Around the Farm: Meeting the Hens
Updated: Feb 3
By Kim Carr:
This morning’s meeting of the hens was called to order at 6:45 a.m. All the New Hampshire hens from the yard gang were present and accounted for, except Mildred who is out on maternity leave.
While much cackling could be heard, the group grew silent as the topic of bug control was brought up for discussion. It was decided that the girl gang would continue to patrol the yard from the barn to the sidewalk gate, working as a team to control and hopefully eliminate any pesky, creepy-crawly critters, especially those wishing to cause harm to any vegetation in the yard, domestic or foreign.
It was also decided that the girl gang would continue to try and scratch up all planted baskets and pots in an effort to provide exercise activities for Jo, the senior human of the household. It was agreed that the cardiovascular stimuli for Jo, such as chasing chickens out of the potted plants, far outweighed the level of risk in actually being caught.
Sadie suggested that they also continue to try and gain entry onto the deck when they need to poop instead of doing their business in the yard. This ruffled the feathers of a few of the older hens who don’t understand the lifestyle of the younger generation . . . but again, it was agreed that deck pooping provided much activity and beneficial exercise for Jo as she tried to maintain a clean deck. Some of the hens admitted they feared the deck because this is where Kim keeps the BBQ grill. For peace of mind, the hens voted that only two or three would try and gain entry onto the deck at a time while the others would strut around nearby patrolling for bugs.
As the hens tried to wrap up their meeting, several roosters started announcing that the sun was about to come out in full force. The hens had mixed emotions about whether they should continue to let the roosters think they were boss of the yard. It was agreed the roosters are great at sounding the alarm, but some of the hens, such as Gloria and Bianca, feel the roosters are too full of themselves, spending far too much time primping and preening to really be effective at guarding the hens.
The discussion was tabled to the next morning’s meeting, as the sun crested the pond bank, alerting the girls that it was time to get to work. What would the day ahead have in store for them: A wayward grasshopper trying to take a shortcut across the yard? Fallen fruit from the Apple tree? A secret passage onto the deck? Fresh dirt to scratch . . . What a wondrous day to be a chicken.
Before heading out, the girls did a motivational chicken dance to seal their bond as Ya-Ya sisters, and the meeting was adjourned.
Kim Carr is a photographer and mid-Missouri hobby farmer who has combined her love for the country life with that of natural-light photography. Her work reflects my commitment to sustainable agriculture and the humane treatment of all animals. To learn more about Kim, read her interview with Elizabeth Gracen here.
To purchase Kim's photography, visit her website.