10 Chickens and a rooster soup

October 20, 2011 — by Samuel Liu

The subtle smell of dung and life wafts through the pristine air of my backyard. Green grass and modularity are broken by a chicken coop, where the chickens have eaten everything green and pooped everything yellow. Two years ago, my family bought four chickens from a chicken farm, not only for fresh eggs, but also for testosterone (I’ll get to that later).

My mom had done some reading, mainly on backyardchickens.com. Knowing my disgust for eggs and all things organic and healthy, she bought four starling chickens, otherwise known as egg-laying machines, for $8 a piece. Don’t name them, my mom had warned over chicken soup.

At first, my 50-pound dog nearly killed them all, although I surmised that she was merely trying to say hello, in her own unorthodox way. The chickens settled in and gradually became friends with my dog, mainly because she protects them from coyotes and skunks. For the negligible cost of our table scraps, one chicken transforms grape peels and spoiled rice into a fresh egg a day.

Actually, there has been a well-documented rise in backyard chickens, most likely due to fears of Salmonella and the recession. Over two years, this cost-effective strategy has saved my family at least $200 in eggs, has rid our backyard of many pests, and provides my mom with free, nutritious manure.

Still not satisfied, my mom went Internet sleuthing again and bought two roosters and one hen from an organic chicken farm.

Interestingly enough, the organic hen lays green eggs, and one morning I literally had green eggs and ham. And I had thought Seuss was insane.

The roosters grew, and with their 5-month-old testosterone, they strutted around like bosses, crowed at 5 a.m., and attempted to… uh, mate with the bigger hens when they weren’t watching. Twice the size of those pathetic testosterone- fueled roosters, the hens viciously attacked them after an encounter. It was disgrace to manhood.

Before you go out and buy some roosters, you should know that they are not allowed in Saratoga because of their obnoxious crowing. They are, however, allowed in the form of soup. I’ll get to that later.

One morning, when she was cooking an egg for me, my mom pointed out a black spot in the yolk.

After I had eaten it, she told me, not guilelessly, that the black spot was actually a rooster’s sperm. That’s reason number 732 for not eating eggs.

Because of Saratoga’s rooster law, we knew we couldn’t keep them for long. My grandpa from China insisted that young, growing boys should consume young roosters for the high levels of testosterone that supposedly promote growth.

Before an animal rights activist mob raids my house and steals my chickens, I will note that we bought the roosters from a farm that allows them to be killed for food. Besides, my grandpa has done this sort of thing hundreds of times (in China, of course), and the killing was quick and clean.

My grandpa made the roosters into soup, and it turns out that my dog and I share an affinity for live, fresh food. Rooster soup was delicious, and I added an Asian twist by combining it with noodles.

Here’s the moral of the story: don’t name your chickens. They might not taste as good in soup.

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