Grateful for chickens


I love the chickens.

I love it how they scramble to the door of their chook run and wait for their food scraps. I love it that they see me coming, clomping along in monte’s oversized crocs, carrying the blue chook scraps bucket, and they cluck and carry on, waiting impatiently for me to come in and chuck food on the floor for them. I love it how they peck at apples and other things, shaking a bit of bread as if it were a live worm and flicking a bit of juice around with it. I love watching the roosters peck out bits of food and give them to the chicks, who are growing lots of feathers and are entering the awkward ugly looking teen phase.

I love it that the chickens wait at their door when they see us outside, as if they are waiting to be let out into the back yard. When they are let out, I love watching them scuttle around, scratching and pecking in the bean pole tee pee, which I fear we should not use to grow beans this year because the chooks love it so much, and they would destroy our bean garden in a flash.

I love watching the Alfa rooster protect his flock. He stands there, looking big and beautiful, scouting for trouble, clucking away gently, leading the flock away from trouble and protecting them and leading them with his outstretched wing.

I love hearing them. I love their ‘bok boks’ and the roosters’ crowing. I love hearing the hens carry on when they are laying. I give a bit of a fist pump in the air when I hear that! I love it that every time Elora hears the roosters crow she says ‘my chickens!’ I like to pat them too, when they let me. Their feathers are warm and smooth.

I love it that these gorgeous creatures provide us with food. Productive animals are so fantastic; all our animals have purpose, but our chickens have a lot of purpose. They could provide meat, but I don’t want to eat my birds. They are my pets. I would really struggle to eat them now and I hope the babies are girls (I think the white one is a boy).

Most of all, I love getting eggs from the chickens. I particularly love it when I go to collect eggs and they are still warm from the hen. They are warm and smooth and it makes me feel happy and warm and grateful. I hold the eggs in my hand and I think of possibilities. Real custard. Real mayonnaise. Quiche, cake, muffins, biscuits. Omelettes. Poached, scrambled, fried eggs for lunch. I am very very grateful for the eggs.

I was very happy this week when both our girls returned to the lay, after going broody about two months ago. The chicks are bigger and more dependent now, able to keep themselves warm with their own feathers, and the hens are laying their eggs once again. The girls have raised their babies and are ready for more. The circle of life continues.