Most people's exposure to rural environments consists of taking a scenic drive through wine country or being tricked onto a tomato farm by a Domino's Pizza focus group. To us jet setters, the countryside seems so beautiful ... the milkable animals, the clean air, the daughters that can't say no to traveling salesmen. Well, before I became the Internet's me, I spent my childhood living on farms, and there are some misconceptions I want to clear up.
One of the reasons people don't keep goats as pets is because every pound of tin cans they swallow turns into 5 pounds of slimy fecal pellets that fall from them in an unbreaking stream. Goats shit like an I Love Lucy skit. And according to my studies, cows digest only 2 percent of what they eat. The rest is simply coated in filth and flung out of the back of the animal. The only two events in the life cycle of a cow are ruining grass and death. It's like natural selection decided it was too much trouble to give them claws and decided instead to have them spew waste until they're too disgusting to eat.
A nice thing to do for animals is to keep a layer of hay on the floor of their barn. It's soft to sleep on, it keeps them warm, they can eat it and it will be made entirely out of feces before any of those things happen. No big deal. You just pick it up with a shovel and move it, right? Good luck. They were also peeing on that, and the second you disturb the swampy toilet they call a home, ammonia shoots out to burn your lungs and sear your eyeballs. Evolution gave these monsters natural weapons that actually prevent you from cleaning up after them. And if you ever get the opportunity to milk an animal, don't take it. It's like squeezing hot snot out of a fat woman's flaccid penis. When robots become self-aware, it's the milking machines that will be first to suggest revenge.
In all the animal kingdom, nothing shits like a chicken. I don't mean that they produce a lot of it. They do, enthusiastically, but more notable than the amount is the coverage -- chickens can and will put their crap everywhere. They never go in the same spot twice. Whenever you look away from a chicken, it hides three smears of crap in places it couldn't have possibly reached. I have seen eggs come out of chickens with feces already on them. Do I know nothing about chicken tubes, or are they acrobatically pooping into each other's birth canals? Both. And I can prove it.
Every day I had to fill our chickens' water dispenser. It was like an upside-down bucket that drip-fed into a little moat. It was specifically designed so birds couldn't sit on it, and yet every day I found it filled with chicken crap. Filled. In order for that to happen, they had to be deliberately and uncomfortably backing their assholes into their own water supply. Why would you do that if you weren't trying to turn yourself into poison in order to kill your masters from inside a soup or sandwich? There was even crap on the top and sides of the waterer, which meant that the more athletic chickens were leaping over it and moving their bowels with precision timing. I swear the reason chickens run around after you cut their heads off is because their bowels still have so much to live for.
If your only interaction with farm animals is petting zoos and cheeseburgers, you probably see them as lovable and innocent creatures. Don't be fooled -- petting zoos are where animals go when their spirits are broken. A real goat who hasn't had its soul rubbed out by thousands of tiny hands is a gigantic dick. It's built into its DNA. Every time a living thing breaks eye contact with a goat, a coin flips in its brain. Heads, it charges. Tails, it charges as hard as it can. I've watched a goat ram its horns into its own pregnant mother because she turned away from him. A goat head is like a cement block with horns because the only things those stupid things know how to do is lick salt and head butt.
In the country, even dogs are assholes. You've no doubt seen a dog lose its mind when a stranger comes near its home. That territorial instinct is multiplied as their territory expands. If a dog's home is several acres of farmland, it greets every visitor with primeval murderous instinct. Growing up, if we wanted to get home safely from the bus stop, we had to fill the weakest child with dog poison. An encounter between country dogs contains no comical ass sniffing -- it's a snarling cartoon cloud of mortal combat. Country people don't favor huge dogs because they live too far from Chihuahua boutiques. They do it because if their dog isn't big enough to spare a couple quarts of blood, it's going to die during its first visit next door.
When you live on a farm, you also have to deal with wild animals. Raccoons will spread your garbage out horizontally. Badgers will rip the heads off of your chickens. Wood nymphs will break up your parents' marriage. Even the "cute" animals are a pain in your ass. Deer will use their majestic leaping ability to hop into your garden and eat everything you grow. They don't care that it took six years for those god damn blueberry bushes to finally bear fruit -- they pick them clean in seconds and prance dickishly back into the woods. Luckily, you'll see that deer again when it suddenly appears in front of your truck as you're driving to town for blueberries. Country mechanics probably spend more time scraping deer carcasses out of truck grills than they do fixing engines.
Let me explain how the mating cycle of a free range chicken works. A hen struts around, darting her beak into the ground and ejecting terrible amounts of black and white acrylic paint from her ass. It's everything the world's most retarded animal could ask for. Here's the downside: If she does this anywhere near a rooster, he stops what he's doing and stalks her. With the stealth of a jungle cat and the romance of a running start, he leaps onto her and pelvic blasts her for one explosive, squawking second. The female chicken will hate this.
The rooster does this to every chicken every day, and none of them have ever wanted it. Chickens are these stupid little fat squirting things that look like a pillow fight when they try to fly, and the only thing they can do with any elegance is violent sexual assault and pantomiming the shame they feel afterward. Consider that the next time you're a vegetarian and you're wondering why everyone thinks you're an asshole.
After being furiously impregnated against her will, the hen lays her egg and sits on it as often as she can for 22 days. This is usually cut short by about 22 days when a farmer or his disinterested children yank the egg out from under her. To do this, one simply pries the fluttering, pecking hen out of her coop. If you don't use a stick for this, congratulations, your bloody arm is now ground zero for a brand new chimeric disease that they'll name after you. Egg collecting is both annoying and disgusting and often leads to the discovery that the chicken you're fighting isn't sitting on anything at all. To make matters worse, my dad's bitch of a second wife cooked like a chemical toilet accident, and handing her a basket of rape eggs only added to the misery of the world.
If a chicken manages to outsmart you by disguising its egg as an egg-sized pile of feces for 22 days, and it will, this of course hatches into a chick. If the chick grows up to be your second or second millionth hen, fine. If it grows up to be your second rooster, you're in trouble. Determining its sex is easy. You simply pinch its body until its anal vent protrudes and check it for bumps. Both sexes have bumps, so unless you're a specialist in this field, all you are right now is a pervert killing a baby chicken anus first.
If you screw up and get a second male chicken, the competition to be the top rapist drives them all insane. Roosters have a biological aversion to sloppy seconds, and any time one bones any amount less than 100 percent of the nearby ladies, it becomes a feral, unpredictable attack bird. So to sum up: Each time you see the words "free range," you're about to eat something that was sexually assaulted by one rooster every day of its life and regular assaulted by all the others. Enjoy!