Yesterday I was out filming a video when I spied our little flock of chickens happily wandering about in a neighboring field.
Though I thought we’d lose birds all the time, free-ranging here has been much less of a problem than it was back in Florida.
There we lost birds to hawks, owls, possums, raccoons, foxes, dogs… it was ridiculous. Everything likes to eat chickens.
For some reason, though, the predators haven’t gone for our birds here. It may help in part that the chickens are wilder jungle birds bred by neglect. They’re not friendly but they fend for themselves very well.
Can you see the rooster in the middle of the above picture? He’s the one raised up on our homestead from a chick.
Here’s a closer shot:
The boy has been feeling his oats, too. He’s jumping the hens regularly, plus crowing at all hours of the night and morning.
You can’t get closer than maybe ten feet to him before he runs away and warns the hens with his clucks, but he isn’t at all mean like roosters we used to own. This guy is perfectly safe around the children.
One of the benefits of free-ranging birds is that you have to feed the flock less. Another benefit that you might not consider is that the birds are eating seeds and insects and who knows what else from around your neighborhood, then coming home and leaving the minerals they find as droppings in the coop. You’re harvesting fertility from surrounding ground and bringing it back.
Of course, I suppose it might be a 50-50 thing, as you also feed the birds and then they go manure the neighbor’s fields… but still, I like the idea of gaining rather than losing, so I’ll pretend I don’t have any logical objections.
Have a wonderful Sabbath.
* * *
O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord—how long?
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
-Psalm 6, ESV