Back before I was married or had kids I can remember seeing other people’s kids running around places, acting up and throwing temper tantrums. I distinctly remember saying “When I have kids they will NOT be acting that way!”. When I would hear a parent loudly reprimanding their kids (that means yelling just so you know) I would cringe and say to myself that I would never do that after I had kids. Reading about people that made all their own “stuff” I always said “Nope, not me. I will never do that”. If I had a dollar for every time I said I’d never do something, well, I’d literally have a ton of dollars right now and boy could I sure use them. Saying you’ll never do something is almost as good as saying you WILL do it. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but someday. We’re all guilty of doing things we said we’d never do. Some of those things are not so great but then some of them are.
A few years ago we moved out into the country. We live on a few acres and have enough land to have some small farm animals if we chose to. My best friend Kelly also lives in the country and started raising chickens. She raved all about them to me and said I should get some too since I had the land for them. There was just one problem with that plan though; I’ve been scared of winged animals since I was 6 or 7 years old. One little negative experience with a big, wild (mean!!) turkey will make sure that fear is firmly cemented in place. Now, this fear isn’t a full fledged phobia but it is enough to make me very nervous around any kind of birds. I didn’t want to hold them, I didn’t want to play with them, I didn’t want to be around them. As much as Kelly told me chickens wouldn’t be mean like that evil turkey my answer was still NO!
Last year my neighbors decided to get chickens. When I was over at their house they asked if I wanted to go and see their chickens. I said no, of course, explaining my fear. Their chickens free range all over their yard in the day and will come right up to you. Every time they got near me I could feel that fear rise up in me. Thankfully their chickens did not rush at me in a horde or I would have had a little meltdown in their driveway. My neighbor gave me some of their eggs once and I was immediately hooked on backyard eggs. When I ran out and had to buy more eggs at the store I felt like I was slumming. Once you eat those eggs you won’t want to buy store eggs ever again. When I told my friend Kelly about the neighbor’s chickens and getting eggs from them she told me again how I should just get my own chickens. I held onto my firm “No!” reply.
While reading some articles on the internet last month I came across an article that said there would soon be egg rationing happening in stores. It also said the price of free range eggs would go up significantly. Lastly, it said that a good bit of backyard chickens didn’t seem to get the diseases that a lot of large factory farmed chickens do. That one article made me change my mind about having my own chickens. I told my husband I decided to get some and he looked at me like I was nuts. I gave him the reasons for my change of heart. I told Kelly I was going to get chickens and I know she was surprised as I’d steadfastly said no for several years. Kelly directed me to a reputable woman to get the chicks from. I contacted her and made an appointment. I took my son’s friend with me who used to have chickens himself. We went to the farm to look at the woman’s chickens and she showed us everything she had. She had so many different varieties and was eager to tell us about each one. After spending about an hour there we came home with two three week old Cream Legbar chicks. When they start to lay eggs they will be a beautiful blue color. I can’t wait for that to happen.
Our first week with the new chickens has gone smoothly. I held them from the first day we had them. Getting them when they are younger will help me to overcome my fear. It will also help acclimate us to each other. I went from being nervous to hold them to letting them jump up on my hand and run up my arm to my shoulder. I would have never done that with a full grown chicken. We’ll be going back to the woman’s farm soon to look at other breeds to buy so we can have a variety of chickens and different egg colors.
The point of this blog post isn’t really so much about chickens as it is about change. I have said for many years I wouldn’t have any kind of bird because of that fear instilled in me at such a young age thanks to Mean Wild Turkey Bird at my grandmother’s cousin’s house. Letting go of that fear and giving into change that is good is a liberating feeling. It means you’re growing as a person. One of my friends remarked to me when I told her I had gotten chickens that I had come a long way. I replied back to her that yes, I HAD come a long way from the person I used to be and that I liked the new me better. And the new me is a brave chicken owner!