How Many Chickens: A Question of Worth

Bartering. A great way to do business. We each get something we value equally.

Girls Feeding ChickensMy family gave Laura’s family some used poultry equipment. Laura, a photographer, offered to take my daughter’s graduation photos in return. Before that could happen, I needed a quality photo for this blog, so Laura said she’d throw that photo shoot into the deal for free. But my husband, feeling that Laura’s two photography sessions were worth more than the poultry supplies, insisted on our also giving her two dead chickens.

That’s two organic, fully processed chickens, raised right here on our farm site. Butchered. Frozen. Bagged. (The whole deal, for those of you who buy chicken on Styrofoam trays. Don’t feel bad. I used to do that, too.)

In bartering, it all depends on how much something is worth to you.

My husband is a very generous man. But he did stop at two chickens.
Let’s do a little hypothetical math. What would my husband have seen as being worth, say, ten chickens?

Push it a little further. What would be worth our entire flock? Or our entire poultry production set-up—including all the future food and income that could have come from it?

Watch out. I’m stepping into your world now.

What about you?

What would be worth giving up your most prized possessions?

What would be worth your job?

Your home?

You barter every day. You barter your time for a paycheck. You barter your privacy for online connection to friends. I’m just asking you to think beyond your currently comfortable Barter Zone.

What would be worth everything you’ve got?

What would be worth your family?

Your life?


Just think about that for a while. Then scout around this blog and read the stories of some people who have had to answer that question for themselves.

A man named Paul answered the question this way—

“I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

-Phil. 3:8

How would you determine whether something was worth everything you have?
Add your thoughts to the discussion below.


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