Let’s get it on
Lately I’ve received several lovely notes from readers thanking me for our (sometimes) brutal honesty about what goes on around here. Those starting with an urban homestead and backyard chickens, considering a larger spread outside of the city, are wise to begin exploring the low-down-dirty of what comes along with the lifestyle. Hopefully, I cover a lot of that here. I try to, at least, because I personally feel it’s valuable to peek inside the beautiful heartbreak, dirt, and drama that is both backdrop and stage when living life just at the edge of convention and alongside so many animals. So much of what is shared here has to do with loss, or near loss, that I forget the majority of what actually takes place daily (daily, people) on a farm is quite the opposite of death or illness. What we witness daily (DAILY) is the beginning of the life cycle, the lascivious displays of so many creatures brimming with hormones. Youknowwhati’msayin? I’m talking about sex, y’all. Lots. All the time. Just keepin’ it real.
Generally, I think nothing of this. It is after all, our life, our view from the front porch, our daily situation. It’s not until we’re with friends, when something truly awkward slips into conversation, or perhaps I blurt out a story without thinking about how it will be received or interpreted. That’s when I comprehend the extent of our bizarre reality. Turns out, few people understand the necessity of a “breeding pen,” the purpose of “bull straws,” the ferocity of a rooster’s desire to, er, procreate, and the exact meaning of a “buck in rut.” When we moved here two years ago, and I started this journey of gathering all manner of farm animals, I learned to temper my commentary and edit my stories, catering to the delicate sensibilities of some friends and family. Two years in and my filter’s officially off. So is Jeremy’s, I’ve noticed, as he’s relayed animated anecdotes the last few times we were with friends. I’m no longer sensitive to the alarmed expression that flickers across the face of friends or loved ones when I tell a story about animal procreation. Why tell a story about animal procreation, you might be thinking? Turns out that reproduction is the literal heartbeat of a farm. It’s more of that (and manure) then anything else. Sometimes the soundtrack for country living could be Enya, all float-y chords, beauty and magic, but the truth is that it’s mostly just Al Green. Today I have no pictures to illustrate this point. You are welcome, in advance, for my discretion. And for anyone shocked by such displays of affection but considering raising animals on a farm? Anyone unwilling to peer at a female animal’s nether region with a headlamp, but still dreaming of breeding animals? Anyone who is feeling all blush-y and uncomfortable by this post but still yearning to keep a flock of chickens and a rooster? You’ve been warned.