I’ll admit, I am not a lover of birds. I have friends with spider phobias and friends with snake phobias- neither animal has ever bothered me. But the thought of birds flying around my head almost sends me into a panic. And earlier this summer when we had a family of chimney swifts in the bottom of our chimney in the basement, I hid under a laundry basket while my fearless neighbor Janet got them out. I did show meat chickens for one (maybe two or three, I can’t remember) years in FFA at the county fair, and I learned recently it was a joke about how little I did with them. Remember, I have admitted I was a spoiled only child (at times).
With those disclaimers in mind, I have tried to be open to chickens returning to our farm. Andy has been enamored with them since day one. And I’ll admit, there is something precious about baby chickens and turkeys. I do enjoy holding them, and don’t mind feeding them, but what delights me is to see my kids learning to not fear them.
Yesterday was a beautiful fall day, and so I took a few minutes to visit our birds in the field. As I sat and watched them, I prayed for wisdom and insight on how to best appreciate and care for these birds that are going to feed our family (and hopefully some other families) in a month or two. They seemed content, eating and drinking and just being birds. I was reminded that they are raised for this purpose, and it is my job as a custodian of the earth and God’s creatures to care for them properly and make sure that when their life ends, it is done properly. I remembered a post from one of my favorite bloggers that sums this up nicely. And so I leave you with some pictures of our birds and what they do.
The turkeys were quite inquisitive and most made their way to see who I was and what I was doing.
Here is where the pen was the day before. Great fertilizer for our pasture! Andy says that it takes a year for the land to absorb the waste and then we can put birds back on it again.