Birds are crafty creatures. They’re busy bodies too. After a year of raising chickens my son have a pretty thriving business going. We have steady egg clients, and we have grown to enjoy our chickens like backyard pets. We have found that chickens are strange and beautiful creatures. They spend their days sunbathing–spreading their wings and lying in the sun. They dig elaborate nests and pile on top of each other to sit in them together. They play catch with heads of cabbage. And one sweet one, she sits on her roost and waits for me every morning. She waits for me to give her a good petting before I open the coop door and give them breakfast. She’s become my friend, my sweet speckled hen. She knows me and enjoys my company. She waits for me, and so I stop hurrying . . . for a moment. Funny from a woman who is not so fond of animals.
Now we have our second flock, after a summer of sharing with the coyotes. Of course, the wild creatures needed a small share of our stock. The hens have taken to the chicks as their own and we have more mamas in our household than we can stand. I’m reminded that it is good for everyone in my family to be closer to the cycle of living and growing, and to be reminded of our similarities with wild creatures and bird creatures. It certainly brings my husband back from his work brain and it broadens my son’s remembrance that he is part of a larger world. I admit to myself that as an after school hobby it may be easier to do something like scrap-booking, but the ability to be connected to our food system is longer lasting habit, one that serves my family and my community.