There are many reasons to keep chickens in your backyard – they eat bugs, they give you poop for compost and they lay eggs. Yeah, yeah, whatever – you should keep chickens because they’re hilarious and better for you than TV.
We grew these Mammoth Russian sunflowers this year which reseeded themselves from last year and were growing randomly all over the yard. (Read our guest post over at The Homesteading Hippy on the topic of these awesome homestead flowers.) Our chickens were growing randomly all over the yard this year, too, as we free ranged them to eat the bugs out of our veggies beds. (I’ve had a terrible time with cutworms and I’m hoping they chickens annihilated them!) Anyway, this hen took it into her head to pluck some seeds right out of the sunflower heads that get so heavy as they ripen with their seeds that they sag nearly to the ground.
Each time she’d jump up to pluck out a seed the head would bob up and down, whereupon she’d duck and dart out around the head to avoid being bopped on her silly chicken head. You could tell she was fearful of being murdered by the rogue head (all chickens believe that death is just around the corner and they must be wary) but the allure of those ripe seeds was more powerful than her fear.
She hopped up and down at her buffet for a solid half hour and, yes, I sat and watched her all that time. The baby was napping and I was in the middle of pruning the mint and was more than happy to find something else to do that was more like resting. Watching that little hen restored my soul in some way; maybe it was just the sitting down but that half hour made me appreciate my garden, the homestead, the animals and all the work.
The Lord is full of tender mercies and I am so often filled and replete.
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