jenn says i have to write more animal stories on the blog..that's what folks want to read.
Carol · Oct. 17, 2010
i don't like writing under pressure...which is why i probably will never write a book..writing thoughts come and go all over the place. any way..i am not going to write a story about an individual animal right now. i am going to write a story about a particular species.
lately i have had chickens on my mind. today when i was reading my favorite blogs, i saw a post about a chicken being killed by a dog and i identified with that because maudie killed aurora a few years ago and i remember how i felt about that...upset...guilt ridden....and really pissed off at maude.
anyway...while i am not going to write about chickens killed by dogs (it happens) and do want to write about chickens in general.
chickens are an animal that we humans choose to keep. we keep them to lay eggs for us or to fill our freezers with meat. some people keep chickens because they happen to really like having them around...but those folks are few and far between.
we have chickens here because chickens like every-living-thing that man gets his hands on..sometimes need rescuing. whatever the reason we decide to have them for...they do deserve decent lives...decent care.
i don't really understand chickens...i am not sure how their brains work...i don't really get what they think or feel...but just because i don't understand them too well doesn't mean they are not precious to me. the chickens have been the one species that no one ever got too excited about here. the cows were cool...the pigs were neat..the goats were fun....the dogs and the cats are almost always interesting. the rabbits have always had at least one or two bunny lovers around.
but except for cathy and john a few years ago...and now KO mama duck...no one really has taken them under their protective caregiving wing...and that also includes me...i always seem to be too busy somehow.
don't get me wrong here...we feed them and clean them and make sure they are well...but we really don't INVEST in them emotionally much.
and this is wrong.
i am lucky in some ways...helga and jerome have been with me for years and i have a lot of history with them...including my still being slightly pissed off at jerome for pecking out rusty's eye. rusty was a beautiful rooster..he was a gentle and kind rooster king. i used to watch the new hens running scared and rusty would hide and comfort them under his wing. jerome and rusty lived together in peace for many years and then when rusty got old, jerome grabbed his chance to be the hen's new king.
i hate that kind of shit and while i get the whole brutal nature of top rooster thinking...i am still a bit pissed at jerome for orchestrating the ultimate downfall of such a wonderful king.
anyway..i digress. ..even tho i am holding a long term grudge against jerome over his basic bossy nature..i do still like that bird cuz he has except for that...been a pretty good rooster. helga has always been a very nice bird...she has never really picked on the new ones, she has been good and kind all around.
so those two i have developed an emotional attachment to over shared history and time. floyd and edwina were easy to care about...floyd cuz he came from such a crappy life...and edwina cuz she was such a worry to keep safe when floyd was being a horny duck. plus those two make all of us smile when they get a fresh swimming pool full of water...the utter joy they have in clean water is pretty special to share.
and then came the classy chicks....hens who had never touched the ground and lived hung up in wire cages....frankenstein birds who looked like crap when they first arrived at saints. and i watched those girls get healthy, and i watched their feathers turn blinding white..i watched them put on weight and look pretty and initially i watched three of them die.
and i do in a sort of distant way....care deeply that all of these birds (who i still don't really understand) have a really good life.
i feel sorry for chickens....they are dirt cheap to buy in the first place and they honestly have little or no value in life.
i remember when rusty was very old and ill and i moved him into the medical room.... i asked our vets about different things we could try to maybe help him feel better and they had even less ideas than me. this is because medical care for chickens is based commercially on preventing the spread of disease..it is not about making individual chickens feel better when they get old and weak.
chicken have a shitty life...even if they are cared for pretty well. this is because they are not a dog or a cat or a pig..this is because they are not only cheap but to most of us they are not interesting.....they are really and truly...just things.
in my head i am thinking about chickens and what being a chicken really does mean...i think it can and should mean more to all of us here and everywhere because chickens do live and die by the will and wants of human beings.
we owe them something for this.