All Cocked Up. Or, Don't Be a Chicken!

A few of you are getting quite the chuckle out of my charges, the rooster and his harem of six hens. Yes, they take daily care. I check to make sure they have water, keep their feeder filled with a mix of grains, and toss them the odd treat of veggies or leaves that they can scratch around in. In return, I've had fresh eggs every day. Not a bad gig.

Part of the bargain struck with house sitting assignments is that we'll care for the animals while the home owners are away. Usually, that means dogs and cats. Some listings include exotic animals, like birds and reptiles. And a few, like the one we have in Le Haut-Corlay, France, have some livestock.

This isn't a problem for us. Well, for me. Sheila is and always has been a city-girl, but I actually grew up on a working farm. So all those seemingly "gross" videos showing an egg being laid (lain?) are actually pretty tame. I've rescued more than one slimy runt pig when it couldn't find a teat. I've castrated sheep, de-horned and branded cattle, killed and roasted a rabbit over an open fire, and even (you may want to stop reading now if you're squeamish) helped pull a stillborn calf out of its mother using a come-a-long tool in the middle of a blizzard. So the sight of an egg popping out of a bird's cloaca isn't going to put me off my food anytime soon.

No, the international house sitting lifestyle isn't for everyone. But I'm fairly well prepared!