The Hesitant Spouse Coming to Love Chickens June 6, 2014

When we first got chickens so many years ago, my husband was not especially enthusiastic. Don’t get me wrong. He was never against backyard chickens. Theoretically, he liked the idea of being able to produce our own eggs. Plus real eggs are fabulous even before cracking—not boring like store eggs!

DSC_9855

Browns and greens and blues and speckles.

Even better, we had a wonderful friend, David, who had kept chickens for decades, and who shared his delicious eggs with us occasionally, so we already knew how delicious real eggs are.

Coming to love chickens for their eggs

Delicious breakfast: scrambled eggs and cheddar served with spicy herbed tilapia in butter, baked beans, and garlic biscuits.

But… meh. Despite all that, he didn’t know much about keeping chickens—and he wasn’t that interested in finding out. Chicken knowledge would be my job. I was happy with that. So was he. He’d still get to enjoy the “hen fruits” of our labors. And I thought he’d eventually he’d be coming to love chickens—at least a little! Skip ahead the intervening years, past the “okay, baby chicks are pretty adorable” stage, where he realized that he did enjoy watching the babies and holding them (who wouldn’t?).

Coming to love chickens for their cuteness

<3<3<3

Skip past the stage where he learned all their names and came to appreciate how friendly they are.

Coming to love chickens for their personalities

Hey there, Phoenix!

Skip past the summer he patrolled the perimeter of the yard with a shotgun when we had a predator snatching hens in broad daylight, and the way he began to love handfeeding them.

Coming to love chickens for their friendliness

Hubby handfeeding the chickens

Skip past his dedication to our blind hen, Hildy.

Hildegard

“Peek-a-boo!” I mean… just “a-boo!”

 

He has now reached new heights of chicken loving of which I wasn’t aware. This weekend, we had family visiting our farm from the other side of the country. I was out in the yard while he was on the porch chatting. I heard someone ask him, “Do you really need roosters?” Well, I’ve answered questions about chicken keeping for so many years now, the answer came to me without even thinking. But I wasn’t near enough to answer, and I knew my husband could answer this simple question. But what really tickled me was how well this once hesitant spouse explained it.

He not only affirmed that NO, you don’t need roosters to get eggs. He went on to explain that keeping roosters would mean you have fertile eggs. And then he explained how, in a flock without roosters, sometimes the dominant hen will take on the rooster’s social role. He added that she may even stop laying eggs and begin to crow.

“But that would be pretty uncommon,” he finished.

Feather me impressed. He answered that question exactly as I would have. He went into detail, where he didn’t have to in order to answer the question. Who would have thought that he would have all this effortless knowledge when we began our chicken adventure all those years ago? The only thing it took to change his mind was time.

For those of you just getting started, for those who have a spouse who’s not quite as enthusiastic as you are about chickens… JUST WAIT. They may well be coming to love chickens, too.

4 Comments
Mrs Teresa James June 6th, 2014

Awesome.
My husband has told me no to chickens for along time.
This last year our granddaughter came to spend the school year with us. Bamm!! that was when I finally convinced him to let us try hatching eggs and learning everything together as a family project. My daughter who is away in the Marine corp said she would help us in purchasing the incubator. So we ordered one on line, with all the extras. :) We then gathered eggs from 3 different families who have chickens and roosters. We hatched out 50% of the eggs we set. There were 21 one chicks that hatched out over Easter weekend. 1 did not make it. They are growing well. We have one chick that has a deformed beak crossing like scissors, hence his name now. He follows us everywhere and is the runt. But my husband now calls it his pet. He enjoys them all now. And the granddaughter got to experience the whole thing from growing in the egg to the here and now.

Now we are setting eggs for our neighbors. :) Love it.

Happy Grandma

The Couch Potato June 6th, 2014

my husband wasn’t really enthused when I first brought the subject up, he’s more so now. :-)

Ian O June 7th, 2014

That’s a very heartwarming story. My story’s similar – my elderly mum has always been a bit scared of all animals but over the past 2 years that I’ve had mine she’s grown to care about them enough to worry about them. She still manages to call all the hens “Him” though…

Natasha July 1st, 2014

I have always wanted chickens and my husband had zero opinion about them. My daughter egged me into getting some that had just hatched at the state fair and the adventure began. Now, 5 months later…my husband is the chicken whisperer! He built the brooder, coverted our old wooden playhouse into a coop, set up the nesting boxes, lets them out in the morning and locks them up at night, feeds and waters them, and finds them so interesting and entertaining. It is really cute to watch him care for them! Today we got our first egg and the first thing he did was take a photo on his iphone and text the picture to his mom!

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