I use the world love over the word like because, I’d like to believe that they do in fact, love me. The chickens that is. If I could, and if my fiancée would allow it, I’d totally have cuddle time with them like I have with the cat, Mue, that sleeps in our quarters every night.
I was on a mission today as I catapulted my hoe way up in the air and weaved it down to demolish the weeds in front of me. We were tackling a few lines of spinach that are outside of the greenhouse, they were so unwillingly camouflaged by tons of weeds that we never even knew they existed. Either way, as I defeated the guilty weeds, I was on a mission.
The mission was: to win over the chickens.
They didn’t like me very much, I wouldn’t either, considering my last rendezvous with them. A few weeks ago, I was determined to catch one with my hands. (With my peck proof gloves on, of course.) I spent quite awhile in their coop, scaring the poop out of a few, literally, until I was able to successfully and safely catch one. I had a fellow WWOOFer assisting me and teaching me how to pick them up without hurting them, but that didn’t stop them from being scared of me and hating me. (They totally hated me.)
For weeks after that dreadful day, the chickens would stare at me from a far, I’m sure recollecting that shameful day, and they would pensively glare at me. Anytime I would come near their fence, they’d run away; no no, it was more of a “we’re bored of glaring, so take these tail feathers” stride into the opposite direction. Just yesterday a few of them hovered near the fence where I was picking up a bunch of branches, even the rooster, Rocket, showed up for the show. They all flapped their wings and continued the penetrating glaring, and they even started taunting me. I couldn’t take the singling out anymore, I instantly became determined to win over the affection of these flightless birds! (No offense, guys.)
As we weeded today Jessica had the idea of saving the worms we were coming across to feed the chickens. She has done this gesture before for the chickens, and they certainly do not glare at her; so I secretly made an oath to myself to perform a worm offering. We gathered a few worms, even a massive one too, and I watched Jess toss some of them into the coop. The chickens would come running towards her, swoop up the worms and then disappear like ninjas. I wasn’t reassured, I wanted a sustained and proven method that would have them loving me.
So, I thought bigger.
Our hosts here are very keen on recycling and giving to the earth what they take from it. In the kitchen there are two containers, one for the chickens and one for compost. Our leftover food, orange peels, bread crumbs and everything in between, goes into either one of those containers. The chickens love such things as cheese scraps and eating the shells of their eggs. (Yeah, weird, I know. They actually go crazy for it.) Everything else goes in the compost pile, which eventually goes into the soil for planting.
So my bigger and better thought was to give the chickens the container filled with their goodies. Time to put the plan into action, I gathered up the container and headed south.
As soon as I approached the coop they were running towards the gate eyeing what was in my hands. (They look SO funny running, so I enjoyed this part thoroughly.) I felt the strong vibrations of hatred fade and witnessed their glares loosen. They ate their egg shells joyfully from my hands and stepped all over my feet in the process – – it was glorious!!!
They love me!!!!
Rocket totally loves me now, I snuck him a large egg shell piece when the ladies weren’t looking.