Honestly. Almost embarrassingly. I love my chickens.
What is it about these animals that immediately brings such joy to my heart? My hubby recently shared that being around the ladies after a rough day at work or when stressed is a way to distract from the craziness of life and remember how simple life can be. I would agree. Walking into the yard and having these cute fluffy birds run towards you in hopes of a treat, pecking your shoes and hopping up on your lap for an afternoon snooze is so comforting. When you’ve raised a chick, nurtured and cared for it when it was completely helpless and watched it turn into this intricate and energetic hen, it’s remarkable the ownership you feel over them. My hens (Pullets technically, they haven’t started laying yet) aren’t spoiled. I don’t make them a homemade slop of warm oatmeal and corn every morning. But I do feel a great deal of love for them. I spend most of my time just watching them. Watching them interact with one another and with nature.
At my house, chickens are pets. This is okay. This concept is strange to some people. But we raised them to care for them. To love the space they’re in, to love the eggs they conveniently provide and to love their presence in our back yard. Maybe this is why I don’t have to “catch” my birds. I simply kneel down and they come running to me. I pick them up and they nestle down. Maybe they trust me? Maybe they sense that I feel successful having raised them?
Now the type of relationship one has with birds is obviously drastically different then one a person has with a dog or cat. My dog and I understand each other. We’ve got a common language. I’m not so sure my chickens understand me. I don’t see a lot of emotional depth going on in their little faces. Not so with my dog. I can read emotion on my dog’s face. But obviously they’re different species. They’re going to function differently as pets. Each providing something different, its own unique connection. And my chickens like me. I like them. Simple. And weird or not, it’s a blessing to have them there in the backyard, softly cooing, clucking and scratching away.
Enough talking, I’ve got some bird watching to do.