Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 100! – Lessons learned from a feathery flock

Today is my hundredth chicken post. Such a celebration. Who would have known when I made the executive decision to get these birds that they would add so much to our lives and teach us such wonderful and valuable life lessons? These gentle creatures, completely dependent on us for food and protection have in return taught us much about how this life of ours works.

From the smallest of places can come the greatest of strength.
When little Simon got covered in chicken poop (from hiding under the wings of the bigger birds) I thought she was a goner. The nights were getting colder and without fully fluffed feathers, she was going to freeze to death. Some Dawn detergent and my son’s insistance that she would be okay if we took care of her made all the difference. Gently bathed and coddled in a baby sling, Simon showed us that even the tiniest guys deserve a chance.

Hold your little babies in your hands and sing your lullabies now because you’ll turn your head for just a minute and they will be gone.
Apparently this is a truism for any species. Babies are adorable for a reason, they make you stop what ever you are doing to blow softly in their ears and tickle their tiny feet demanding attention and thus ensuring their survival. Treasure this today for tomorrow they grow up.

Boys are loud, really, really, loud.
Another truism for all species. Boys just want to be boys, even if that means expressing their surging hormonally induced crows at 3:00 in the morning. It’s what they are programmed to do, you can either throw sticks at them in an effort to stop this inborn behavior or you can accept them for what they are and learn to live with it.

Even a chicken can appreciate a good book.
Books and chickens – could there be any better combination in the world? I think not, and apparently so did the likes of Jodi Picoult, Chris Bojalian, Meg Cabot, Judy Blume, Sy Montgomery, Lee Goldberg, and Laurie Halse Anderson. As long as we have chickens and people who love good literature, the list will grow.

Have patience, despite your interventions with time and when all things are ready, the results will come.
Things are done when the time is right. No amount of prodding is going to get you results if it’s just not time for things to happen. Anticipate, have expectations, but take a deep breath every now and then. Sometimes things are beyond your control. Exhale. The egg will come. Trust me.

It’s okay to be afraid, know that someone, somewhere will always be there to assure you.
Morgane taught us that not only is it okay to be afraid but it’s also okay to lean on someone else when you need to. Too afraid to eat by herself when we first got her, too afraid to play with the other chickens. With patience and a little holding in our arms, she became a self-assured, fully engaged flock member.

Sometimes you just need to be held

On a dark and cold morning, a gentle friend’s insistence can mean the difference between staying in bed and starting the day.
No matter how bad things are in your life, no matter how much things might hurt, the chickens come first. In the morning, every single morning, they need to be released from their hen house in order to start the day. Having someone else rely on you is powerful medicine.

A small light in the dark can cheer anyone.
When we put Christmas lights on the winter hen house during the holidays we didn’t realize that tiny white lights against the dark woods was such a welcoming site, a beacon showing us all the way home.

Crossing the road is fine, it shows purpose it shows reason for your life, but sometimes its nice to come home again.
One of our large brown hens got loose. Not good in a neighborhood where fisher cats, coyotes, dogs, and cats run free. We ended up finding her in our neighbor’s yard down the road. Leaving home is fine, it’s expected. But sometimes it can be scary, especially when you might not know where you really are. When I found her I picked her up in my arms praising her for her cleverness at eluding danger with one breath and chastising her for her attempt in another. She didn’t struggle when I said we were going home and leaning into me for protection, I carried her back to the safety of her family.

Bad things happen, it’s life, there’s not much you can do about it. Shed a tear, deal with it and move on.
Dreams die. People die. Chicks die. It’s that darn circle of life. Doesn’t mean we have to like it but on some level we certainly have to accept it or we will end up forever crying eternally missing that which had brought us a pleasure’s moment.

Good things happen if you wait long enough and work toward a goal, that’s just the way it goes.
It started with a tiny flock of chicks. We now have 34 birds, members of our family all. We feed them, we play with them, and we keep them safe.

In return, if we are quiet enough, our chickens teach us lessons. Because of them, we learn to wait, we learn to accept what is, and we learn that with support all things are possible.



Filed under Good Egg Interviews, Holidays, New Hampshire, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Family

2 responses to “Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 100! – Lessons learned from a feathery flock

  1. Absolutely fabulous, Wendy. Great wrap-up of some excellent lessons.
    Many congrats on the 100th chicken post. Who knew those birds could be so damn fascinating and educational?

  2. Hey sis, congrats on 100 funny, sometimes sad, and often profound essays. Your author friends should be proud of you and please to be part of your chicken-family–as we are in your non-chicken-family. Is there much of a difference?

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