Josie, my wife, bought 90 chicks (sisiw in Tagalog) recently. We’re planning a big party when my younger son, Jonathan, arrives for vacation in December. Those chicks will grow into broiler chickens, ready to eat in 45 days.
Well, we’re down to a little over 70 chicks now. Some neighborhood cat, a stray scavenger, found a way to get into the chicken coop. That chicken coop has been checked a dozen times and it’s secure. The superstitious people here thinks it’s actually an aswang, pretending to be a cat.
The last time I paid for raising them, a sister-in-law took care of feeding them. I spent around 13,000 pesos (more than USD $250) for the chicks, the chicken feed and the Vitracin (water + vitamins + antibiotics). Josie’s taking care of the finances this time around, so I have no idea what the total cost will be.
It really isn’t cost-effective to raise a lot of chickens unless they’re going to be sold when they mature. It’s hard to store the meat after they’re slaughtered. The last time, I had to have the meat stored in three different places and two of those places wasn’t in my house.
We have some “native” chickens running around, crapping all over the place. No one feeds them – they’re truly free range birds. No one seems to eat them either but they eventually disappear.
Judging by how many people I see in every place that sells fried chicken, a lot of Filipinos are very fond of it. I’m not. I’d rather eat a salad than a piece of chicken. Perhaps it’s because I’m always around chickens, in one form or another (alive or cooked).
I don’t like being near chicken coops or having chickens underfoot. Chicken sh*t is nasty. Chickens are stupid and I think they’re some of the stupidest animals on this planet. I once saw a chicken being slaughtered in the back yard and another chicken strolling through the blood while it was happening.
One of my grandmothers, on my father’s side, used to raise chickens (and pigs and other farm animals). I’ve been around chickens most of my life and I’m simply tired of looking at them.