Epic Belgian Email #5

Greetings friends, family, and armchair chicken farmers!

First order of business is to thank everyone who helpfully
supplied (mostly opinion-based) advice on chicken care. Here are
the things I have learned (from experience and
non-armchair-chicken farmers):

1. Chickens will lay eggs even without a rooster. Apparently the
rooster thing is everyone’s favorite chicken myth. (Well, right
behind the were-chicken myth. If you thought werewolves were
scary, you oughtta see what happens to chickens during a full
moon. 😮 !) You just can’t have baby chickens without a rooster.
No rooster means I don’t have to check to see if my eggs float
before cracking them into the frying pan. That’s good news.

To lay eggs, all chickens need are lots of sunlight, water, and
protein in their diet. Since all we’ve been feeding them so far
is leftovers, I assume they must be getting their protein from
the bugs populating the back yard. Yum.

The eggs do deserve a hearty “Yum!” though. They’re quite small,
but very tasty. In fact, I think I’ll make myself french toast
for dinner…

2. Chickens don’t *exactly* hide their eggs. They pick one spot
and make that their nest. Unfortunately, our chickens didn’t
like the “nest” we provided (in the little chicken house), so
they’ve moved in behind some vines. It took us awhile to find
their hiding spot (it’s a very small yard, but we’re apparently
not very bright). But now that I know where it is, it’s where I
always find the eggs.

And those are the things I’ve learned about chickens. So far,
they haven’t tried to peck my eyes out when I go to feed them
and steal their eggs. They’ve been named Josephine (brown) and
Germaine (grey). Germaine can still fly. There’s a note on the
black board downstairs asking who wants to help clip their wings
(“Wie wil de kippen knippen?” Hehe… kippen knippen…) but I
refuse to sign up. I’m convinced they would definitely try to
peck my eyes out if I did that. Eew.

Moving along to less fowl news.

(Sorry.)

Classes proceed per normal. One of my classes last week was
canceled, which meant I had two days off in the middle of the
week. I used this mid-week weekend to start doing some
background reading for a possible thesis. I’m veering in the
direction of writing something about female iconography in the
ancient near east. 🙂 For those who are less
jibberishly-inclined, I’ve helpfully given the potential thesis
a working title: Babes in Babylon. No professor in the world
would find that academically appropriate, and since I plan to
write about women, I’m probably offending every feminist on the
planet using that title. My apologies. Kind of. 🙂

I think that just about covers news. I still can’t upload my
pictures, so there’s nothing new on that part of the website. It
looks like I’m going to have to do a bit of an overhaul on my
computer before things start working properly again, and it will
take awhile before that can be arranged. But I’ll get something
up eventually. In the meanwhile, thanks for all the notes – keep
them coming, I love to hear from you guys. Lots of love and hugs
to everyone.

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