Friday, April 19, 2013

My Chickens Dont Love Me

MY CHICKENS DON’T LOVE ME  --- Written By Ira Edwards

Having chickens again brought me back to my childhood. Sitting on the floor of the warm brooder and having little chicks around me, sometimes with a favorite jumping up on my knee, was a childhood delight.
Add 70 years. Margaret was given six baby chicks for mother’s day. I was not happy. Taking care of chicks is not easy, and in a few weeks we would have to find a proper way to get rid of them, or a way to keep them
They won my heart. I built a 4x8 movable cage, to give them protection and access to different grass areas. The protection wasn't good enough. Scrub jays got two of the chicks, and I bought two more to replace them.

Big Chick was bigger than the others. Buff was a Buff Orpington. Goldie was a Golden Sex-link. Wild chick, a Wellsummer, was more like the ancestral jungle fowl. Beauty and Rocky, like Big Chick, were Barred Rocks.

Beauty was missing, and we assumed a jay had got her. Then Margaret heard her faint cry, and we found her wedged in a crack under the edge of the shop where she had escaped from the jay. She was cold and weak. Margaret held her under her chin for two hours as she began to revive.

I built high fences. Buff was our escape artist. She could find a way out, once being gone for several hours before our grandson found her several blocks away. I made access to a section of the shop, and made roosting rods and nesting boxes. The chicks grew up and began to lay eggs.

Buff died, and I mourned. I had to adjust to having only five chickens.

Chickens like to be together as a flock, but they are never nice to one another. They have no love, no thankfulness, no sharing. If one finds a worm others rush to take it away from her if they can. Five chickens racing around the yard is better entertainment than auto racing. If one finds a good place to scratch for bugs, others rush over to take it. For no good reason, they pick at each others necks, or get in a jumping beak-to-beak contest to determine who is top chicken.

Their interest in me is only for the goodies I bring them. They squawk to demand more, and I usually give it to them. If I don’t, or if they are satisfied, they ignore me. I can relax in the grass with the chickens around, or walk with them in the garden, and they act as if I didn't exist. If I chase them out of the beets, they come right back. They don’t take no for an answer. If things go wrong, they seem to think I am at fault.

In the garden, Goldie will wait on top of each shovel of dirt, ready to grab the first worm that appears as I bring it up. When I am planting or weeding by hand, Goldie is between my hands as I work. She acts as if I get in her way, rather than making her goodies available.

When we meet eye to eye, it is if they are asking what life is all about. They try to figure it out, and can’t. They kindle a deep feeling of love, and a desire to have them love me as I love them. I don’t need their love; I don’t need their obedience, except for their own protection. But it would be good.

I still miss Buff. She was an individual, not replaceable, forever a loss.

I wonder, how much my Heavenly Father sees how I am like my six chickens, and how much more He cares.

Ira Edwards

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