You deserve some background here before I “go off” on my topic.
I have only been a chicken momma for 1.5 years.
What does that mean? If means I have only been spending 10X the amount of money on raising backyard chickens than I could ever expect to make in real dollars. My first egg that was “laid” by Emma, and I calculated it to be worth $275.00+. If we use that kind of math to look at what my first daughter cost to produce, it would be in the millions.
And that is how chicken math works. BTW, chicken math is a real thing. (I stopped saving my receipts because I did not any longer want to know what this chicken momma thing was costing me).
If you are hearing me complain, I guess I am a bit. But since I stopped saving the receipts, I feel much better.
Chickens are super educational if you take the time to observe them.
Pecking order is a real thing and hens who are sitting on eggs (called broody hens) peck at you if you try to mess with their hatching time.
New chickens to the group get picked on; chased away from the table scraps and adopt a “no pecking” rule for those they like and get along with.
Chickens need food and water. Table scraps are very nice and they love them, but pellets (or crumbles) and water are their staples. And they need their water always, at every moment.
When I first started my backyard “farm” (totally using that term very loosely), I had 4 hens. (My chicken “sexing” expert told me they are almost impossible to tell what sex they are when little chicks).
Nope, I had 3 roosters and one hen.
Then I had one hen and one rooster.
Then I had one hen.
The rooster that got to stay the longest was named Gabby and he went on to live with my chicken momma coach who lives two doors down from me.
Short story – one day my chicken coach had 25 chickens and a year later she has 150. Chicken math is not connected to smarts, strategic thinking or how many eggs can I sell to break even with this total pile of chickens. Chicken math is that you just keep incubating fertile eggs and/or adding chickens. She does both. (Chicken math does not have an official disease connected with it, but it is an addiction as serious as gambling – just ask any back yard chicken grower).
Soooo. When I finally got my five real hens, no roosters in the mixture, Gabby got to come back. When he went away, he was housed with the other roosters. He did not have the experience of being “the man” in the chicken yard.
The day he came back to my brand new coop (that is another expensive story), all 5 hens and Gabby entered together. The hens were pleased and explored the coop and chicken fortress. Gabby just turned in circles and seemed to try and figure out if this was a dream…come true.
This last summer Fluffy sat on 11 fertilized eggs – from Gabby, the dad – and hatched out some pretty wonderful, tiny, fuzzy, sweet chicks. Fluffy sat, in the dark, in 107 degree weather “warming” the eggs and bringing them to life July 4th weekend. It’s called going broody, but I think it might be associated with some serious ancient warrior syndrome.
Yes I put water and high protein food in with her each day. And each day, when I lifted the cover to feed her, she growled like I was some incredible enemy. She sat there panting and growing her babies in the hottest time I every remember. Deep respect Fluffy.
The new chicks made that first magical peep and I was a goner. Soooooo little. The circle of life people.
To say I was in awe is polite. I called and texted everyone. My grands were in love. I had become a powerful gramma who hatched baby chicks.
I had a new title: Gramma who could do anything, no matter how hot.
That chick birth day evening, I sat in my favorite chair under my impressive Elm tree and just stared at the sky.
How? How did they know to grow in those shells? How did she know to sit and comply with her instincts? There was no blood, no screaming. Just shells that had held liquid 21 days before and now produced magical, ever so tiny, miracles.
Being a chicken momma is tough. This last week I lost 2 of my chickens to the most beautiful and swift hawk you have ever seen. This one was ruthless. He was there for lunch and ate well.
Some details to share…
So there is chicken poop – other than teaching you about the pecking order and entertaining you, that is all they do. Poop.
Frozen water bowls. Digging holes in the chicken yard for numerous dust bath areas. Picking on each other and making clear who is the boss this moment.
BTW, Fluffy, the mom, has become a Diva. She gets to eat and drink and collect snacks whenever she wants. Hatching eggs is considered the Holy Grail in chicken land. She did it and therefore she is Queen. Even Gabby gives her all the space she wants.
I’ve given you a bit of a history (only a bit – so many more stories) of my chicken momma journey because I want you to know that my learning level has exponentially increased by becoming a chicken momma.
Over the next weeks and months, I will share with you the sagas and lessons of my back yard chicken wizards and how they communicate, lead and “know” their own behavioral performance instinctively.
Leadership Success Tips From The Coop.
Be well. Thanks for reading.
To Our Success,
P.S. I sell my eggs for $4.00 a dozen. They are delicious and do not ship well. I figure at this rate of income, I will be in chicken debt for the reminder of my very terrific life.
P.P.S. Let’s talk and set up some time to look at what would be most important to you to refine and shift. Email me. Yes, I want to have a conversation with you. The most important aspect of our lives is that we have the choice to be successful, stressless and healthy. I look forward to our time together.