notquiteold

Nancy Roman

I’ve Changed My Mind

About eight years ago, my husband and I moved to the country.

Okay, not “country’ country. We’re one mile from the highway. But it’s a very second-rate highway.

And there’s a sheep farm down the road.

And watching those sheep, and driving around our little patch of rural Connecticut, I have been overcome with desire.

Desire to be a farmer.

And I am positive I would make an outstanding farmer.

Except for one thing.

It’s not the hours.  Everyone talks about how you have to get up really early in the morning. But I have turned my cats from nocturnal creatures into dayturnal creatures.  They sleep at night now and don’t get up at the crack of dawn. Well, Merlin gets up before dawn, but he is senile. And he’s only up between five and six a.m. He sleeps the other 23 hours. So he doesn’t count. The other cats sleep till seven.  They just want to be like me. I am sure the cows would feel the same way.

And it’s not the manure. Shoveling shit is a natural part of life. And I babysat once for my nephew when he had diarrhea.  No horse could be worse. Besides, this would be my husband’s job.

Not the aroma. I’ve notice with the neighbor’s sheep that they are not exactly sweet-smelling. But my neighbor is about ninety-five. He doesn’t understand that those sheep just need the right cologne. I recently received a sample of Isaac Mizrahi’s new scent, Fabulous. I think it would be perfect.

Not the field work either. Sure, I’ve seen “Places In The Heart.”  But I won’t grow cotton. This is Connecticut. Just vegetables. Right now, I plant my couple of raised beds by hand. With a field, I’ll have a tractor. So…Piece of cake.

And I like weeding. It is a kind of meditation to me. And I can work on my tan at the same time.

The financial struggle doesn’t worry me either. I’ve worked in budgets and finance my whole career. I understand that you have to cover all your costs. My $19.95 cucumbers will be so worth it.

No. there is only one thing that keeps me from taking up farming.

Chickens.

Have you heard those animals?

They are screamers. And for no reason at all.

The llama dealer at the local country fair told us that llamas will scream to protect the other farm animals.

Chickens just like to hear themselves.

You may be thinking that I could move them further away from the house. But our neighbor 10 acres down the lane has chickens – and I can hear them right now. I might, however, re-train my chickens to just quiet down, just like I could train the cows to sleep late. I can shush with some authority. In college, I thought for a while I might make a good librarian.

But back to chickens. I just discovered something about chickens that is intolerable.

My neighbor gave us eighteen eggs last week. Farm fresh – laid that morning.

And –

EEEYEWW!!!

The eggs have disgusting stuff all over them.

“Don’t wash them until you are ready to eat them,” my neighbor said. “The coating is a natural protection”.

Protection???

I scrubbed them with a brillo pad and dish soap. For like fifteen minutes.

And I am never touching chicken twat goo again.

Yech

Yech

40 Comments

  1. followingfunny

    What if you were a farmer without chickens? Is that illegal in Connecticut?

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    • I think it may be. Especially here in the Northwest Corner. You must have chickens.

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  2. You are not a born farmer it seems. But take heart. Farmers never wear skinny jeans!
    🙂

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  3. Like the first commenter [commentator??] I ask how about no chickens – please become a farmer – I can’t wait to hear how you get on with the cows ……….. love your blog!!

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    • Thanks. I am sure the cows will like me. My cats sometimes like me.

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  4. When I was little my father had chickens for a while. I would not eat eggs because I knew that they were chicken poop. Took along time to get over the trauma of seeing where eggs come from.

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    • I have not seen the egg actually coming out. I do not wish to.

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  5. Think Henry Fonda, “On Golden Pond”:

    “Twat goo. Good words.” Yikes

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    • It was a surprise to me how grossed out I was. But really….yechhh.

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  6. dragonhavn (@dragonhavn)

    LOL

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  7. You are hilarious! We had chickens when I was younger, and that, uh, goo, never bothered me… in fact, I don’t really remember it. Maybe this guys chickens have a problem??

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    • Maybe your mama washed them all before you got up. A child needs to be spared.

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  8. You have just ruined omelets for me!

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    • Sorry. I thought they came out just like the ones I buy at Costco.

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  9. I can just picture you in the kitchen….ditto to the ewww! And lol, Merlin is still kicking around, is he!

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  10. karen Aiudi

    I am sure you would be the best dressed farmer in town!

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    • Probably those Manolo Blahnik guys who own Arethusa Farm have better shoes.

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  11. So glad I read this over breakfast. An unusual work-day treat — an omelet.

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    • At least you ate an egg than you didn’t have to scrub. I actually ate those eggs – but did not get as much pleasure from them as I had originally thought I would.

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  12. Deb

    Oh gads! Where do you live; Hooterville? That chicken farmer watched way too many episodes of “Green Acres.” Do they never clean out the nesting boxes for heaven’s sake?

    Eggs, as a general rule, should never get gobs of guano on them in a well-maintained chicken run and house (coop). Unwashed eggs should never be handled without gloves, or placed anywhere they can contaminate other things, even if they look clean enough. Eggs are washed in a 3-part process: gently free-rinsed of any major debris (collect the water and don’t splash); then washed with a solution of 12 drops of clorox to a gallon of warm water rubbing gently with the nap of an old washcloth (a brush, scrubbie or “Brillo” pad is too rough); then rinsed in clear water. Then allow them to drain naturally a few minutes before going into refrigeration. Everything used to collect and clean should be washed in hot soapy water, given a 10% clorox solution pre-rinse, then a fresh water rinse and completely dried before the next use.

    The farmer was half right about a protective coating as the mucous from the mother becomes incorporated into the shell to form a semi-permeable membrane that allows the egg to breathe but excludes stuff that could harm the supposed chick. And, eggs stay fresh longer if you can keep the “heads” up and the “tails” down so the weight of the yolk doesn’t rupture the air sac in the “head” end (“head” is usually the larger end).

    Yes eggs, like all natural products, need intelligent handling to minimize cross-contamination. This handed-down information being lost is one of the hazards of our modern farm to mega-retail distribution system. And I hate to mess with anyone’s rose-colored glasses but even as visibly dirty as these eggs might have been they were probably safer than your typical grocery store egg. Just don’t get me started on people not washing cantaloupes before cutting because they came from a store and look clean.

    I, too, grew up in farming and raising chickens; and I have thought about retiring to a smallish farmstead to add chickens and a berry patch to my gardening. But now I’m thinking that maybe my second career should be consulting to gentry farmers instead; it might actually pay better. *wink*

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    • Thanks! This is terrific information, and I am so glad you shared it. And it is definitely way too much work for ME!

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  13. It’s not just chickens. Cows are noisy, too. I never knew how loud cows could be until I lived across the street from a large pasture. And goats are noisy and donkeys, too. Maybe your farm could just be vegetables and cats.

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    • That’s a great idea. And under that definition, I already have a farm! That was easy!

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  14. Even if you subtract the chickens, be prepared for backbreaking work and falling into bed immediately after supper, or into your soup at supper.

    On the lighter side, there is nothing stinks more than rabbits. We had those growing up. You start with two and by end of summer, the country is over-run. I used to help my father by holding them by the hind legs while he skinned them for our supper. Could never get the stink out of my hand.

    A vegetable farm might be more your style, and your choice of attire has a little more wiggle room of being fashionable. You are so funny, Nancy. Thanks for a good start to my Friday morning.

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    • I will not hold anything being skinned, All all my cows and sheep and chickens will have to die of old age.
      When he was a very little boy, my husband watched his grandmother wring a chicken’s neck. He still remembers it clearly more than 60 years later.

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  15. I was just about to make some devilled eggs for He-Who. I’m thinking he will have to wait until I forget about this post.

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    • I think hard-boiling them in the shell might eliminate the yuck.

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  16. You need guard geese too (in case something gets past the Llamas).
    The best way to farm is to sit on the porch and make a list of stuff needing doing – and hire someone to do all that!
    Hilarious post. The $19.95 cucumbers is pretty accurate.

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  17. “Chicken twat goo”! Still laughing – that made my day!

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  18. That was actually poo. Feel better now?

    Guinea fowl are even worse. They are noisy like 1000 rusty bicycles, and they don’t taste good, either! I’m just not a fan of birds in general.

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  19. I am thinking, veggies and flowers. Farmhands to do the work. Chickens are not only loud they are disgusting. Llamas are cool though.

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  20. This is so funny! Right after reading this, I read an ad for organic eggs. They are advertised something like this: “From the butts of Larry’s chickens since 2001”. The twat goo is a selling point!

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  21. Maybe I shouldn’t have just eaten eggs before reading this.

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  22. Chris

    What happened to Tom’s horseradish farm idea?

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