How Raising Chickens Can Teach The Benefits Of Mindful Meditation And Help You To Focus On Solutions

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What the Books Never Tell You About Raising Chickens From my own crazy emotional roller coaster ride of totally unexpected experiences I have come to realise that raising chickens can bring about human personal development as we struggle to understand their world from the limitations of beliefs and morals we set in our mind of how things should be.
They invite us to step out of our limited boundaries into unexplored dimensions and to focus on solutions rather than problems.
Day 1 - Four Lovely Hens My partner and I collected our four hens and I was so excited as incidentally I had also read four chicken books and knew everything I needed to know about raising chickens.
Oh really? After a tiring day watching Lacy, a beautiful blue laced Wyandotte bully the other three girls which was very upsetting, but part of the pecking order we got them all tucked up in chicken ranch - good night Ellie, good night Jazz, good night Skye and good night Lacy.
We didn't sleep much that night as it was like having four new babies.
Day 2 - Veil Of Death Followed By Warmth Of Summer Lacy became sick overnight.
She had a prolapsed vent, which is rare.
We did all we could but sadly she didn't survive.
I was gutted and could not get poor Lacy out of my mind for days.
We picked another girl for our hens and named her Summer.
A Broody Hen And Mindful Meditation Ellie loved Summer and Skye loved Jazz.
Yes, the perfect family, love, peace and harmony in chicken ranch until Jazz lost the plot, head down wings puffed out screaming buck, buck, buck, buck none stop.
Nothing prepares you for a broody hen.
Skye was bereft and angry with Jazz for deserting her.
We at first did not have a clue what was going on and thought she had gone crazy, as she would not let the other hens come near her without screaming or bucking.
She took to the nest in a big way, neglecting her own health and forgetting to eat or drink, which really worried me.
I had to lift her from the nest box to eat and drink much to her resentment as she pecked me to warn me off.
So my focus on solutions began.
I put an onyx egg under her.
Disgusted she kicked it out and stole the other hen`s eggs which were not fertilised.
I was advised to cool her down by putting ice cubes under her stomach.
I hadn't got any, but I had some frozen sausage, which I wrapped in lots of kitchen roll, while I was waiting for the ice cubes to freeze.
Believe me, a broody hen`s tummy is red hot; within an hour she had defrosted the sausage and almost cooked them, so she was actually sitting on sausage and eggs which made me laugh at the time.
A Hen In Peaceful Mindful Meditation And Three Little Chicks It pained us to watch Jazz sitting on unfertilised eggs with nothing to show at the end, so we got her four fertilised eggs.
She was one happy mom to be.
She would sit content in mindful meditation for hours at a time which reminded me to practice mindful meditation myself.
Three gorgeous chicks appeared three weeks later.
We were in love.
Jazz was a devoted mom, but the other hens disowned her and her chicks and wouldn't allow them back in the hen house.
It broke our hearts when we saw mom and her babes huddled in the earth under the raised hen house, while the other three hens had the house all to themselves.
We devised a plan to split the house in two; there was a peaceful compromise in chicken ranch which lasted all of six weeks.
Mother Hen Turns Against Her Chicks Just like a switch had been switched in her head, Jazz turned on her chicks and viciously chased them like a bull chasing a red flag, as if she was running them out of town.
She totally disowned them.
We were very sad and cross with her.
The two camps had changed.
It was the hens against the chicks now and the chicks were not welcome! How crazy is mother hen; she spends six weeks fighting for her right to get her and her chicks into chicken ranch and now she will not let them in.
Maybe she is being cruel to be kind to make them independent.
Who knows? We have a new dilemma.
The chicks are scared so we need to focus on solutions again rather than dwell on our pain.
We decide to buy them their own house, which is somewhat smaller than chicken ranch; however we are all as happy as we can be with the compromise.
The chicks are growing rapidly and we know this will only be a short term arrangement so we have no idea of the challenges to come.
So What is it Really Like Raising Chickens? They make you laugh, they make you cry, they educate you and take you out of your own limited way of thinking as a human being, they push you to suspend judgement and to work with what is, instead of what you think should be.
They are loving, curious, inquisitive and they push you into challenges where you have to focus on solutions instead of focusing on the problem.
They are intelligent, cheeky, stubborn, caring, mischievous for the sheer hell of it and they adore mindful meditation.
They bring every human emotion to the surface that you forgot you had.
They show their good sides and their dark sides with no shame, they make you realise there is no right or wrong, just difference.
They make you love them for whom and what they are.
Conclusion - Lessons To Be Learnt - Focus On Solutions - Mother Nature Knows Best - Practice Mindful Meditation It was us humans that interfered with nature and thought we knew best for our family of hens by bringing in another hen's unfertilised eggs so we changed the family dynamics.
Is it no surprise we have had so many challenges.
We are very good at interfering with nature.
We wanted to fix something that didn't need fixing because we could not stand our hens pain of sitting on eggs and having no chicks to show at the end, so we tried to rescue her, but who were we really rescuing? Ourselves of course, as we could not stand our own suffering! The hen would have got over her broody period within three weeks and life would have been back to normal again after her mindful meditation retreat.
One thing is for sure, we will stand by our hens and our chicks and we will remember to focus on solutions rather than problems as we continue raising chickens.
We will leave mother nature to do what she knows how to do best from now on.
We will always try our best but let go of the outcome.
Most importantly we will try not to control and manipulate the outcome to avoid our own suffering, which only creates pain in other ways.
Suffering is a part of living that none of us can avoid, but mindful meditation helps us to accept what is, without labelling life experiences as good or bad and just accepting them as they are, taking the valuable life lessons being presented to us.
Everything in life comes and goes, nothing stays the same.
It will be very interesting as one of the chicks is a cock, so watch this space.
I really could write a whole book on chicken vs.
human interactions.
They have certainly made me take a closer look at my own life for which I thank them.
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