Have you ever stopped to think about just how many metaphors in our English language stem from our agrarian heritage - namely, raising chickens?
Let me list a few:
- Fly the Coop
- All Cooped Up
- Hotter than a Hen House
- Old Hen
- Gobble (in reference to chin #2)
I like this last one the most. I can really identify with it. About a month ago, Chaos, the black and white hen went on strike. She stopped "putting out" and retreated to her nest to sit on non-fertile eggs. She only emerged 1 or 2 times a day for a potty break and an occasional snack. She started clucking funny and puffing up her feathers when I opened the door looking for eggs. This must be Chicken Menopause.
My good friend and chicken guru suggested cooling her off in a bucket full of cold water. Didn't work. She went right back to her nest.
I called the local feed store and they suggested tucking some day old chicks under her rear at night to get her out of her broody-stage and start laying again. I did. And she woke up the next morning a MOMMY!!! ("Chicken Brain").
She is a good Mommy. It is a beautiful, natural thing to witness. She teaches her babies how and where to eat, poop, drink, rest, etc. The babies crawl all over her, nuzzle against her warm body and follow her around all day...just like human babies.
She must be so consumed with Mommy-hood that she STILL isn't putting out (may sound familiar to my male readers...).
To make matters worse, Cooper (hen #2) stopped laying yesterday and has ADOPTED the chicks. Now they are clucking, puffed-up, brooding, abstinent...Moms.
This all sounds similar to modern human parenting:
- It takes a village.
- No roosters required
- Babies can make you behave oddly...
Happy mothering to ALL you hens.