Several years ago, Daisy the Labrador retriever was part of our
extended family. She came to us after being rehomed at least twice due
to extreme skin allergies. We tried daily baths, steroid injections and
an expensive line of medicated dog food that she wouldn’t eat. When
Daisy’s skin became bald, itchy and broken, there seemed nothing left
but euthanasia. We made an appointment. Not wanting to invest in more
food that the other dogs wouldn’t eat, my Steve created a daily mixture
of green beans, potatoes and eggs to feed Daisy until the final car
Three days, half a bag of frozen green beans, six potatoes
and as many eggs later, Daisy’s skin had stopped flaking. The
appointment was cancelled. We had smiley, joyful Daisy in our lives for
three more years. She kept a healthy coat of the palest yellow, a trace
of which we find on sweater sleeves to this day.
homemade hash was a whole lot cheaper than cans of unpalatable
wheat-free, embryonic rice and lamb cuticle pate´, we did go through a
lot of potatoes, green beans and/or corn and eggs. For two years we
bought seed potatoes, intending to grow our own crop. Each year, usually
in August, one of us would unearth a rancid bundle of creamed seed
potatoes from the junk drawer, a glove compartment or from the depths of
We lost Daisy in 2010, but we didn’t stop thinking
about the dozens of eggs that she so enjoyed. That same year we were
gifted a dozen brown eggs, smooth oval jewels that had been collected
from nests the same day that we received them. From these Steve crafted
scrumptious omelets, which we ate while surfing the net for five-star
Ohio hatcheries. In short order, 15 Hubbard Golden Comets were scheduled
for shipment to our house via the United States Postal Service.
chicks arrived two weeks later. Steve named them all Priscilla (the
reason for that is a story in itself) and raised them by hand. Once the
peeps became cheeps, the Prissies were moved into a butter-yellow
henhouse 20 feet from our kitchen door, although they preferred to be
close by whoever came out that entrance. One of them presented an egg
right before Christmas, which was the first of many that we enjoyed with
toast and neighbor Bill Utendorf’s honey.
The last Prissy died in
late 2013. We found that Comets don’t live that long. They are bred to
lay, lay lay and give up the ghost, one way or the other. Several
chickens of various breeds have joined our flock, a few ordered and
others cruelty or abandonment cases that came to us via humane
organizations. Audrey was a debeaked production red who fell off a
slaughter truck along I-75. Even so, she preferred human companionship,
going so far as to perch on a knee during morning coffee or jumping in
the car for a ride. Other than the original 16, Audrey was the only
chicken in our company to allow human interaction until two weeks ago,
when we opened the hen house and Little Red perched on Steve’s shoulder.
don’t know if it’s a food-driven behavior, cold feet or the sheer joy
of temperatures above 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Whatever causes this
red-brown, black-tailed hen to seek us out, I’ll enjoy each encounter.
We may get no farther than store-bought potatoes at our place, but you
can’t beat a fresh egg gifted by a happy chicken.