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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What’s the matter? Are you Chicken?

During Sunday’s lunch of Coq au Vin, there was a lot of chicken talk, that is, about raising chickens.  I’ve been kicking around the idea for some time, and it only seem natural since we have the space and France has that crazy fascination going on with the egg  At times, my mind gets off track and I imagine myself working through dozens of French recipes with all the fresh eggs I’ll have on hand.  Christophe warns the egg fanaticism is a slippery slope that, once on, is hard to get off.  I’ve contemplated his warning, and decided that I’m willing to take that risk.  Heck yeah – fresh eggs!

While Christophe might not be much a big fan of raising chickens, he’s slowing coming around to the idea of having some.  He knows chickens from his uncle’s farm, and is starting to discuss where we could build the chicken coop.  He knows what to feed them and why.  Christophe confirms what everyone has been telling me all along, “they are no work at all.”  Well, I don’t think that all true since they are animals that need to be feed and properly sheltered, but what I think everyone is really saying is they are very little work with fresh eggs in return.

As with any investment, there are risks.  In this case, it’s foxes.  Our neighbors had five chicks picked off one by one over the course of a week in broad daylight.  Clearly, they weren’t happy.  Foxes tend to prowl at twilight hours, so this one was particularly brave, or hungry. Raising chickens presents the responsibility of being present daily; a quick tour to close their coop and make sure they are safely inside only takes a few minutes, but it means being here.  With few exceptions, we are.  We don’t eat dinners at restaurants and when we do pass an evening with friends it’s almost always in the village.  In some way, this should be a no brainer, but there are weekends when we go elsewhere, so I hesitate.  I’ve been told the chickens could be left outdoors in their enclosed areas, but there are risks, and I’m balancing that with the payoff. 

Fresh eggs versus possible chicken massacre: strangely, it’s not an easy choice.

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