Monday, October 25, 2010

A Message to Hens

In the past the chickens have enjoyed spending time outside.  When I would approach their hatch door to open it, they would race up the ramp, jostling to be first out.   Once outside they happily comingled with the ducks. 

Here's baby Spot along with his ill-fated sister.  Even at their young age they loved racing outside and playing in the grass or the mud.

But something has happened.

Now the only ones who race outside are Ari Duckass, the Wacky Quackers, the striped mama hen and her babies, and the roosters.  Why do all the others hang back?

I pondered the question.  Could there have been an incident with a dog or a cat?  Possibly, but the fence does not appear to have been damaged in any way.  Maybe a hawk flyover?  Always a risk, but again, no evidence.  What I needed was evidence.  And then I saw this:

And I knew that Busy Solitude Farm has joined the legions of institutions across the nation that must address the problem of bullying.  And so I say to the chickens,


Rose H (UK) said...

Those pesky ducks! I can't view the last video - it says it's private and needs invitation?

Johanna said...

Oh, Rose, so sorry! I think I've fixed that last video now. Hope you try again.

Melissa H. said...

It still says "unavailable", but I'm guessing you said "It gets better." I was surprised, I thought maybe they just didn't like the cold in the morning.

word verification: panti

The JR said...

Am in class and can't see them from here. Will look at them when I'm back next week.

artgr8 said...

You're such a good chicken Mommy! Are those beige and whites 'runner ducks'? If so, maybe running others off is how they get their name.

Roberta said...

I am sitting alone laughing and I THANK YOU. I am recently jobless, we put a dog down last night and it never seems to get any better. I am tempted to play your message to the hens each morning for myself, to remind me that yes...I WILL get through this!

Verde Farm said...

Johanna, I don't know how I missed your blog. You left a comment on mine back in August and I just found you. So glad I did. This is so funny. Chicken bullying is rampant on our farm so good to see the ducks take a little stand here :) I am glad to find you.

Johanna said...

Amy, welcome! Glad to see you here again.

And to everyone, we will all get through this together.


Rose H (UK) said...

Thanks Johanna, a very sensible message! Love the mind reading chicken painting behind you :o)

greenhouser said...

I just wandered on to your blog from Gardenweb Forums (Yahoo). Love at first sight and listen. I immediately liked the infusion of literary references.

Then, I happened upon your NAMI walk mention. This morning, I took the brash step of posting on FB the Huff Post's story on Glenn Close's fight to destigmatize mental illness due to her siblings' illnesses. My comment said the story hit home. I have never hidden my own bipolar diagnosis, even from my university students. I do have to be more politic about my son's. He's been on meds (and spent years in therapy) since age 10, so your mention of your niece (?) was special to me. My son's life has not been easy, nor has it been easy parenting for my husband and me. Mental illness is indeed a family disease.

My dear friend's son (50) was murdered last week in a drug deal gone wrong. He suffered from bipolar disease his entire life.

I cannot tell you how wonderful gardening has been for me, lifting body/mind/spirit (no Cartesian split, which I mention since it appears you are into the Enlightenment philosophers).

Thanks for your work, and I hope you will continue your sensitive infiltration of it into the blog when you feel it's appropriate.

Johanna said...


Thanks, indeed, for your post. I am very sorry for the loss you just suffered. My family suffered something similar last summer ( It's a terrible situation with no real sense of "justice". Perhaps if the stigma of MI was less, these people would not end up committing such awful crimes.

But we live on, and do our best to be supportive, and sometimes to campaign for our family members (human and fowl)! That is the best we can do. --JH