I love my hens. There, I said it.
I know I complained when they scratched up and ate my carrot seeds-twice. The loud exclaiming (otherwise known as yelling) when five happy girls gave themselves dirt baths in my herb garden, tossing mulch everywhere and leaving craters, was probably not called for. Perhaps chasing them away from the house before company comes and steps in their droppings is a tad insulting to my feathered friends. I know, I may appear to get crabby at them, but the truth is, I really like them!
It is fun to be greeted every morning by a drawn out squawk or to be followed around when working in the yard. The endless supply of eggs from a faithful hen even through the cold winter months makes me smile. They are relatively low maintenance. Food, water, a safe place to sleep, and occasional clean up.
Because they each have their own quirks and personalities, we find ourselves talking about them as if they are people. These characteristics have resulted in fun names for them.
Dora the Explorer is our hen whom is always off by herself. She heads across the field or down the driveway without a thought to her sisters or her own safety.
We do not have a rooster, but we do have a fearless leader whom we call Queen Bee. We once watched her chase a cat away. We laughed and laughed at how quickly the unsuspecting cat turned and ran!
Choker eats her feed too quickly and often makes an unsettling gagging sound. So far she hasn’t actually choked and she lays beautiful large brown eggs.
Our sweetest hen we call Baby. If you sit in the grass, she will come up and want to be pet. She’s quicker than the other girls at grabbing the grubs and grasshoppers my sons find for them.
Buying new chicks is also a favorite time of year for me. They come as tiny fuzz balls only interested in eating, drinking, and sleeping. My daughter has found that if she holds one in her hand and then cups her other hand over its tiny body that it will go to sleep. She thinks this is great and gets a little disappointed when the chicks grow a bit and want to start exploring.
Now that I’m looking at this picture, I think my favorite part of having baby animals is seeing how excited my own baby is to play with them. He’s is learning about them just as they are learning about him. He is learning to be gentle, to take care of God’s creation, and that living on our little homestead is just plain cool!