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Friday, September 10, 2010

Eggs, sour crop and mindfulness.

Well if any of you are like me and bought hatchling's in early spring all your hard work is paying off with the gift of one of nature's most perfect foods. Eggs.

All of our spring chicks have grown up and are now laying eggs almost daily. *tear*.

(intro soft guitar and Harry Chapin softly singing "Cat's in the Cradle") 

The soft balls of fluff, the giggles watching them run, the running to clean up their poop on the new rug.
Maybe losing a chicken or two to maladies or predators.   grrr

I remember not so fondly when my fingers were cramping up into balls of clay from hammering and sawing boards for my coop--- wondering if this was just some sort of folly of which I would soon grow tired.

Not for a second, I don't think, have I thought I made the wrong decision.

Sure their are times when I don't like getting up crazy early to let the girls out of the coop barefoot and then a morning blast from the sprinklers.

 A few weeks back I spent my fabulous Saturday night sitting next to our chicken coop with a flashlight in hand holding Nancy my barred rock hen. She was lethargic, unsteady and a bit stiff and had no appetite.

She had sour crop, which is really unpleasant.

Following instructions in my handy dandy chicken book I was holding her wrapped in a towel, head tilted down and massaging her crop which had become the size of a small water balloon.

After massaging for a while I felt this trickle of the most foul smelling droplets of liquid hitting my flip flopped feet.
Eeeessh... and oh sweet mother mary.... pushing past my tendencies to gak,   I bucked up and did it... I continued giving sweet feathered Nancy treatment every six hours or so.

She improved, but only for a short while before she went to that big coop in the sky.
I miss her face in the flock. But I'm glad she's not in pain.
RIP Nancy
And I'm glad that there are other people out there like you who would have done the same thing for any of the girls in their flock.

Pabu having brunch with his ladies.

I've become more mindful this summer, I think.
More mindful of what goes into our bodies and where it comes from.
More mindful of how to care for creatures and our environment.
Mindful of sources of all the little bits of laughter that I get from my flock.
And I've spent so many hours with my family checking for eggs, cleaning out the coop, raking hay, shooing chickens out of the garden, the list goes on.

I hope those of you on this journey with me have had many of these moments for yourself.

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