Oh where, oh where has the chicken farmer gone? Oh where, oh where can he be? He has gone to Japan with a missions team and his eldest son, nearly sixteen!
And oh how I miss our chicken farmer! I miss my husband for many reasons and in many ways! Daily I am reminded of the ways he contributes to our family… how he works, how he loves, how he protects. I miss our conversations and our praying together. I miss his closeness, his fierce love for us and I especially miss him at night.
In a very practical sense, I miss him for all the things he takes care of around our home. There are so many things he does automatically and with such ease. One of those things is how he cares for the chickens. Yesterday, we nearly lost some chickens. The situation is laughable now, but how I had wanted him here!
What started out as a fairly normal morning, ended in a fiasco!
All was well, as a friend responded to my cry for help because we had escaping chickens. So she joined us for breakfast and then demonstrated how to clip our chickens wings in such a way so they could still glide, but stop flying out of the chicken yard. The clipping is actually simple, and quick, and the chickens don’t seem to mind at all…it’s like giving them a trim. Anyway, during this process, I was reminded that my husband would not only know what to do, but how to do it with confidence. I was a bit nervous about it, not wanting to hurt any of our little ladies. After the trimming was done, we thanked our friend and she went on her way.
I had noticed the chickens had some mites, so I sprinkled them with dusting powder. Also dusting inside their coop, and each of their nesting boxes, taking care to do things well. My eldest daughter was holding the baby for me as I worked, and she was chattering on and on about how she doesn’t think she will ever own pets because of the work they entail. I assured her chickens were fun animals to have. Their care is actually very simple. She continued her discourse as my other children held, pet and talked to the chickens. I continued my work, smiling at my daughters funny, dramatic ways and listening – knowing that she was being more humorous than serious.
Covered in mud, powder and who knows what else, I headed back up to the house with my four year old son to shower and bathe him. As I started his bath, I heard loud laughing and screaming all at once. Running to look out into the back yard, I saw two bird dogs circling our chicken yard, one of our chickens jumping into a neighbors yard, and my children running and yelling as they worked to protect our hens and contain the dogs. These dogs were beautiful and well cared for, and bird dogs just do what they know how to do. One dog ran off and the other would not leave the chickens. I told the kids to run and ask the neighbors if they knew who these dogs belonged to, and no one had seen them before. Then I called the non-emergency police number to see if anyone had called and reported a lost dog. No reports. I assured them the dogs were kind and well cared for and I was certain their owners would be looking for them. They gave me the number for the humane society and before I could even call them, two police cars arrived to assess the situation. Woah! I was shocked to see them. I asked them why they came..and within a few minutes the dogs owner also pulled up. We talked story, the police left, the owner collected his kind canine and told us about how the other had gone home.
Whew! Safe children, safe chickens…all is well. Still wish my hubby (aka the chicken farmer) were here protecting his 14 hens and all of his family…soon he will be home. We will share and laugh and be blessed to be back together.