That’s right. Chickens play games. And they have toys.
Now that spring is here, I have a nearly endless supply of chickweed I can pull out of the lawn. Sure, I could toss it into the chicken run for them to feast on—and I often do. But it’s much more fun to fill their bell toy and watch them jump up to get it. As they grab the chickweed, the bell rings.
Meredith, pictured below, adores chickweed. Can you see her airborne to get a bite?
Of course, as the head of the household, T. Boone Chickens figures it’s his job to make sure his hens have a fair supply of treats. When they’re on walkabout in the yard, he often finds tasty little morsels. But rather than eating them himself, he makes a wonderful and excited “chuck, chuck, chuck” sound to call over the hens so they can eat the treat.
In the chicken run, he’s so tall compared to the hens he just reaches up and pulls down the chickweed for the hens to eat.
In his own roosterly way, he loves his hens, I think.
So there you have it. Chicken games!
I set off quite a stir with my guest post at Garden Rant. I have a love for over-stating things and I suppose I over-stated one too many times. Boy, am I taking a beating!
I feel badly that so many people thought I was taking aim them for having some weeds in the garden. Heck, I have weeds in my garden! I have apologized for my smart-ass remark about being embarrassed by some “gardeners.” I do get a bit carried away.
But I stand by my point that gardens take work, need maintenance and can be improved overall with some attention to design. I’m baffled that people would take issue with this.
There is a whole range of maintenance (or lack thereof) between the finely manicured potagers you see in the magazines and the type of garden I was taking about in my guest post—the one that was planted and never given another thought. It sounds like most of us, myself included, fall somewhere in the middle along that spectrum. Unfortunately, people interpreted my post as criticism of anyone who isn’t “clutching at pearls in their potagers.” That’s not true. I’m talking about abandoned, ugly gardens that have had no care.
Our instant gratification society has led some of us to believe that any effort is a good effort and everything should be as easy as pushing a button. I believe we do a disservice to would-be gardeners by perpetuating the myth that they can grow luscious rows of bountiful vegetables without putting in some effort. Gardening (life!) isn’t a six-year-old soccer team where everyone wins a trophy for showing up. Gardening can be damn hard work and I think people should go into the endeavor with realistic expectations.
Do I want people to give gardening a try? Certainly. Will they make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. We all do. But do I think gardening is for everyone? No. If you don’t have the energy and the time to pull some weeds and water when there is a drought, you’ll probably be disappointed unless you modify your expectations and scale back to what you can care for.
Many of the people who took issue with my post criticized me for not being encouraging of new gardeners. I will probably get pilloried again for stating again that gardens take work.
Okay, that said, I apologize for offending so many people. But hey, if we really want people to connect with the earth and grow food, let’s all pull some weeds, create healthy gardens and inspire with our results—both beauty and bounty.