Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Bonafide Farmer


Currently, I have nine Golden Comet chickens all named after flowers—Erica, Forsythia, Gardenia, Honeysuckle, Ivy, Jasmine, Kalanchoe, Lily, and Magnolia. (Sadly, Alberta, Buttercup, Camelia, and Daisy have passed.) My aunt fondly named my brood, the Bloom Girls.

We prepared for our girls by reading books, talking to other chicken owners, and building a sturdy and safe run attached to the Amish made coop we purchased. We don't worry about any critters getting in or them escaping out. And yes, they are spoiled by organic chicken feed and the occasional homemade treats like strawberry hulls or creamed corn frozen into ice cubes.

I admit I was scared of them back in May 2015 when we first brought them home. I feared they would peck me or I would hurt one when I picked her up. But that soon went away.

Within a day or two, most of them would eat feed out of my hand. They do peck—ever so lightly—at my diamond rings. Seems even chickens like sparkly things. I guess it's true—Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

They do the cutest thing when I walk up to them. They squat down and slightly spread their wings. It looks like they are bowing so I can reach and give them a pet or pick them up. Maybe it's a sign of submission or even out of reverence—hoping I won't step on them by accident.

The first time we let them free range in the yard, a plane flew over, and I noticed the girls ran to hide under a bush. I guess their instinct warned them it could be a hawk or another predator bird that could snatch them up. Actually, it's pretty smart since that's how Daisy met her demise recently.

I have the utmost respect for farmers. Honestly, I'm kind of jealous of their role in our world—growing crops and caring for critters that produce food for us. But I'm not into weeding or insects or cleaning up poo so I've never aspired to be one. But the very first time I cleaned the chicken coop, I felt like a bonafide farmer as I shoveled out the dirty bedding and replaced it with fresh. And even now I still feel the same way when I occasionally reach under a girl to collect eggs.

Yes, I'm pretty partial to my girls. I believe almost every home should have chickens. The Bloom Girls are easy to care for and after the initial investment of a coop and run, they produce not only eggs for us but also for a few neighbors. In other words, they earn their own money to buy their food especially their beloved meal-worms.

The girls have exposed valuable epiphanies since their arrival but that will have to wait for another blog. So if you want to hear more about my girls or the lessons they've taught me, please subscribe (right under my pic on the right). 

Next time you eat an egg, be grateful for the feathered bird who laid one of the healthiest foods in the world. Oh, and the Bloom girls said hello!

What about you? Have you ever owned chickens? Has the critters in your life taught you lessons? I promise to share your comments with my girls.