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Old 05-02-2010, 10:26 PM   #51
ziegl027
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Posts: 262
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Minnesota
Device: Sony Touch, Kindle DXG
Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Makes me wish I had a few chickens and a rooster so I could have a steady supply of fresh eggs!

Umm, you can skip the rooster. You only need a rooster if you want baby chickens. In the book, they had to wait until the cocks started crowing, then they'd split them out and put them in pen to raise for meat. These days, the poultry industry actually employs a large cadre of what my husband describes as "elderly Oriental men" as chick sexers. They look at day-old chicks and put the hens aside to be shipped to the layer facilities. The males, sadly, are discarded--they don't grow out well enough to make them profitable as meat birds. Why Oriental or why men, I dunno, but the elderly is largely explained by it taking years to learn how to accurately sex the buggers--DH has never learned and he's been working professionally with chicken parts for almost 20 years. There are some gender feather differences between chickens bred for meat, though, so no special skills are required (they are still seperated because the boys and the girls grow at different rates). As the wife of a poultry pathologist, it was of at least a little interest to me to see how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Biggest things then and now in success with poultry boils down to management-mostly ventilation and hygiene.

Other than the little flashes of the actual poultry industry, I was struck with the frank discussion of pregnancy and abortion. My Mom was born in '43 and she recalls growing up thinking that her parents must have been strange because they slept in the same bed--all couples on TV slept in twin beds, and often in seperate rooms. I think I read somewhere that the word "pregnant" was never used on I Love Lucy, even when Lucy clearly was, and a baby showed up on the show. The racism was certainly more typical for the era, seesawing between the "Noble Savage" image vs. the drunk layabout. I'm also not sure just how desperate I'd have to be to leave my baby with a moonshiner in order to go out and see a movie....
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