As someone who grew up with chickens (my parents raised them for both meat and eggs), chicken chores fell on my shoulders. Sure, while my friends were watching TV or riding their bikes, I was cleaning out nest boxes, gathering eggs, and carrying buckets of feed to refill the feeders. After a hiatus of not having chickens while in college or even when I was working at my first job after college, I was ready to have a flock.
Even though there is work involved, I still love hens. They provide fresh eggs, entertain me with their antics, and they help control the insect population in the backyard. By looking at them as individuals from one season to the next, I truly saw how they lived their lives. And you know what? A lot of what I learned can be applied to my daily living.
10 Things I have Learned from my Flock
- Get out and enjoy the outdoors on nice days. Snow, cold, and rain may limit outdoor adventures.
- Eat your vegetables when they are in season. Nothing tastes better than when they are at the peak of ripeness (or when you snitch them out of the garden when you think no one is looking).
- Don’t be afraid to wander away from the flock. (You just may find the biggest grubs by yourself).
- Even if you can’t fly, don’t be afraid to stretch your wings. You just may get off the ground after all.
- Hold your ground. Stake your claim in your favorite nest box and don’t leave until your ready regardless of how many others try to force you out.
- Listen to the squawk of others. There really may be a hawk flying overhead.
- Share your spa time with others. A good dust bath is really more fun with the rest of the flock.
- Let folks know when you are happy and content. It’s okay to trill out loud.
- You don’t have to have a large McMansion to be happy. Your small, urban coop is adorable, comfortable, and it is a wonderful home.
- Be proud of your achievements. Go ahead and sing that egg song nice and loud!
So with this list in hand, life is quite enjoyable for both my flock as well as myself. So go ahead and watch your hens. Little life lessons exist in unexpected places. And your teacher doesn’t necessarily have to have to be human. What do you think you can learn from your flock?