Now that I am about to be a chicken owner aka Queen Mother of Chickens (Princesses) my life is about to change. My awareness of chickens and their well-being has certainly escalated. It is therefore now time for ‘mea culpa’; confession and forgiveness. It is true, that in the past, I have bought caged eggs. I am sure God does not see this as a sin, I hope not, because I am now reformed. Surely that will remedy what would have been an uncertain future should I have had to account for my treatment of God’s creatures. Furthermore, I am making restitution for past sins by having my own chickens. They will be so happy with life, eating their accredited feed, foraging at other times of the day and enjoying dust baths and sunshine. Then my reward for treating them like Princesses is that they will gift me with free range eggs. They will even produce organic eggs as long as I give them feed that is certified organic.
Is having organic food for chickens taking the whole issue too far? I have two photographs of me as a toddler feeding my great grandmother’s chickens. I know for a fact my great grandmother’s chickens in Helidon were not feed organic food. But perhaps it was just as good. I remember as a child there was a bucket at the side of the wood stove where all the vegetable scraps, tea leaves and other scraps were placed. This is all great food for chickens. I think they mixed mash into this and voila, organic feed. With such memories it is no wonder that I have a fascination for chickens. To think that for years this was hidden under the stress and pressures of living in suburbia, working long hours and travelling a distance to work. It took a long time for me to unravel my thoughts about life and get back to basics. Back to where I can enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life; such as having chickens.
Not only is my dream about to be realised, parts of my life are beginning to intersect and overlap. That must be a sign that I am on the right track. One of the women in my knitting group has a niece who lives in England and is part of a group that rescues chickens after commercial farms are finished with them. Most of them are slaughtered however a few make their way into homes to recover. Due to the stress the chickens have experienced by being caged they become bald and sick. They are in need of warmth to recover and this comes in the form of knitted vests (it is true!). I have the pattern if some other like minded person wants to knit a vest for a chicken. The vests keep them warm until they grow new feathers. Something else I can knit and all for a good cause! Life is good!