At one time, long long ago, I thought click clack gorilla was going to be (mostly) a travel blog. Ha! As I recently admitted to a reporter interested in my “story,” it turns out that I don’t even really like leaving my house/land. Whoops.
So, as usual, instead of telling you about Germany’s cultural quirks (you can read about those on another website where I also blog), I’m going to talk some more about chickens and food.
This (see picture to the left) is the chicken coop. Bean and Coyot built it last summer when the old coop experienced a very intense mite infestation. I walk past it every morning (and a thousand times after that) on the way to the kitchen.
Every night just before it gets dark, the chickens waddle one by one into the coop. They do this because they are clever. There are a lot of animals, even in this over-built wasteland of concrete, that would eat them during the night if they didn’t. Once last summer a hedgehog walked into an open coop (one of several mini coops some people built for two mama hens) and tore two chicks to shreds before somebody heard the squawking and chased the hedgehog away. The world is a pretty brutal place if you’re a chicken. We latch the little door for them each night to be sure.
Several days ago, two of our platz-mates left for a very, very long bike trip. New people were needed to help with the chickens. I volun- teered. Now on the way to the kitchen each morning, I open the coop (one entire wall swings out on hinges for easy egg collecting and cleaning) and look for eggs.
Our land (and our platz-mates) can’t handle any more chickens than we already have, so we need to make sure we get all of the eggs before a hen becomes interested in sitting on them. (We also have to check around the platz constantly, and count the chickens each night to make sure one of them isn’t sitting on a nest somewhere outside. That’s what happened last time, and whoops! suddenly we had ten more chickens.)
Before I went vegan, back when I used to buy factory-farmed eggs at the grocery store without blinking an eye, it never would have occurred to me; but the reality of eggs is that when you get them out of the nest, there are bits of shit and feathers sticking to a lot of the shells. If you are even remotely acquainted with chickens, this would be obvious, but it just goes to show you how much I used to know about where my food came from.
All that I know about the food on the left is that it came from my favorite dumpster. The animals killed for these sausages were probably factory farmed, and it just kills me to see pieces of an animal who probably had a really shitty life lying in a dumpster wrapped in plastic. To torture an animal its whole life, kill it, and then just throw it away. What disrespect. I insisted that we take every last sausage home, and after egg check I cut up a few packages of meat and feed it to the chickens. In my former life I also had no idea that chickens ate meat. But they love it. Especially throughout the winter when the ground is too hard for them to get to any juicy earthworms.
The shorter sausages had no price on them, but the longer cost 2 euros a package. We dumpstered about eight of them, and five or six of the short ones. Luxury chicken feed, to say the least.
I start tossing little bits of meat to whichever chickens happen to be around, and soon they are singing their food song, and the rest of the flock comes running from every corner of the platz. Then they bitch at each other, steal each other’s food, and Outcast Rooster gets his ass kicked, again. (Anyone local who wants a rooster? One of ours is not allowed to spend time with the rest of the flock, be with the hens, and gets the shit kicked out of him by the other chickens daily. It seems that he might be happier in another family.)
Chickens gorged, I return to the kitchen to fry up break- fast. The frying pan has a few spoonfuls of leftover brown sauce from the night before (three large dumpster mushrooms, soy sauce, flour, water), and I scramble the eggs in leftover sauce and make salad. I prefer a heap of oily fried greens to accompany my eggs, but the dumpsters haven’t provided any. But there was cantaloupe. Time to start planning lunch.