Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series, chickens

Happy Independence Day for Chickens

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Do you know that chickens love their independence? They do! We have our chickens in 6 runs. We try our best to keep them by breed. The first run has Jersey Giants, the 2nd has Rhode Island Reds, the 3rd hosts Buff Orpington, the next, Ameraucana , the 5th houses one huge brute of a rooster aptly named Buster and the 6th run is home to our teenage group; a mixture of breeds soon to be divided into the stable runs mentioned. We feed twice a day but we check on them often to be sure they have ample grazing food and fresh water.

When we come out to our runs, the chickens gather at the doors almost pushing them open. They want their independence. They do not want to be closed in the runs all of the time depending on us to feed them and so often during the week, we open the gates and give them their freedom. They are free to roam our acres and enjoy the fat of the land.  They can go, do and be…

Now there are restrictions. We monitor their whereabouts all day when they are out. We constantly walk the road, look down the paths, look specifically for certain ones that may appear to be AWOL(absent with out leave). While they are allowed to have their freedom, we do expect each yard bird to be on her best behavior. If they are in the road, we shu them back to the yard. If they jump in the feed bin, we run them away. If they eat the garden and plants, we scold them, so there are definite restrictions. We do this for their safety. We don’t want them to get into trouble or to bother the neighbors.

Today we celebrate our Independence as a Nation. This is a very special day for our country. The significance of this day is that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776. This would remove our country from the rule of Great Britain. We as a Nation would be free. During this time it was said that “these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and independent states”.

We celebrate the birth of our Nation, The United States of America. The people of these colonies wanted to be free. They wanted to go where they wanted to go, do what they wanted to do and make choices themselves and not be beholden to Britain. As the ceremony was begun in the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell rang out, the coat of arms of the king of England was removed. Cannons blasted and “a new nation sprang to life”. (Pat Boone, Newsmax.com)

We all want our freedom and chickens do too. Just as our Nation found it’s freedom chickens need independence as well.  (Did you know where I was going with this story? LOL)

Here are 5 ways to provide independence for your chickens:

1. Open the chicken doors and allow your chickens to free-range in your yard.(foot loose and fancy free) .

2. If you cannot completely allow free-ranging, set up an area to change it up for your flock allowing them to graze in a different place than their normal run. (Use a baby gate, small fence, plastic fencing or netting to help you).

3. Select a few days a week to allow free-ranging. Maybe you cannot do this every day but you possibly can a few days a week.

4. Sometimes we allow free-ranging at the late time of the day because we know it gives them a limited time to be free in the yard which keeps them closer to the coops.

5. Place them in a separate fenced area for free-ranging. ( We have a backyard fence and sometimes we put them in that area and close the door allowing them to free range inside that fenced area. What area could you use?

Whatever you do and however you can provide Independence day for your chickens, try to do it for their physical health and mental health.

Nan

#chickenlivesmatter (Join our Facebook group!)

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series

I Wonder What The Neighbors Think

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We make a difference in the lives of people just as we do in the lives of our pets.

It’s 4:47 in the morning. There is an automatic light that stays on throughout the night beside my barn. It sits above the door and shines sort of near the coops. The huge amount of trees cause shadows on the ground so when I go outside in the early mornings to take the dogs to piddle, I try to stand in the dark behind a tree. It is early and I’m never fully awake when I take out the dogs. They are completely stoked, barks and all. The shadows help me stay in my sleepy mode long enough to get back in bed and snooze another 30 minutes or so. I try to quiet the dogs and get them back in quickly if at all possible. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

While we live in a secluded area, house lights from a distant neighborhood can be seen. As I stand in the dark waiting for the dogs, I wonder what the neighbors think. Do they hear the dogs? Do the roosters’ crows wake them? Do they care? Do they know that dogs matter and crowing roosters do too? They matter to me and I don’t even know them but I hope my pets aren’t disturbing them.

Moments before I get to the door’s threshold the dogs begin to bark letting everything out there know they’re on a mission. Their mission takes about 15 minutes. By the time they make their coop rounds and return to me, I feel as if the whole neighborhood has been put on alert. Again, I wonder what the neighbors on the other side of the woods think.

The first run the dogs take is by the coops. They chime in with the roosters’ crows, and I have 3 large cockerals. What a melody so early in the day. I don’t know how far the loud crow goes but when the coop draft doors are down in the summer, I’ll bet at least a quarter of a mile or more. With that in mind, the neighbors are hearing what I am. It’s frequent sound and awfully loud.

This morning I counted all three roosters crowing; 7 cock-a-doodle-doos in one minutes time. I wonder what the neighbors think. What I think is that these animals make a difference in my life. I am beholden to them for a variety of things and one is to awake from my sleep and care for their needs. I do this every single day with pleasure. (Am I crazy? Is that what the neighbors think?)

If dogs barking and roosters crowing make a difference in the lives of people, imagine how much impact each of us can make on the lives of others if we have purpose and mission in our day-to-day run.

Here are 5 ways to make an impact on the lives of those in your circle of influence:

1. Personal Contact
We live in a busy world. Each of us have things that we can do, want to do and must do. People matter so there are ways to use our personal contact to impact others. A face-to-face visit is a must if you want the very best relationship with someone. Who have you visited lately?

2. Passive Presence- The beauty of the day in which we live is the availability of social media, computer access, and all that comes with that. Use every possible avenue in the area of these tools to make a difference in the lives of others. Today, take time to call, write or contact someone you love. Send a text photo, text, video or write an email. It’s not as good as being in person but it’s still valuable and important. Who will be the next person that you seek to influence? Who gets your next email or text full of compassion and caring?
3. Active Mentor – Being active in the lives of others is important. You can be active in a variety of ways. You can take food, drop off something, mail an item or bring something needed to a friend or family member. Sending cards or actively doing something for someone is such a pleasure. Put hands and feet on this project. They won’t be disappointed and neither will you. Who is your next package going to be delivered from your hands?
4. Alert Action– Sometimes you might be the only one in a person’s life to see a struggle he or she may be going through. Use your opportunity to do something to help this person get through this situation or time. What can you say or do to be that encourager, listener, confidant?
5. Prayerful Partner- The scripture says that we should be in a state of constant prayer. How can you use your relationship with the Father above to help those around you? Pray for those in your life. What words to the Holy Father above can you request and for whom?

After you do things to help other including spending personal time with them, sharing posts, emails and photos, recognizing their life-issues as well as praying for them, you’re going to make a huge difference. You won’t need to wonder what your friends and neighbors are doing. They will let you know and God will reward you good and faithful servant.

Nan

Chicken Lives Matter even at 4:47am

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series

Blog 31 Days- A Series on Chicken Lives Matter

Greetings and welcome to Blog 31 Days: A Series on Chicken Lives Matter.    We’re about to launch our “Blog 31 Day Series” and the first one will be on “Chicken Lives Matter” so here we are lovin’ chickens.  ‘You with me?  I sure hope so.

Go to the bottom to see Day 1~

Day 2-  I Wonder What the Neighbors Are Thinking.

Day 3- Chickens Can Be The Best of Friends

Day 4-  Independence Day for Chickens

Day 5- Presidential Power- Pecking Order

Day 6- Coop Days-Cool Ways- Everybody’s Happy

Day 7- Chicken Breeds

Day 8- The Sky is Not Falling, Tell The Chickens About The Great American Eclipse

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15-   The Eyes Have It

Day 16 –  National Ice Cream Day and Chickens

31 Days About “Why Chicken Lives Matter”.   Why Would Anyone Want To Keep Chickens? Would this be a time that you need to assess your level of love for chickens? Are you a chicken keeper? Should you be a chicken keeper?

Thank you for visiting Chicken Lives Matter. A new writing project begins today. I hope you’ll stay with me as we go on a journey about our chickens. If you’re not a chicken lover, you may actually love this trip as we simply talk about yard birds with names and personalities. I know! “Chickens?” I get that all of the time. “Chickens?” If I’m late to a party, my response as to why is always, “I’m sorry I’m late but the chickens were out!”. When I need to go somewhere for the night the conversation is something like: Me: Will you keep my cat? My friend: “Yes”. Me: “Will you keep my dog?” My friend: “Yes” Me: “Will you keep my chickens?” My friend: “Chickens? So, I get it when a person wonders about chickens.

This 31 day project is a take off of Myquillyn, “The Nester’s” writing project 31 Days to a Better Dressed Nest from 2009.  You can find her link here.

This series for 31 days will talk about “Why Chickens Matter” and ways in which you can create a haven for your own backyard chickens. Hopefully you will discover if you are truly a chicken keeper. If you have chickens you will be better versed in keeping them. If you’re not, you will determine if you want to get your own flock so stay with me for the next 31 days as we discuss Why Chicken Lives Matter.

Day 1~ Chicken Lives Matter

Why in the world would anyone want to keep chickens? Chickens don’t particularly like to be cuddled. Chickens find interest mostly in eating and on a whole, they are nervous birds. Unlike ducks, they don’t like water. Chickens like flies, and bugs and enjoy bathing in sand. Who would want to be a chicken-keeper?

My great grandfather of South Carolina, Medicus was a chicken keeper, as was my grandfather, Alec P. Vaughan, Sr who kept a chicken yard full of birds. My father, Alec P. Vaughan, Jr. as well, provided for chickens although I really think that it was my mother, Geneva who did the naming, feeding and actual keeping. We’ve been a chicken keeping family off and on for as long as I can remember. Growing up, our chickens free ranged on our 10 acres and as recent as last week at least 8 chicks roamed that same land with a mother hen leading the way. The rooster coud be heard in the distance when spending time at my father’s property.

At least 2 decades ago, we had at 6 chickens on our land. Today, we have a couple of dozen and are all the merrier for it. It’s hard to explain the chicken math thing. Chicken math has been described on the Little Cluckers Facebook page as “ the inexplicable phenomenon known only to chicken keepers whereby a desire for “a few laying hens” quickly turns into a delirious whirlwind of coop-building, covetous chicken buying, and egg hatching, all of which leads to a world of “a few dozen hens, a couple of roos, a turkey (OK, 2 turkeys), the eggs in the incubator, the chicks in the brooder, and oh yes, that’s right, the spring hatchery order”.

Chicken math is a “thing” whereby a chicken keeper has a phenomenal desire to have more chickens regardless of the number at hand. This desire supersedes most any rational thought and the chicken owner wants no part of rational thinking. Chicken math can be dangerous but we learn from it that “Chicken Lives Matter. To go to “Day 2” click here…

Nan

#chickenlivesmatter

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