Chicken Facebook Status–what would your chickens say? November 29, 2013
Chicken Facebook status: what would your chickens say? Chickens are such social creatures—much like humans—that I’m sometimes reminded of the interactions of my chickens when I read Facebook statuses, especially in November when many people are expressing thankfulness.
Some hens are pretty amiably happy when they have food, water, shelter and companionship. Most are. But then there are a few bossy hens, like my hen Bunny, who spends her time making demands of others, pecking them to gain compliance, and bullying them away from feeders and waterers.
Poor Bunny. It’s not just that she wants “her spot” on the roost, for instance. It’s that she doesn’t even want Henrietta to have Henrietta’s spot. To anthropomorphize a little, Bunny just seems put out by the idea that other hens ALSO want food, water, shelter and companionship. She can’t wrap her chicken-y little head around it. Even though there are plenty of resources and space, Bunny is defensive and demanding. And she always seems a little unhappy because of it.
Many people would feel sorry for those other bullied hens… and I do. However, they get plenty, even if they have to unfortunately deal with a bully from time to time. I mostly feel sorry for Bunny.
Sometimes I imagine what my chickens’ Facebook statuses would be like (because I’m weird that way). Most of my hens would have statuses that read something like “Holy bug juice, you guys should have seen the fat cricket I caught this morning!” or “I really found the perfect place to lay my egg today!” But Bunny’s statuses would read more like “What a back-stabber! No sooner had I turned to leave the coop, when Prissy tried to get in my favorite sunbeam!” or “Penny’s going to get it one of these days–she’s always trying to get too close to me at the feeder!”
There’s a lesson in there, somewhere.
Some people are grateful every day. I think you can sometimes tell who, in your Facebook feed, is genuinely grateful for what they have. They may not explicitly state it every day, but you know who they are. They’re thankful for both small and big things (“I’m thankful the snow held off until my family was safely here!” or “I’m thankful my nephew got that wonderful job offer!”). By contrast, I think you can also often tell when generally ungrateful people share “Facebook Thankfulness,” because their statuses can often be more of a complaint or backhanded attack. (“I’m thankful my boring uncle won’t be coming to visit this year!” or “I’m thankful my family finally decided to help out with Thanksgiving dinner—it’s about time!”)
When I hatch eggs from my flock, I carefully choose eggs from hens who are—even if not the best layers in the world—happy and able to get along with other flock members. The hens who raise the babies are generous and loving rather than paranoid and self-absorbed. I guess the lesson is: be the chicken, er—person other people want in their lives. A bully may get away with things sometimes. But in the long term, you’ll be happier if you’re a genuinely good and kind person, rather than someone who’s obsessed with what other people have.
If your chickens had Facebook, would they share grateful, happy statuses? Or do you have any bullies in your flock–how do you handle them?