Yesterday, I did a happy jig in my very own backyard. First, I said thank you to both girls, then I did a sassy little two-step (yes, while living in Oklahoma, I managed to get Mr. Right to take country western dance lessons, another post for another day). I very gratefully, collected two eggs. I always (well the egg count is now at 8) but each time, I find one glorious egg, I say thank you. I am grateful. The chickens came to live here on June 18th. Everyday, I have fluffed and puffed and fussed and offered treats. While the fresh blueberries and watermelon of summer were a huge hit, the banana the other day was a fail. The hanging Brussels Sprouts “tree” was a hit, as was the cabbage on a string (similar to soap on a rope, but you can eat cabbage).
Today, they discovered snow for the very first time. It was wicked trying to get their little, teeny, tiny gloves on. geesh.
The chickens and their needs were given to me by a very intelligent friend. She knew I would accept the gift and take on the challenge. She knew I would go out every day. I would feed and water and fluff and puff. She knew I would get off the sofa and stop “playing” sick long enough to take care of my new friends. At first, I couldn’t move the coup alone. Mr. Right, had to help me with the chores. I couldn’t lift the bag of bedding. I am lifting about 75% full bag now. I cringed when they pecked at my painted toenails and glitter covered flip-flops. Now, I wear boots and actually take off a glove and pet them each day.
Yes, I decorate their chicken condo appropriate for the season. Yes, it gets moved and cleaned weekly. However, they are not pets. Yes, I love them and enjoy having them live here, but they are not family pets. They actually produce eggs. They are working animals. I am friendly and talk to them, yet, I respect them and they obey the rules of the land. “in the summer months, NO, sitting on lawn furniture, geesh”.
What if everyone had to raise their own chickens for eggs? I know Mr. Right is teasing (half heartedly) about the cost of each egg. Over the weekend, I bought more scratch and decorations for their little palace. I added $8.00 to the cost of fresh eggs. When you drive by a small family run farm and they sell fresh eggs for $4.00 a dozen, STOP. Go in, buy them, thank them for the fresh, hormone, chemical free eggs and use each one gratefully. What if by using fresh eggs, we became a more grateful people? We said thank you and meant it. Yes, I know, lots of people say they are “busy” they don’t have time to raise chickens or stop and buy fresh eggs. They are already at the mega store and pick up a couple dozen, pure as the driven snow, white, eggs. They are each matching in size and shape. Does anyone else think this is a bit odd? Is everyone out there proud and happy to use factory produced eggs for food for their family?
What if every one of us had to raise our own chickens to eat? Raise our own cows to eat? Clean our own water? Would we be more respectful? Would we appreciate the hard work, effort and time it takes to raise and provide clean, healthy products? While I would love to aim towards “99 cents a dozen” for the cost of eggs, it just isn’t going to happen with such a small flock.
I am guessing that if each one of us had something to offer, we could barter fresh eggs for fresh apples. Fresh eggs for fresh herbs. Trade fresh eggs for raw honey. See? It could actually work. By sharing our gifts, the actions alone would help us to be more grateful.
My way of thinking has changed, flipped, done a switch a roo. I am very grateful for each egg. I take pictures. I share the photos with the grandgirlies and the world (well face book). I value what “eggactly” (couldn’t help that)…………..went into the “making” of each and every egg.
I am providing (albeit a small amount) to the nourishment of our family. I am helping. I am grateful to be doing so. I am proud that I am contributing.
When you hand quilt your very own quilt, somehow you appreciate and feel a deeper warmth while sleeping under it. When you raise your own chickens and they lay eggs, you value, appreciate and are very grateful of the process.
A friend of my son’s raises chickens and was kind enough to give me some tips on how to garner more eggs……….I thanked him kindly. I am just learning. I am reading everything I can and am listening to advice anyone and everyone will share. He then said the best tip ever to get more eggs………………..have more chickens! haha