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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Patience of Blackie

Like unto the "patience of Job," but since I'm totally a human and have a really hard time comprehending fully that which is so extreme as his experiences were... I find it helpful to look at things I can comprehend more fully to help me learn important lessons to and in my simple little life.

Blackie is our hen. She has seven chicks. They like her. She seems to like them. At the worst, she tolerates them very VERY well. They like to take food out of her mouth. For the most part, this behavior has only been attempts, really, but still! They jump on her back and try to stay there when she moves. Her chicks follow her around constantly. They respond to certain sounds immediately.

When Blackie perceives danger, she makes certain sounds and the chicks (for the most part) come running and she puts them in a corner and stands between them and the perceived danger. She protects her chicks. When she makes those sounds too frequently, though, some of her bolder chicks stop paying attention and might only head in her direction and then stop and head back to what they were doing. Lesson 1.

A couple of Blackie's chicks really like to try to sit on her back. I'm not sure why they want to be there, but it doesn't seem to bother her too much. She has certain moves that simply put the chicks off balance and they go tumbling off. She seems to know, generally, which chick requires which moves to be unbalanced and tumble down - thus she uses different moves for different chicks. Reducing her personal effort to enjoy the desired outcome. Lesson 2.

Why is it that young seem always to want what parents have (especially food)? Blackie's chicks are definitely in line with that tendancy. When they are after what she has, she generally gives it to them - or has already consumed it, thus they lose interest in the no-longer-visible thing. She seems to have a deep knowing that this phase of her life will pass and she'll be able to eat most anything with similar greediness from full-grown chicks, but over whom she'll still have authority (I would guess, anyway since she's the senior hen). Lesson 3.

And this final bit is mostly just as commentary on chicken life. For whatever reason, the chicks we have seem to enjoy their feed even more once one of their siblings has peed on it. Strange, right? Kind... okay, REALLY gross. I'm hoping this is really just normal chicken behavior! :)

By the way, I numbered the lessons cause I'm interested in knowing what YOU think the lessons are from each! I'll try to remember to share what those lessons are for me, with you, later. What lessons do YOU see?


vicki said...

I'm not gonna try to venture into the lesson YET. Sure enjoyed reading what you shared. Looking forward to the reactions of the girls. love, mom

vicki said...

Mothering Lessons I have learned from Mother Hen:
2.Different stokes for different folks...or diff moves for diff chicks
3.Hm,m,m...gotta think on that.
love, your Mother Hen

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