Mary’s Hens

The rain has arrived in downtown Asdee. We are promised 60mm of rain in 4 days. There is a lot of listening in that! We are blessed here to have Mary and her hens as neighbours. She and her brood keep us all supplied with fresh eggs. Fed on the finest of home grown foods these free range hens have breathed in the champagne air fresh off the Atlantic. Now that’s organic for you!

Years ago, the writer Bryan McMahon wrote of meeting a woman outside Listowel who was holding a freshly laid egg in her hand. All her life she had wanted to catch a hot egg as it fell from a hen and she had just done that. “Why that?”asked the writer . “For the felicity of the experience” she answered. How many of us have done that?

Back to Mary who got six day old chicks over three years ago. They are laying almost every day since they started. Rhode Island Reds don’t have such a long laying span so Mary got six new day old chicks lately. Five of them have turned out to be cocks, but they are beautiful cocks with red combs and varied coloured feathers right down to their claws. Her family admire them greatly but they don’t lay eggs, do they? More disturbing is the fact that they are mounting each other suggesting that their destiny may not be in egg production! They are not deemed suitable for the pot or oven since their sheer beauty means that none of the family could eat a home reared rooster. The great bird consultant, John Hanrahan, has decided to take the matter in hand and a solution will be found. A man with known expertise in this area, Billy Keane, has given the advice more than once:”If your hens stop laying, change your cock”

These are some of the issues people have to deal with in the run up to an election that will never make it onto the national agenda! 



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