It’s crowded. Rosey has to crouch to walk under Happy’s perch where he sits most all day just waiting to give some potential predator a piece of his rooster mind. Little Flower who’s velvet black feathers wrap around her expanding body (she’s the first in the grub line) is sitting on top of the food tray and blocking Henny who is maintaining her humor by ducking under her, Dandelion is crouching in the only place to get peace, the corner and Rosemary and Star Moon are attempting to roost on a shared bar in hopes of getting some shut eye.
It’s pretty high level math just moving around their aviary. They have to chart angles and be creative to find even a small amount of space. You can forget the water cooler, that place is a jungle. Even tall Rosey can barely wedge in for a nice long drink.
By now, at just over three months they should be in a coop and a covered run in the great outdoors. I can barely look them in their little sideways eyes as they examine me wary and moody because their coop has yet to be delivered. They suspect something lurks below the surface and they are, once again, correct.
First, if you’ve never priced a good coop and run these things they are spendy to say the least especially if you’re going to do it right and raccoon and rat proof them. Some people just throw their chicken kids in the back yard and if something happens they buy another chicken. Clearly, that is not going to happen. I picture Happy putting up the brave fight and coming home to the lifeless bodies of my small charges. I don’t care how it sounds, this caring for chickens is my mandala, my meditation and mindfulness all in one. Really that’s too intellectual. I’m in love with these babies and having them hurt would be awful just in its own right. Take me out of the equation totally. Can you live with Rosey being attacked? Me either.
So there’s the cost. There’s also the fact that handy did not get passed down to me. I could in theory seek out scrap wood and try to make it work..but how bad would it be? Really bad. The chicken ghetto would be alarming despite my best efforts.
Finally, I can’t stand the idea of the kids unsupervised and out in the world all day. (of course they’d come in at night..don’t talk crazy) If I’m not there to watch them anything can happen, right? What if they step on something or choke on a piece of lettuce or get really frightened by a loud noise and my lap is not there for them to jump on?
The aviary while crowded keeps them safe and warm with good lighting and no danger. But it’s a velvet prison. They aren’t able to scratch the dirt, hunt, take baths or lay in the sun. Chickens also like to be clean and that’s quite difficult in a small space with lots of room mates.
Oh Rosey, tell me what to do!
Her answer comes in the darkness in her green eyes. She is needing space to be fully her. There’s no choice. I have to let them have some freedom, to take the risk of being real, live chickens doing what they do. It’s so hard letting your kids go. Attachment if not examined is really just fear in a different set of shoes.
Real love dictates that I provide freedom and let them range. It’s not about my fear or attachment it’s about loving them enough to seek their highest good even if it hurts me, scares me or gives me nightmares of my brave super roo boy fighting off a bad guy, or Rosey not being able to get away or sweet Henny wanting to be friends with an animal that might hurt her because she’s never met anyone but a friend in her heart.
It’s not about my attachment but the love we share..the kind so freeing it let’s a bird fly.
Help me to be ready because none of this is about me..is it?