by Amberlin Wu
I was reading an article on how fresh eggs are one of the incredible super foods of our planet, containing nearly every nutrient a person needs to live on, and I started thinking about how one would get such fresh eggs. Well, it didn’t take long for the animal lover in me to figure it out. I began calling and surfing and such to find out about chicken care and which chickens and such.
At the same time, I had been having serious problems with my health and have been housebound for a couple of years. I came home from a week long stay at Stanford hospital, and a dear friend had purchased four 2 day old chicks. When your home is your world, four baby chicks are a magical addition and if you have never had a baby chick fall asleep in the palm of your hand, I tell you, your life is not complete. Mochi, Marmalade, Kiki and Annabel served as my backyard jesters as I sat and rehabilitated in the backyard. I was astonished by their different personalities – Marmalade, who follows you around the yard like a dog (alongside the real dog that lives here) and Mochi, who is, without question, a reincarnated clown of some sort. Annabel ended up being a boy, which is not allowed in Mountain View, so he moved out with Kiki to keep him company, and the incubator moved in, which is a whole story in itself.
Chickens, I tell you, are only a few small steps up from goldfish as far as care and infinitely more endearing (not to insult all the of the lovely goldfish out there). They need food and water. The coop needs occasional cleaning. They need to be let out each morning to spend the day fertilizing the yard and munch on bugs, and each evening at sundown they march their little selves back into their coops and snuggle up for bedtime. We lock the predators out for the night and that’s it. The next day we do it all over again, only they are a wee bit bigger and a wee bit closer as our relationship grows.
Last week, they began to pay their way in eggs with golden yolks. Not only full of nutrients, but so beautiful and delicious! It’s like getting body healing gifts every day. I don’t know how long I will be limited to the walls of my home, but the chickens have made my world much larger. As I head off to the doctors for attempts at a cure, perhaps, in the end, it will be my chickens that heal me.
Interested in having chickens of your own? Amberlin hatches and sells baby chicks right here in Old Mountain View. For more information, check out her blog: http://homeschooledchickens.blogspot.com/