From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Backyard 'farmers' chickening out

(Photo by Andrei Niemimaki)
Although many people scoff at chickens (before eating them and their eggs), the relationship between Gallus gallus domesticus and humans wasn't always that crude.

Wikipedia tells us:  "Since antiquity chickens have been, and still are, a sacred animal in some cultures…"  They had great religious significance within the Ancient Persian culture.  Indonesian Hindu cremation rituals utilize chickens to channel evil spirits away from family members.  The rooster was considered to be an attribute of the Ancient Greek deities Hercules, Athena and Ares. The Romans even used chickens as oracles.

These days, chickens have fallen far from their ancient esteemed roles.  JoNel Aleccia of NBC News reports that hundreds of urban chickens are being abandoned each year by novice "backyard farmers" who "discover that hens lay eggs for two years, but can
live for a good decade longer, and that actually raising the birds can be noisy, messy, labor-intensive and expensive."

Sometimes so-called "hens" turn out to be to be roosters because it can be quite difficult to determine the gender of a baby chick.  Eggless crowing roosters are not generally viewed as divine urban companions..

Copyright November 18, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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