Thursday, April 17, 2008

This Day in Lewis Show History


I'm going to do this every once in a while, it's another Lewis Show experiment. Let's see how it works.

As most of you know, I grew up in the country. I mean country country. The town I lived in had a population of 800. I graduated with 29 other students from High School in 1992.

Certain dates really stand out for me from my childhood. This is one of those days. On April 17, 1987, 21 years ago today, my science fair project hatched. I put six eggs in an incubator, rotated them twice a day, and sure enough, 22 days later (April 17) I had fuzzy, adorable chicks!

I don't know why, but I remember the first batch's names: Tackleberry, after the character on Police Academy, because he was a huge, huge, baby. Red, because she was bright orange of course. Itty Bitty because he was..well really, really small. Hot Rod, because she was really skinny, but she was lightning fast..I never caught her. Last there was Clara, I don't know why....but it fit her.

Tweety was unique because he was, believe it or not, the only yellow chick. He also did not have regular feathers, he was actually fluffy his entire life. He and his offspring became quite the local commodity.

As you can see, these were not regular chickens. These guys are used a lot for cockfighting. They're called Bantam chickens. I always wanted to raise awareness about the cruelty of that sport, and I may just do that one day. These guys had too much personality and life to be treated so horribly.

They were very aggressive birds. Often, we had to carry a shovel with us to feed the others out of fear of Tackleberry. He was a huge bird and had huge spurs and had no problems at all with digging them into our legs or our back. Ouch!

This experiment lasted for two years. That's when Dad got tired of taking care of the endless supply of chickens that we had. Feed costs a lot and it was hard to sell the chickens off for meat when they all had names.
So that's my farm story. I learned a lot of valuable lessons from chickens. Not only are they tasty, but they showed me the value of life and the enriching lifestyle of simple living.