Backyard chickens can have an positive effect on our mental welfare, they are now being introduced into old age facilities and schools. Here they helped with social isolation and depression, very positive outcomes from living alongside chickens.
So have you ever noticed that spending time with your chickens is almost guaranteed to lift your mood!
Do you, like me, when feeling anxious or out of balance, always get some clarity ,perspective and sense of peace by just watching them go about their lives?
Now, we can name them, Henny Penny, Amelia Egghart or Arabella but no matter how long you live with chickens and no matter how hard you try you will never be one of the flock ( although people with 1 or 2 chickens certainly form a close bond with them) and you will never be the Boss! Have you ever tried to get a chicken to do what you want , when you want? They don’t recognise guilt but can coerced with a bribe or two, but not always and never when you are in a hurry… they are the queens of slow living.
Chickens live in a very structured social group, all members of the flock know who is the boss and as long as they respect the rules all is fine. If one steps out of line a swift ‘bok “on the head and all is sorted , but within that group they are all unique individuals and they are certainly not slow or stupid, they are feathered philosophers- curious and interested in life. They hold no grudges and they accept and enjoy the moment they are in. Whether its chasing a fly or a group having a game of chasey , when one chicken has something they all want, they’re in the moment and when its over , its over. No grudges, no tears, no worries, they just move on to the next adventure.
Chickens are content and accepting, have you ever seen a chicken hiding because she is moulting and looks shocking. No way she is out there strutting her stuff, she knows that her new feathers will grow and in the meantime her attitude is let’s just on with the day. You never see a chicken sitting sulking under a tree, (unless sick) sticking out her bottom beak or flouncing off to be by herself and slamming the nest box shut. I think that is why they have the ability to calm us , they remind us to live in the moment and not to stress the small stuff , that the sun will come up each morning and go down each night and no matter how much you worry and feel anxious the sky will not fall on our heads and eventually the worm will pop up!
Watch – Chicken Run
Read- Hattie & the Fox, Little Red Hen & Sonya’s Chickens.
Listen –Arabella by The Formidable Vegetable Sound System
So next time you are feeling out of balance with the world, go and grab a cuppa and watch your chickens.