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Farm Lesson #5: Life Lessons from Chickens

chickens, backyard chickens, raising chickens

When we moved to the farm, my first goal was to get chickens. And let me tell you, I didn’t wait long. The first full weekend after moving to the farm (yes, after 8 days) we marched off to the feed store and picked up our girls and necessary supplies. Seven baby chicks, all laying hens, came home with us, deeming our plot of land a true farm.

Truth is, I had no idea how to raise chickens, so I employed my “fake it, til I make it” approach and with the help of Google and a Backyard Chicken Facebook group, I marched on like a boss. Six months later, we are getting eggs every day and the girls are loving their free range days on the farm. We have curbed the puppy’s tendency to chase chickens and have settled into a happy rhythm. I knew I wanted chickens, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I love having chickens.

Chickens are funny – endlessly entertaining to me. They run to me everytime I come outside, they follow me around like a little pack of fans and they just want to be close. They are loyal and forgiving. Relational and stick together. They are hard working and explorers. They get scared, fuss and flap for a second and then move on without memory. They can be counted on. Seems we have a lot to learn from a chicken.

backyard chickens

I am so blessed to have a band of girls on our farm. ❤❤❤ If you are ever feeling low, come visit, the girls will be happy to cheer you up.

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Farm Lessons #4: This Farm $#@&^ Just Got Real

As much as I hate to admit it, this farm thing has been a romantic dream that I knew would be a bit of an adjustment, but not really that big of a deal, right? I mean, I did goat classes before I brought them home. I did my research, I studied. I’ve been ON farms before. I have got this, right? But life on the farm has opened my eyes to many things. And this week, this farm #$%& just got real.

You know we added 14 animals in the space of a six weeks, right? Right. Don’t judge, I’m not the type of girl that does a slow ramp up or half way work. I may need to reassess that character feature later, but I digress.

At one moment this week, standing at the sink in the kitchen, I see a goat in with the puppy. I panicked and ran out screaming. Lucky, our 6 month old, sixty pound puppy is larger than life and doesn’t know it. Mr Bean, although looking undignified all covered in puppy slobber, was fine. Phew, crisis averted.

Not much later, I was literally rescuing my top hen from this same knucklehead when she flew into his pen. On the verge of tears and feeling way in over my head, I saw the damage…most of her back feathers had been plucked by the eager puppy host. I was upset but willed no tears to come. It’s just a chicken, right? These things happen on the farm. Problem is this one is named after my grandma Dorothy. Crap, I went and got attached to the chickens. I’m not a good farm girl AND I let this happen by not paying attention. I felt like a total failure and had no idea what to do.

So, I did what every good farm girl does. I Googled it. Armed with chicken advice from the online experts, I headed to the feed store for supplies. I separated her and gave a quiet little space to come out of shock. She drank water and ate…all good signs. After a saline bath and wound spray, things are looking better.

I am pleased to tell you that Dot is doing ok and seems to be healing. Her behavior is all normal, despite her chilly backside and she seems to have resumed her place at the top of the pecking order.

I’m so relieved. I am getting farm tougher day by day, but am not ready for my first farm funeral. Not yet. I need a little more seasoning.