I love watching my chickens, or as I call them …my girls. I have since discovered that other small flock owners also like to call them, their girls. I have two friends in two other states that are very dedicated to their small flock of “girls”. When I quizzed them on their top 10 reasons why they have chickens; one of them sent me her list.
My friend from Nebraska is actually the Grandma of my daughter-in-law. I got to know her because of that family tie and am so blessed by it! The chicken connection just solidifies that bond. She and her husband also have a tree farm and she is a woman who has her own personal piece of prairie land. You can check out the Prairie Woods tree farm on either of the links below.
I really had to smile when reading Judith’s top ten. So many of them mirror what my list includes. Maybe it is just a trait of chicken owners? I have a feeling I will never know as I am pretty sure there haven’t been any studies on chicken ownership and the habits of chicken owners.
Judith’s Top Ten Reasons
1. The eggs are the best ever.
2. They are entertaining to watch.
3. They are actually quite intelligent.
4. They eat lots of insects.
5. They run to meet me every day.
6. They love to be petted and carried around, just like any good pet.
7. They reinforce the idea that I’m a farm wife.
8. I love looking out my window and seeing them toddling around.
9. They are inquisitive and one has come up on the porch and tried to come into the house for a visit.
10. They talk to me
Vickie is another friend from South Dakota. I got to know her through a Christian women’s retreat. She is also a blessing to me and is the one person I know who has so thoroughly bonded with her girls that she can imitate them to perfection. I wish I had a video of her to post here. You would be amazed! I haven’t gotten her top 10 yet but when I do I will update this post.
My top ten:
1. The eggs are the best, nice yellow yolks and so fresh
2. My grandchildren love to help gather the eggs (even though the eggs do not all make it to the house in one piece)
3. I love to sit and watch them
4. They keep the bug population down – I no longer get ants in my house in the summer.
5. They use up my extra garden produce so I feel like nothing goes to waste.
6. They follow me around the yard and sound like they are asking me questions. For some reason I find myself answering them. I am not sure if this is a problem or not…..
7. They are great entertainment when you feed them watermelon seeds off the deck.
8. They produce wonderful fertilizer for my garden
9. They are always happy to see me. It could be the bucket of food but I prefer to think it is me they are happy to see.
10. They make me smile and that is all I need to know.
In the summer they love to drink rainwater from an old teapot that I set out. It is kind of fun to watch them have their own tea party.
I would love to say there are only positive things to having a flock of chickens…..I would be lying. They do require tending, protecting from varmints, and occasionally removing a “bully” from the flock.
We discovered one of the downsides to chicken ownership a few years back. We decided the time had come to try seed some grass in our backyard. We purchased the grass seed at the local farm store and borrowed my son’s grass seeder. Some of the seed hardly hit the ground before those birds were scratching and pecking it right up. During the next weeks, those hens, decimated that back yard. Any new shoots that were brave enough to break through the surface were promptly plucked out by a chicken and eaten. We began to develop large shallow holes in what was left of the growing lawn. The chickens were using them for their daily dust baths.
Come fall, we tried again to seed the back yard with the exact same results. The next spring I wanted to try again and my husband told me this was the last time he was buying grass seed for that same lawn. I convinced him to fence the entire backyard and garden area in with some “old-school” farm fence – the kind with the scalloped top. This time all those little green shoots had a fighting chance and we now have a nice green lawn. We can enjoy our back yard and have never taken the fence down. It is kind of nice to have one area where you can walk barefoot and not worry what you are stepping in!
My husband will ask me every now and then how long I think I will keep chickens. I just grin at him and tell him I will probably have them till I can’t get out there to take care of them. I am not really sure why (other than my top ten list) I am attracted to chickens…..I just know they make me smile…..and that is good enough reason for me. Besides, if I would get rid of the “girls” …..what would my grandkids call me?
A little video of my girls when they were few days old. Another great reason to have chickens —–they start as baby chicks.
“When arguing with a chicken,
a grain of corn is always wrong.”
— African Proverb