-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-737-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

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