They’re here! My three beautiful hens arrived yesterday. They’re currently huddled in their henhouse unwilling to come out to face their new world. I can’t say as I blame them. After weeks of stringing me along, the chicken vendor suddenly rang on Wednesday night and said I’m bringing your hens tomorrow and there’s no alternative for weeks. Charming! I couldn’t get the day off work, which yesterday was miles away. I was out until 11pm. There was no one who could be here when they arrived so the vendor just put them in the henhouse. My partner opened the door for them when he got back from work, but they didn’t want to come out. Apparently it can sometimes take days.
So here is my first tip on becoming a chicken keeper – never buy your hens online. Never.
I was up at 5.50 this morning, hoping to get my first sight of the girls. I could see them through the henhouse window but didn’t spend too long looking as I didn’t want to terrify them with my big moon-face peering in at them. I have only really glimpsed them so far. They look beautiful.
But are they going to be good for my mind? Well, already they have got me up out of bed and at my desk writing by 6.15am. I’m not worrying about the shambolic national political situation or the global turmoil. I’m not worrying about being defrocked as a fraud if I step out of my door. Instead I’m worrying about how I’m going to make my hens feel relaxed. How I’m going to coax them into their run and then, later, out into the yard. I’m worrying about how I pick them up (another reason to meet your vendor face-to-face!). I’m worrying about whether or not to clip their wings – some say yes, some say no. So I guess I’m still worrying, but it’s a more positive worrying, if such a thing is possible. I guess it’s a worrying over things in which I have some power, some agency. I can alter all of these things with my actions. I have the power to improve the lives of my hens. So it’s worry with a purpose. Perhaps that is how the mechanics of my mind may be realigned in time.
The chooks arrived on election day. It was local elections this time, and in a few short weeks it will be the general election. Perhaps if I break another rule of chicken keeping and name my girls, I should choose the names of suffragettes to pay homage to those who fought for my right to take part. Of course I will never be able to eat them then. Who could eat a suffragette?