Chicken watching... There is something magical about it. Like watching the ocean or the ever changing colors at sunset on canyon walls or clouds as they roll across the vast skies of prairie states. Perhaps it’s the movement in all of it that enthralls us. We are linked to nature’s rhythm at our deepest levels and chickens do it for us, just as oceans, canyon colors and prairie skies. So in the evening I sit down with a book and a glass of wine, intent on reading under the oak tree. I don’t get past the first page because there is so much activity that I start to watch chickens. It is mesmerizing, beyond belief. They chortle to each other, the roosters dance, and strut sideways trying to impress and entice, the hens run not wishing to be impressed. Lenore is chasing a bug, zigging and zagging. Grey Lady is fixing her feathers, there are two Easter Eggers, Gracie and Sally, facing head on preening each other’s beards.
Maxine, Laverne and Shirley, the three Faverolles, come and sit down to watch me and I admire their always gentle closeness. From inside the coop I can hear the loud cackling of an egg layer so proud of her seemingly supreme effort. Then a wild bird has the audacity to land on the edge of the feed dish and is promptly and zealously chased off by the Red Star, Elizabeth. There is so much pecking and scratching going on. Everywhere someone is in motion and the communication in chuckling, chirps, chipping, and chortling, if you listen closely, all has meaning. It amazes me, and causes me to question my sanity because I am beginning to understand exactly what they are saying. It is a society with its rules, habits, special friends, enemies, and systems for survival. They are so busy and so happy. Smart too. They know my truck and come running from the four corners as I drive home.
Sometimes when I hold a silkie-feathered, warm, fluffy bird in my arms I know I am blessed by the opportunity to experience such a peaceful, comforting moment in life. It is a special time for both of us and with two hearts beating so close together the loving exchange is all encompassing and I am compelled to pray and thank God for such wondrous creatures in my life. Who would have thought that a simple chicken would have had so much to offer. The egg is an awesome thing, but that is the least this marvelous creature has brought to my life.