We have had four Barred Plymouth Rock chickens since right after Thanksgiving. It has been a fun experience for us. It is surprising to me how easy they are to care for and how much I really enjoy them.
I am not much of a pet person. My friends’ full size poodle, Rags, used to come up and put his head on my lap. I would just look at him and say “I can’t meet your emotional needs.”
Chickens on the other hand don’t have so many emotional needs. It’s a symbiotic relationship–I feed and care for them and they give me eggs or meat–if we ever get meat birds. I like that they earn their keep. I know you pet lovers out there think I’m heartless, but I just don’t get the pets as best friends thing.
I do get the value of the life of an animal and its special place in God’s creation. I like the way natural farmer Joel Salatin talks about raising animals. He talks about honoring the “pigness of the pig” and respecting the design of creation.
I do get a lot of joy watching the chickens. They are humorous and calming. For some reason even cleaning their poop out of the roost can put me in a prayerful state. Maybe it’s just the slowing down of life and connection with the natural order. Maybe there is just more in doing and having less.
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