Health Matters,  Life Day By Day,  Living with Chickens

As strange as it sounds…

As strange as it sounds…this Easter I did not buy or eat one Easter egg. What is happening you may well ask? I could have been like that woman on the Woolworths advertisement that supposedly bought ten chocolate Easter bunnies for her grandchildren, but she did not have any grand children, they were all for her! Just like me I have no grandchildren but I resisted the urge to pick up a few of those lovely chocolate bunnies calling out to me as I wandered down the supermarket aisle – too much sugar! A certain amount of cacao, found in dark chocolate, is good for us so to ensure I was getting my allocation I made a loaf of rye bread that had cocoa powder in the recipe – delicious!

As strange as it sounds… some people are surprised that the Princess Chickens continued to lay their royal eggs throughout the hot weather. There have been occasion whereby one or two has had a day off, as all Princesses do, but generally we have been getting five eggs daily. I like them to have their greens and buy them spinach each week at a market. But I was cautioned about “too much of a good thing” yesterday when I saw this blob of dark green poo. Perhaps it was from just one greedy Princess over eating her greens. They also have other vegetables most days including carrot and/or pumpkin, cut up into nice edible pieces and cooked in the microwave. Even though they are generally well mannered Princesses when they have their early afternoon treat it is each one for themselves. Not much decorum evident, as strange as it sounds!

Scattered Straws column lives on in the form of my blog 120 years after GEE's column was first published in the Darling Downs Gazette Qld
Scattered Straws column lives on in the form of my blog 120 years after GEE’s column was first published in the Darling Downs Gazette Qld

If you have read “about me” on my blog you will know that George Essex Evans (GEE) the Australian Poet had a column in the Darling Downs Gazette over a hundred years ago. He called his column “Scattered Straws” and it was published under his pseudonym “The Gleaner”. GEE was renowned for using different pen names. I have recently read some of his columns. Today I will share with you some of what he said on Saturday 20 April 1895 in his column titled “The Fowl” and I quote as follows:

“The hen is a plain bird that lays eggs so that small boys may come and steal them. She is not romantic, but utilitarian. She makes less noise than the rooster, but she can keep it up longer. She has aims in life. One of her chief aims is to lay eggs where nobody can find them. She has a keen sense of humour. Nothing pleases her more than to see woman making nests for her where she never means to lay. Nothing hurts a sensitive hen’s feelings so much as to be shut up in a nest house, where she knows she must lay an egg before she is let out”.

Our resident Tawny Frogmouth
Our resident Tawny Frogmouth

Thanks for that George but my hens are different they know exactly where to lay – in the soft wood shavings in their nesting box. It is all about training. Small boys cannot steal our eggs, not that I expect any would, but at our place they can’t as there is a lock on the nesting box. The purpose of the lock is to deter a clever predator who could nudge up the lid. We have a lace monitor lizard, a very large fellow who loves to roam around our property. Last week we found him wandering around the Palace (aka chicken coop). He must have smelt those eggs but there was no way he could get hold of them. Then two days ago I was wandering over to the Palace and to my surprise there was a lovely green and yellow tree snake sunning itself on the brick pathway. We had a look at one another for a while until it decided to take off into the bushes. I noticed that is was our resident tree snake. How did I know that as they all look the same? As strange as it sounds…around 10 years ago a tree snake got caught in one of our sliding security doors and as a consequence it got squashed and ended up with a scar on its back.  Same scar, same snake, isn’t that amazing. That tree snake must really like calling our place home. Similarly, does our resident Tawny Frogmouth. We commonly call it an owl but it is actually a nocturnal bird.

I only have 9,536 more steps to take today to reach my target!
I only have 9,536 more steps to take today to reach my target!

For us “home is where the heart is” and as strange as it sounds…I am keeping a close watch on my heart at home through my new app on my phone. I can monitor my heart rate; record the number of steps I walk in a day; record how many calories I am eating a day; what level of exercise I need to maintain a good weight; record my sleep data, and check my stress level. Just over 9,500 steps to go today to reach my target of 10,000 steps. I also have to make sure I keep my mobile in my pocket otherwise no counting happens. With all the attention the Princess chickens get as I go back and forth to the Palace I am sure before I know it I will reach my target. As strange as it sounds…technology does have some tremendous uses helping us keep a check on our health just by picking up our mobile phone. I just checked my stress level and it is in the low range. It must be due to my retired life, a more and relaxed lifestyle and the choices I am making. Life has its moments but for now my life is “as good as it gets” so I am making the most of it. I hope you are doing the same.



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