Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting by Michael Perry

By Michael Perry

From the acclaimed writer of Population: 485 and Truck: A Love Story comes a funny, heartfelt memoir of a brand new lifestyles within the kingdom.

dwelling in a ramshackle Wisconsin farmhouse—faced with thirty-seven acres of fallen fences and overgrown fields, and educated through his pregnant spouse that she intends to convey their child at home—Michael Perry plumbs his unorthodox adolescence for clues to find out how to continue as a farmer, a husband, and a father. no matter if he's remembering his more youthful days—when his city-bred mom and dad took in sixty or so foster young children whereas working a sheep and dairy farm—or describing what it's prefer to be bitten within the butt whereas wrestling a pig, Perry thrives in his trademark humor. yet he additionally writes from the quieter corners of his middle, chronicling reports as cheerful because the delivery of his baby and as devastating because the loss of life of an expensive buddy.

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Extra resources for Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting

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This removed any caked dirt or manure, but it also stimulated her to let her milk down. By the 45 MICHAEL PERRY time you returned with the milker, beads of milk were forming at the end of each teat. Our De Laval Milkers were composed of a stainless steel bucket that sat flat on the floor and was capped with a detachable top sprouting several sets of hoses. One set was plugged into the overhead vacuum pipe. The other two hoses—a narrow black “pulse tube” to provide vacuum, and a larger clear tube to carry the milk—were connected to a shiny silver claw from which radiated four hollow rubber tubes called inflations.

Then the front door would open and close and the house would go quiet while Dad walked to the garden and flung the ashes across the snow, where they left a skid mark like a miniature thundercloud run aground. Then he was back inside, and even now I can summon the image of him downstairs alone, the day’s work in mind, the simple ceremony unfolding. The crumple of the newspaper as he packs it in above the grates. The careful placing of the kindling, and then a few larger sticks of wood to catch and grow the first flames.

And truth be told, her interest in the princess worries me less than her interest in the horse. The first thing Amy showed me the day I met her was her collection of plastic horses, and her fascination with everything equine has only grown since then. I fear my daughter is Horse People. You know Horse People. I am not talking about those loftily behatted julep-sippers of the Triple Crown circuit. Those are horsey people. Whereas horse people are generally solid citizens with day jobs. You see them behind the counter at the bank, or working reception at the doctor’s office, or hanging your drywall, and you don’t suspect a thing.

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