Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Been a Love Affair of Giggles and Feathers

Regard it just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.
-Frank Lloyd Wright

picture taken by Keepin it Kountry Photography

This week it seems the weather has taken a turn for colder temperatures, gray skies, coughs and runny noses set in and the furnace turned up. I've hardly been outside other than to go to the car or feed the chickens, who are bedded down in the chicken house rather than frolicking around the yard. To look beyond the dreariness of it all, I've been thinking about the biggest highlight of the past summer which I think was raising chicks with Hanna.

I think it was love at first sight for her when her Auntie came down with a box of day old chicks. Her eyes were wide with wonder at the little balls of fluff. Of course, it was a challenge to keep her from squeezing them too tightly and for a bit she thought great fun to 'throw' them back into the box. Her gentle, comforting instincts came out when she's kiss them goodnight and and nuzzle them to her face.
They have provided so much entertainment around the yard during summer days. I think it kept her preoccupied and she never really tried walking to the road. Instead she's been busy shepherding them around and domesticating them to like her touch. She was always running ahead of me open the door insisting that I wasn't supposed to and helping to fill the food tray. Surprisingly she never really showed any fear as they got bigger, but was always begging for me to catch one for her to pet. With seven roosters, I'm amazed that not one has ever attacked or flown at her. Instead they gathered around to listen to her chatter at them.

I remember in the beginning thinking that I wouldn't have it me to tame them to become feathered friends. I had dreams of chickens following us around and eating from our hands. Now looking back I see the process of exactly that falling into place. They love treats from Hanna's hands and if I left the front door open they'd be marching into the house.

This rooster is the leader of the flock and we named him Samson. Hanna knows exactly which one is Samson and is always calling to him when we're outside. He's actually the only one with a name so far as I still have roosters that may need to be butchered so I haven't had the heart to give them names. (I know, that sound kind of cheesy:)

I'm thinking that feeding them during the winter might become an unwanted chore as we'll be busy with a new baby. I'm already dreading venturing out into the freezing air with warm water and treking through the snow. I do hope hubby will be willing help out and keep a cleared path to the chicken house. Hanna won't get as much time with them in the winter but I'll try to take time to let her help with gathering eggs. Speaking of eggs my hens still aren't laying and I'm blaming it on having way to many roosters. So hopefully next week we can deal with that problem and I guess there may be some birds in the freezer as I can't seem to find any homes for them.

This picture just warms my heart. She was picking up scattered food, feeding the chickens from her hands and talking endlessly to them. It must have tickled when they pecked at her hands because she'd burst out laughing often. I think this simple interaction between child and animal leads to developing a deeper sense of respect for God's creatures. I pray that Hanna will learn to love with a tender hand as she grows and interacts with nature. May she learn to see God's miraculous handiwork in all things. The intelligence in the tiny brain of a chicken is truly a miracle. The love of a child being an even greater miracle!
ps. guess what's for supper tonight: Homemade chicken noodle soup, kind of ironic!

1 comment:

  1. I believe your prayer has already been answered. I say this because you have asked and believe & I seen my yougest have this kind of interaction with Gods creatures from the time he was a toddler & til this day. He and animals seem to have a way with communcationg. He has had a bird fly to his hand & picked up a chipmunk he made a pet out of til it died. Hanna is a beautiful child. I enjoy you blog posts. Take care & blessings!