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April 2012 Vol. 2
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and relaxed my vigilance considerably, these unproductive old
farts refuse to expire gracefully of natural causes. I can already
see the problem about to be compounded in the next generation
of the flock, born in 2006. Normally, you can expect periodic
mortality - a chickhood disease, a predator attack, a random chicken
heart-attack - but no, I haven't lost a single bird out of the
2006 batch. These hens will become eligible for retirement sometime
next year, at which point over half of my flock will be on the
bantam roosters. Elsewhere in Chase County (and I think I've figured out where), are the two big, beautiful Brahma hens I ordered. I'd love to work out a trade, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), one of the roosters died mysteriously this summer while we were away on vacation. The remaining rooster is called Mister, which is always italicized when you say it, as in "Listen here, Mister" and "Where do you think you're going, Mister?" I have absolutely nothing against him aside from the fact that he does not lay eggs - he is a handsome fellow with a reasonable disposition and only a few minor, over-compensatory Napoleonic tendencies.
When I mentioned the possibility of a bailout plan while I was at the Hitchin Post for a burger the other day, one fellow was quick to bring up a time-honored solution. "I can tell you what you need," he matter-of-factly informed me. "It's called the Chicken and Dumpling Plan."
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