Feeding the Chickens

Feeding the Chickens, Luigi Rossi (1853-1932)
Feeding the Chickens, Luigi Rossi (1853-1932)

The kids and I visited a neighbor this morning. We saw a litter of puppies, collected eggs from the hen house, and fed grass to three horses. There were cows, too, but those are nothing new to us. We have a herd of cows, and they are there to produce milk. It’s how my husband supports us. Our neighbor’s farm, with all its animal charm, is also supported by milk cows, but there’s more to it. All those animals and their by-products make up a way of life. Eggs to eat and sell. Chickens to butcher and eat. Puppies to cuddle and love and then sell. Horses to ride. Now, I’m not trying to argue whether one way of farming is better than the other. I’m just noticing that there are differences in farms, even among the small farms which are said to be dwindling away in our country. Is it a difference between an old-world lifestyle and a farm designed to make profit? Or is it a difference between organic or natural farmers and farmers who employ the latest technologies? Farmers who do a lot of work by hand and farmers who use machinery to do as much as possible? I think it is easy to stereotype farms and farmers, but really the farm world is as multi-faceted as the people who live on the farms.

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5 thoughts on “Feeding the Chickens”

  1. Interesting thoughts about the differences- the practical vs. the romantic sort of farming. From what I’ve read, it seems like it is nearly impossible for small farms to be completely self-supporting- people either have to have outside jobs, or they end up relying on visitors and programs to bring in more income. There’s a word for it I think, agritourism?

    1. No, small farms can work without outside income. We have a herd of 100 cows and some land to grow corn. They earn enough income to support our family of five and to pay part-time help. I am a stay-at-home mom. (My writing has not made much income at all, so far.) The neighbors we visited are in a similar situation. Small farming is difficult, but not impossible.

      1. That’s nice to hear. I don’t really know anything about farming 🙂 How wonderful for your kids to be able to grow up this way.

  2. I know nothing about farming as well, but I like the acknowledgement of no one way to farm. Just like there is no one way to educate our children or serve God. I don’t want this to sound too mystical or all-inclusive ( here I am referencing your post on L’Engle). However, if we walk by faith His Spirit He will guide us as we listen for His voice.

    I apologize if this sounds incoherent. I was just encouraged by your posts

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