It’s true. I was terrified of chickens as a little girl. If you saw me out with the hens today you’d never know it. The other day we needed to move the 6 new ladies to the brooder and it was easy-peasy… well, as easy as rounding up chickens can be! Man can they run!
As I carried the softest Leghorn across the field my husband piped up, “did you ever think you’d hold a chicken with such ease? And did you ever think that you’d enjoy keeping chickens?”
The answer is: no.
Twenty plus years ago I never thought I would be this comfortable around a chicken. Or 17 of them. The thought of living in the country was always appealing to me, but handling animals was not something I ever thought I could bravely do.
We visited a goat farm once in Montana when I was 13ish.
They had me hold a goat. I smiled on the outside. Secretly I loved it. But inwardly I was freaking out. Handling animals is not my natural forte.
So what changed?
Where did this new found courage come from?
Simple. I became a mother.
We had to wait almost 10 years and lost 2 pregnancies before this little gem of a girl was given to us by God. Once she was here I realized that in order to raise a child that would take healthy risks and try new things I had to live by example.
In general I think that I try new things and am spontaneous. But when it came to things that made me very uncomfortable – like being in a chicken pen – there wasn’t much of a reason to go out of my comfort zone and try new things. Until she came along.
Unfortunately I was content to sit on the sidelines when it came to these uncomfortable experiences and let others grow and try new things. But that’s no way to live a life – on the sidelines! I certainly didn’t want my little girl to be afraid to suit up and participate in life’s activities.
When we decided to raise chickens, I assumed my hubby would handle the chicks. Then I realized she needed to see me do it too. So I cautiously held that little fluff ball.
And do you know what? I liked it!
Not only was she so sweet, I overcame an unnecessary childhood fear and gave my daughter a good example to go outside of her own comfort zone.
Do you know what that confidence in her led to?
Swinging with her beloved hen on her lap. That chicken was like a puppy with her.
Today she and I both handle all sizes of chickens. We want to double our flock. Even triple it! By “we” I mean my daughter and I. Hubby might have a coronary if that ever happened.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are taken by yours truly and are exclusive content of this blog.