Don't Be a Chicken-To Buy Spring Chickens!
By lauramichaels on April 03, 2014
It’s that time of year again, here in the South, where all the agriculture supply stores pull out their medal tubs and put out those cute and cuddly little chicks and ducklings! I personally have to remind myself not to buy anymore birds, as I already have too many.
I started my chicken obsession a year or so ago when I realized that eggs were the easiest thing for me to digest, with my auto immune disease, Ulcerative Colitis. I was buying eggs all the time, and decided I wanted to own my own chickens and have all the eggs I could ever want or need. Well, 3 or 4 chickens turned into 42 chickens, guineas, quail, and even one rabbit. My boyfriend and I happen to be major animal lovers and have a hard time turning down any cute and cuddly thing we see.
We really thought we were prepared to bring our new feathered friends home, because we had an existing chicken coop on our property. What we have found out, is that we have a long way to go in securing our chicken pets, in giving them the best life possible.
I will caution you that owning chickens is in fact a huge responsibility, especially if you love animals the way I do, and you should really do all the research you possibly can before purchasing any chickens. I would research anything from disease, best housing for chickens, how to feed & water, giving out treats, and how to protect from predators. There are so many little factors that I learned the hard way, and also by doing some prior and ongoing research. If you think it is cheap to buy or own chickens, then think again. There is a reason why eggs are so expensive at the grocery store. You are responsible for buying their feed, housing, watering/feeding containers, and ongoing expenses that incur.
Even though owning chickens has its challenges, for me, the benefits out way them. My chickens come running like dogs when I call them by their individual names. Even my guineas (some previously wild) have been tamed into eating out of my hand, and coming into the henhouse to roost at night. Each one of my birds has its own personality, and brings me more joy than I could have ever imagined. Have you ever seen roosters be friendly, copy your laugh and intonations, and let you love on them? Most of mine are so gentle and sensitive! How about a guinea fowl that lets you pick it up and hold it like a baby? I have two that let me do this! Even in the throws of death my chickens have recognized and accepted my care, and sometimes even come back from the brink. I believe there is a trust, and a bond developed between people and all living things. There is an understanding of love between all creatures that is reciprocated when accepted. I have found that connection with birds, and my chickens, that I didn’t know existed.
I have always struggled, my whole life with the concept of death. The thought of death crippled me, and I couldn’t even bare to touch my own dog if I thought something was really wrong. Since owning these chickens, I have changed. I don’t cower away from being there when someone is in need, sick, or dying. I have this comfort in knowing that I was there for my birds in their final moments and that I gave them more love than anyone else could. So, buying some chickens to provide me with a days worth of eggs, has turned into something much more. It has turned into invaluable wisdom that I may not have garnered otherwise. Not everyone has this kind of a connection with animals or chickens, from what I have read, but I believe we all could. I always allow myself to learn the lessons from my weaknesses and flaws. I’m always looking for the life lesson in the midst of a trying or otherwise positive situation, in hopes of a better understanding of myself and others.
So, don’t be a chicken to buy spring chickens. Do take into consideration all of the responsibility that is involved in keeping them safe and happy. Once you have brought your new cute and cuddly friends home, try to think of them as more than just egg producers, and realize, they may actually be teaching you a thing or two about life.