The Demise of the Free-Thinking Chicken and Moral for Flock Immunity
“Cannot change the way the world looks until you change the way you see.”
A true story for contemplation about a civil society with balance and order versus individual rights, even if a chicken culture.
Recently, having moved back to the family farm, I thought a worthwhile venture would be to raise some chickens, enjoy some farm fresh eggs and their friendly company. The quick rationale was that if I got two chickens why not get thirty chickens whose eggs could be offered to neighbors and family. There was plenty of evidence of the nutritional value of yolk and whites and more evidence that organic eggs had higher qualities of the essential Vitamins A and D for a better informed marketplace.
In readiness, the family farm chicken coop was cleaned out. Walls and roosting rods were painted with a slurry of white hydrated lime to control mites. The nesting spaces for eggs were filled with fresh straw and a container of free-feeding grain was set up in the corner with a thick layer of straw covering the floor. A small trough with fresh ever-dripping water was set outside.
Now the outside area had to be fenced off to provide a substantial “run” or access to the hillside and greenery. Posts were pounded in and 5-foot-high rolled cattle fencing mesh wire was stapled all around. Some wire extended about 18 inches away from the sides like a skirt to prevent predators from digging their way into the run.
Now, soon enough, with great flurry, the chickens arrived at their new home … some black with bronze flecked feathers and some brown with golden highlights. They scampered in and out quite busily. It could said that this elementary habitat provided their basics … they had community, safety, mobility outside a small cage, and good food with occasionally handfuls of medicinal pig weed leaves and old fruit and vegetables.
It could be said that there was a balance between civil security, comfort and freedom to associate.
However, soon enough, a skinny black hen found that she could squeeze through the wire gauge. Now she had total freedom to wander the yard to peck at leisure at grass, insects, or grubs. She wandered…