jump to navigation

Clean-Fridge Club December 30, 2010

Posted by therealtinlizzy in chickens, navel-gazing.

S/thing that’s stuck in my head lately is the notion of using up everything in my fridge. It’s a concept that eco-hippies (like how I say that like I’m not one? ;)) have been chattering about along with recycling and everything else since ever, but it’s come up a number of times recently and stuck in my head. Actually now that I ponder it – it’s also due to the fact that in conjunction with chicken-coop building and Christmas and other expenses – money has been kind of tight the past couple months. So rather than flitting along in my usual (if unintentionally) laisseiz faire fashion insofar buying loads of groceries, eating out all the time, then throwing out all the food I forget about in the fridge, I’ve gotten a lot more mindful of using up what I’ve got in the fridge/cupboards.

And awesomely – it’s been working out really well. It particularly works with my improv style of cooking – where I can combine just about anything into something yummy and so long as I just have a fresh veggie component or two. Case in point for lunch today: had two potatoes left from mom’s garden this summer, some eggs (not from the new chickens yet – they’ve got a few months growing to do yet before egg-laying kicks in), a green pepper, a jalapeno pepper, half an onion, and a tomato. So just fried up the potatoes and a couple eggs, sauteed the onion, jalapeno, green pepper and tomato – threw it all together, and topped it off with some tomatillo salsa and sour cream I had left from burritos last week.

I’m also continuing along figuring out what/how to feed the chickens (beyond the chick crumble feed they get), so it’s fun to be able to pass along trimmings from my own food prep and leftovers to the chickens rather than throwing it out (particularly since my composting habits/efforts kind of suck thus far). This morning the chickens got some leftover rice and wilty arugula, this afternoon they get some bits of potato, more arugula, a mushy kiwi, tomato and green pepper cores.

I also fried them up an egg while I was making eggs for us. Seems weird off the cuff yes to feed chickens eggs – but it’s a logic that I picked up from Mary at CRR. She and her partner are vegans so when the CRR chickens lay eggs (which is a probably 5/week or so depending on who’s there), they don’t eat the eggs – they recycle them in cooking them up for the chickens. I guess it is qualitatively different certainly than the awful practice of feeding livestock (whether beef, chickens, pigs, whatever) ground up actual animals – unfertilized eggs are just protein, not animal matter. And apparently chickens will actually eat their own unfertilized non-chicken-containing eggs if the eggs aren’t retrieved in a timely matter.

In any case – part of the issue of course is that chickens aren’t “meant” to lay eggs every day. Chickens’ wild cousins (from which chickens have been domesticated and selectively bred) only lay eggs to have more chickens, usually in one or two batches (clutches I guess they’re called) per year. Humans have selectively bred chickens to lay every day, so that’s what our chickens will do regardless. And as another conversation topic for another day, laying eggs daily is hard on hens – makes them prone to some particular malaises (not sure if malaise is meant to have a plural form!) in their reproductive tracts, calcium/mineral issues and other issues I’m learning more about.

And my bringing it up isn’t to pass judgment or to assert that therefore using chickens for their egg production is necessarily evil/bad (I’m an avid egg-eater) – but I think it’s s/thing we should all think, know and discuss further due to how abstracted/insulated away from are from our food and food sources we are – particularly animal-produced food (whether meat, dairy or eggs). I think the world would be a lot different place if we did. And I don’t necessarily mean we would all be vegans, but food animals’ lots in life would I think be a lot different, and we as humans would/could be a lot different as well.

But that’s all s/thing to explore at a later date when there’s more time for me to ruminate.


1. Ginny G - January 11, 2011

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before that there’s no reason chickens would have evolved to lay eggs every day unless they had been selectively bred that way. Of course! Fascinating!

therealtinlizzy - January 14, 2011

Yeah – color me likewise on it having not occurred to me either. I feel sort of silly for some of these things not being self-evident to me before – but I guess sometimes even the most obvious things are, well not so obvious, especially to non-farmer city slickers like me. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: