Seven fowls a fattening

    There are still a few more days before the end of the holiday season, but thankfully most of the ambitious eating is over. At my house the chickens have been getting their share of holiday treats in the form leftovers. They’ve enjoyed scraps of cookie dough, an entire burnt fruitcake, meaty bones and fatty gristle, a loaf of stollen, lasagna Bolognese, baked Alaska, salmon skin, and a large bag of broken snickerdoodles. Today it was peanut brittle, too addictive to let in the house. Each morning another high calorie food bomb is lobbed into the pen, while inside the coop their nutritiously balanced pellets go unpecked.

    Is all this stuff bad for them? Can birds get sclerotic arteries or heart disease? I have to guess that the seasonal treats are about as good for them as they are for me, and chickens can’t get to the gym.

    But if anybody’s living the good life, especially compared to the species average, it’s these ladies. And their high-goody diet has doubled their egg production. Even if I wanted to I couldn’t afford to feed them like this all the time, so they may as well enjoy it now.

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