Grit Blogs > Gardens Bliss

Ordinary Chickens

Hen Chicken 

Valerie BoeseIf we did not keep chickens, my family would not have learned ...

To laugh at the silly things that chickens do

To feed them corn from our hands and feel their pecking beaks

To be awakened early in the morning, by roosters crowing, not alarm clocks  

To know you may need to outrun an overbearing rooster or stand up to him

To know you don’t need a rooster to have fresh eggs, you only need a hen

To observe a rooster catching a bug, just so he can feed it to a hen

To learn to care for those that cannot care for themselves

Frizzel Bantam 

To build a pen to protect them from varmints and cold

To climb a tree to rescue them and carry them to the safety of the barn

To have fun watching them scurry after a grasshopper

To care for them when it is freezing cold, when they would rather be inside where it is warm

Golden Phoenix hen and rooster with Orloff rooster. 

A Golden Phoenix hen and rooster with an Orloff rooster.

To see a hen hatch her eggs, which change into fuzzy chicks, and see her protect them with all her might

To be wary of a hen's beak when gathering eggs from her nest

To show your favorite chicken at the county fair and win a ribbon

To enjoy the calamity of an audience scrambling to catch a chicken accidentally turned loose at the fair

To feel the loss when you lose one

Ordinary? I think not, I think Extraordinary.

Reserve Champion at County Fair

fairfarmhand
6/19/2014 9:13:13 AM

Ah, yes, chickens. Aren't they delightful? They were one of our first rural ventures and we still keep some around. We have a colorful flock, with several different breeds in it. Ours are all brown egg layers, though. I love your colorful chickens. They are gorgeous!


nebraskadave
5/5/2014 10:36:14 AM

Valerie, I must confess that I never had the connection to chickens that you talk about. I was always on the pecking end of gathering eggs and the coop cleanup end after they were processed into Sunday dinners. Trust me. July is not a good time to be cleaning out a chicken coop filled with three months of left behind garden fertilizer. We never had roosters so I didn't have to deal with them. Mom never had the colorful chickens just the plain white ones. I have no idea what kind they were. Both my parents came from a generation of farmers. Although they didn't live their entire lives on the farm nor did they generate the entire family income from a farm, they still couldn't give it up and always had small farms (100 acres or less) to supplement their incomes. I never developed the love for homestead animals. I learned very quickly that it tethered the homesteader to required daily chores. I guess I'm just not true homestead material. I do however have the love for raising gardens and have developed automatic watering to care for the garden while I'm away. There are some things I like about both city life and country life. I'm destined to be an Urban Farmer without animals or birds unless they are wild. ***** Have a great ordinary chicken day.