If you think chickens are dumb fat birds that can’t fly, you should think again. I had the experience of taking care of 11 chickens on my farm and let me tell you how great they are.
1. Chickens Are Older Than You
Did you know that chickens are direct descendants of dinosaurs? If you’re wondering why they have such weird feet and striking faces, that’s the reason why. Imagine how these birds were once walking on the earth when humans didn’t even exist! How awesome is that?
2. Chickens Can Fly High
My husband and I once accidentally let lose one of our hens and it took us three days to capture it. Why? Because every time we try to catch it, it would fly so high until it reached a 30-foot coconut tree! Even though chickens are not as lean as other birds, they still love flying around branches of trees. That’s where they sleep at night.
3. Chickens are Funny
Our Chickens eating rice. Photo taken by Isobelle.
If you see a chicken running around you would laugh at how they look like the characters of the Anime ‘Naruto’. When they do not like being touched, they would let out a ringing squirming sound. Sometimes I tease them by slowly poking them and as my finger goes close to their feathers, the volume of their squirms would get higher!
Chickens are like dogs, when they interact with each other they would sometimes sit on someone else’s head or throw another chicken out of balance when they’re on a tree. There are so many things a chicken does that will make you laugh.
4. Chickens Are Conscious Eaters
Chickens don’t overeat or if they do, it is rare. When I first found out about this fact I was pretty impressed. Unlike us humans, they know when they’ve had enough. They don’t overindulge, but you would be amazed at the variety of food they can eat! Usually, we see chickens eating rice or chicken pellets, but do you know that they can eat watermelon, apple, mangoes, and other yummy foods we enjoy as well?
5. Chickens Can Help with Anxiety
When I overthink and become anxious I would get my small chair and sit with the chickens. I would observe them for half an hour. Sometimes they would allow me to pet them. Other times they lie down and sleep a few distances away from me. Watching the chickens is a reminder that there is life happening around me; a life full of curiosity.
6. Chickens Can Alert Safety
When a rooster senses a snake, it would usually alarm his pack that there is danger. If you let a rooster live freely on your land you’ll have more chances of knowing if a snake is around. Because we live near a forest, venomous snakes can wander around so our rooster is very helpful to us. Chickens are also light sleepers, so if anything bad happens they would cry and flap their wings. This is a great way of knowing if an intruder is around.
7. Happy Chickens Mean Plenty Eggs
Our first egg. Photo taken by Isobelle.
Of course, chickens lay eggs for us to eat. If a hen is happy, it would lay more eggs so it is better to let them have the healthy and free life that they deserve. The first time I saw an egg laying on hay, my heart was filled with joy. It might be a small thing, but it was a symbol of how happy my chickens are under my care. The hard work and love I have given them are repaid with abundant eggs!
The joy of raising chickens comes from accepting that chickens are closer to us than we care to admit. They can feel stress and sadness, just like us or they can live happily. Having chickens made me respect this ancient species. Their eggs are tasty, but raising chickens taught me to love them even more than the eggs they offer.
[UPDATE: As of October 2021, we have decided to free the chickens on the farm. They are now free-range chickens and have the luxury to gather their own food, fly, and run whenever they want! I have learned a lot from raising them, and I am grateful for the eggs they gave to me.]