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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

So..... Why Get Chickens?

                  So..... why? That's a common question we get. Super vauge and difinitively un-clear. Why what? Why did the chicken cross the road? Why did she drop the necklace off the boat at the end of the movie? Why do I still own a pair of gaucho pants? These my dear friends are questions we will never know. (Actually gaucho pants are quite comfortable but I digress.) But as for the why pertaining to my choice of lifestyle I have a plenty of answers! 
                  Why do I own chickens. The simple answer: because I like fresh brown chicken eggs. The white ones you get from the store are about a month old and taste too.... "eggy". I don't think that's actually a word but cant think of a better term to express how I feel about them. The complex; it translates to my parenting style. Chickens are a lot of work! Farmers have it right! The most well- behaved kids I've met lived on farms. They have responsibilities at a young age and that translates into the world as an adult. Now I don't want to actually own a full fledged farm so we went with chickens. They are small and have a side perk of eating all the bugs in your yard. They take dedication, responsibility and love. Just like everyday life they address the good, the bad and the ugly.

                  We get several delicious eggs daily. It's fun to go outside, let the chickens out of the coop and get to walk up to the still warm nest of eggs awaiting my daughters eager hand to collect them. Most of our chickens are skiddish and try not to come too near us. Then we have the brave one who loves to be near us. Her name is Cinderella. She follows us around in the yard, let's us pet her and loves for us to carry her around.

                 The bad would pertain to the deaths we've had (or even caused) while trying to figure these chickens out. At one point we had two ducks we adopted from some friends. When the chickens were old enough we put them together....oops. The ducks would gang up on a chicken and peck it until wounded. When the other chickens see red.... well they attack. We lost one that way. Another instance was when a hawk got into the coop and snatched up a chicken. We put a netting over the chicken run from that day forward. Some chicks die soon after hatching from unknown causes. Then there was, what we called, "D" day, that's a different story for a different day.

                NOW... for the ugly. Imagine shoveling a winter's worth of half frozen chicken crap from the floor of the coop. Yeah.... I think I'll just leave it at that.

                 In the world of chicken raising you get all these little life lessons on a micro scale. Easy enough for a young mind to digest, to comprehend and to grow from. The Chicken Coop is our tool to help grow our children into hard working and compassionate adults. One of the smartest thing's I've ever heard came from one of my patients. I was young and pregnant with my first, Madison. She told me, "Raising children is much like buttoning a sweater. If you start off wrong, you will end up wrong."  The Chicken Coop is our buffer against that happening.

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