Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
This week we are excited to have a guest blogger, Henrietta the chicken. We’ve been trying to get one of the ladies to contribute a blog for a while now but they are a busy, shy bunch. With a little coaxing (and bribing) though we finally succeeded in getting one of chickens to share what a typical day is like for her. What follows is “Henny’s” perspective, loosely translated from the transcript from our interview.
August 23, 2012.
6 a.m. - OMG won’t that stupid rooster SHUT UP! We’re all still half asleep! And it’s not even that light out. I just want to sleep. If I’d been given talons I would sooo tear a strip out of that infernal male mouthpiece. “Oh look at me, I’m so loud, I’m so important, open the door, I want out, who cares about all the rest of us still asleep.” Narcissistic much?
6:30 a.m. - Oh, the door is open. Well, I might as well get going, everyone else is. Holy crap it’s bright out. I am soo not ready to be out yet… wait there’s the feeder thing, wait, I gotta eat. Get outta my way!
7 a.m. - Ahhh look, that two legged guy brought us some of those juicy red things with the seeds. Awesome. Hey, move over fatso, there’s plenty here for all of …. Hey, give me that back; you think you can take some of the fleshy red stuff from me… I don’t think so, I’ll chase you until.. there got it back… serves you right…
7:30 a.m. - I just love scratching… there’s got to be a nice juicy grub here somewhere maybe under… ouch… what was that? Those pains again. What is that?
8:00 a.m. - Okay these stabbing pains are getting uncomfortable, I’m thinking I’m going to hunker down in one of those little boxes that are lined with straw… crap, there’s a lineup, “Hey, beat it, move over, that’s my spot, I don’t care, beat it… well I can be just as stubborn as you, that’s it then, I’ll squeeze right in here beside, see how you like that.” Oh, that’s not too bad actually, two of us in a box. Kinda cozy.
8:30 a.m. - Oh oh, I’m getting’ those funny feelings, kinda like, oh oo woohhh, it’s another one of those things! What the… where do they come from? It’s a nice one though. I’m kinda proud of this one. I have a strange urge to sit on it for a while… but, nope, think I’ll go get some chow.
8:35 a.m. - Hey get off the ramp, I’m gonna let the world know what I just laid… “Booccck, Booccck , BOOCCKKKK, cackle, cackle, bbrrraaaaccccckkk, wopple wopple… oh yea, I did that, I laid that thing and it’s pretty awesome.
8:45 a.m. - Some of the younger ladies are trying to get in the coop. I used to stand here at the door and make their lives miserable, like, you wanna spend some time in a coop, well I’ll tell you when you get your turn. But now I’ve lost interest in it. Too much effort.
9:30 a.m. - I’m noticing less conflict between the two generations. When we started there was just the 4 of us and we got along great. Then that moronic rooster suddenly showed up last spring. What an imbecile. All bluster and no brains. Walks around like he owns the place, but never really contributes. And dumb? He does this thing where he flies up on to the gate to the pen, and falls asleep there are dusk. Really, he’s a few eggs short of a dozen that one. Luckily he looks pretty or we’d have tossed him out by now. Male eye candy.
Then this summer another 4 ladies arrived and frankly, the 4 of us weren’t all the thrilled about it. There was a lot of conflict. A lot of pecking. And chasing. But frankly, we’ve lost interest.
11:00 a.m. - We’re all done with that weird egg laying thing so that two legged lady with the sunflower on her shirt came and took away all the eggs, and thanked us profusely. I don’t know why. We’re just glad to get rid of them. I mean, it gets kinda uncomfortable poppin’ one of those out every morning. Glad to be rid of it.
Oh, wait, look, she’s bringin’ the oatmeal! Oh man I love the oatmeal! I gotta go, this is first come first served and the rest of the gaggle is pretty darn aggressive about getting their share. Get out of my way, I want me some of this!
12 noon - Hey it’s that guy with the yellow shirt. He’s come to clean out the bedroom. Now he’s a complete moron. Gets all excited about cleaning up our crap. Rakes it into buckets and then runs over and dumps it on his raspberry canes. Sure. Yea. Whatever. If that makes you happy you have fun with that. Dumb as a cheese ball, he is.
2 p.m. - You know I was getting a little bored with that food from the feeder thingee, and then that lady in the blue shirt brought out some of that shredded stuff, and frankly, it’s awesome. She started out throwing in those big huge zucchini’s just cut in half. It was kinda like “here ladies you do all the work.” And we kinda poked around in them, pecked out a few seeds, but really, no way, that’s not our job, so we just left them. And she got the hint.
Well then she must have been baking something and had grated a bunch of this stuff up, and gave us the extra and it was like, now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! It’s awesome! I could eat this shredded stuff all day. Yummy! I could take a bath in this stuff. Hope this keeps all year!
3 p.m. - There’s that two legged guy with the yellow shirt again. Oh, he’s chasing something, no wait, he’s got a couple of them in his hand, hold on, rugby scrum, he just threw them in, I’ve got it, no wait, it just jumped over there, but there’s a few more over there, grasshoppers, got one, now run like hell, crap, Penny grabbed that from me, come back you little creep, give it back, peck peck, there, got it, quick, crunch, swallow, yummy. Nothing like a mid-afternoon grasshopper to pick up your day!
4 p.m. - Oo, oo, wait what’s that? It’s Watermelon! How totally awesome is that! OMG I soooo love this season! So, the two-legged guy seems to spend a lot of time growing stuff. So, we convinced some squirrels to raid the melon patch. Yea, it’s pretty awesome. They tunnel into a melon and then the two-legged guy screams and throws stuff and rants, but then he brings us the watermelon. And they say animals aren’t intelligent. Remind me to save that squirrel some of those sunflower seeds.
5 p.m. - Hey it’s wading pool time. They just dumped the water bucket. Oh this is awesome. Wading through the water, pecking at whatever it stirs up. Sooo coool. Oh, the water bucket is back. Nice. I’m climbin’ on the side, there, nice and cool, and so clean. One of us better track some mud in there it. It looks way too clean.
6 p.m. - Oh look, there’s “Feist” with that rooster “The Colonel”. She’s one of the new ones and she is such a suck up. Just look at her over there flirting with him. She makes me sick. We thought it was cute how she never took any guff from him when he arrived. That’s why we call her “Feist”. But now they’re just the best buddies. So gross. And when he flies up on the gate she just freaks out. Give me a break.
8 p.m. - Well, it’s been a good day, but you know, I’m getting’ kinda tired. I think I’ll turn in. I see some of the others are already in there. Oh, and the moron rooster is back on the gate. You know he’d be there ‘til morning if the two legged ones didn’t pick him up and place him into the coop. Well he’d be there if the foxes didn’t take him out which frankly from the gene pool perspective wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Really, and these males are considered the top of the food chain? I gotta tell ya, that guy…chicken manure for brains. He thinks he should be on some corn flake box. The size and scope of the male ego never ceases to boggle my little chicken brain.
8:15 p.m. - I see the roost is fairly crowded tonight. Think I’ll sleep on the left-hand side one. That’s where most of us original ladies camp out for the night, although I can see by the time it gets chilly we’ll all be packin’ in way closer together.
Oh, and the colorful boy, where does he sleep? He’ll end up out on top of the laying boxes rather than in here with 8 females. He’s so elitest. Can hardly wait ‘til he comes crawlin’ in some cool fall night and wants to sleep with us all of the sudden. Gonna be some cacklin’ and squackin’ that night.
8:30 p.m. - Finally got my feet all comfortable on the roost and tucked comfortably under my considerably fluffy frame. I could probably stand to lose a few pounds, but frankly, if the two-legged ones are going to provide me with an endless supply of tasty food all day, I’m going to eat it. All day, weight be damned. Sleep now. Another Red Letter Day for a busy, humble chicken here at Sunflower Farm.
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For more information about the guy in the yellow shirt or his books, please visit www.cammather.com