Sunday, October 17, 2010

broody hen

i want to have chickens.  they are, right now, the only pets i have any interest in for several reasons:

1. outside is where they live-  all of the time.
2. you take care of them, they give you eggs, you can eat these eggs
3. those squishy red combs on their heads 
4. i like how they look when they run- kind of a waddle reminds me of being pregnant and dinosaurs

of course, i've never really had chickens.  we did have ducks when i was a kid...and that turkey....and a seagull.  but chickens are new to me.  next spring i'd like to get some with odd names from a catalog and have the post office call me at 6 am to come pick up my peeping chicks.

several things have to happen before the chickens happen- like winter- and putting our fence in and up.  but i am optimistic that it will happen, eventually.  and so i am doing research so i can be a good chicken owner. 

part of that was listening in on a workshop about backyard chickens where i learned lots of interesting things- about chickens and myself.  for example, chickens will eat mice, baby slugs, kale, cheese- just about anything except citrus.  me?  i like citrus- won't eat mice or slugs.  so me and the chickens share a very similar diet- which is good because i can feed our food waste to them instead of the rats.  bonus.

chickens don't like cold or dirty feet.  me neither.  i get blissed out by washing my feet in warm water before i go to sleep.  this also have kept me somewhat flexible because i usually do this in the bathroom sink- balancing on one leg- i've seen chickens balance on one leg too.

and now i have learned about "broody hens."  it was described to me kinda like this:
a hen who gathers all bits of feathers and straw to make a good nest.
a hen who just wants to sit on her nest. 
 a hen who will not give up her eggs easily. 
a hen who will steal others' eggs to sit on. 

in short, a hen who has a mission.

i'm like this in a way.  not to say that i sit on eggs or that i want more children.  no no no.  but i brood over other things.  i like to gather cozy thoughts and sit with them.  i like to mull over other tidbits of wonder and hold on to them.  i don't like to be interrupted and certainly don't take kindly to being pushed off of my little nesting box of dreams and contemplations.

 like the broody hen in most backyards, broody hens that sit on unfertilized eggs that won't ever hatch, broody hens owned by folks who want them to produce eggs not incubate them- i am not often allowed to just brood.  i got people, big and small ones, wanting things from me, like food and comfort and attention.  i love these big and small people so i huff up and do what i need to do for them.  much of the time i enjoy it.

sometimes though, when i'm all settled down and snugged in with a good thought and they come at me i want to squawk at them: "let me be the broody hen!" and i want them to get it- that it's not a choice for me to brood- it's just the way i am put together- like that speckled chicken with amber eyes.  and i want them to get it  before i resort to flapping my flustered feathers in their face- cuz that takes away from my energy to brood properly.

when i have chickens, sometimes i'm just going to let them brood.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, holy hell, thanks for this one, nancylee. so many levels of thanks.