The story begins when i met the chicken i chose to name “the crazy lady chicken.”
A few months ago i arrived at the first farming internship (there is a really long story about my intern experience in general and will be presented in a book towards the end of my old age). three days into the farm education I got my first chance to collect the evening eggs from a large cartel of laying hens. Having the farmer educate you about his/her farm is a priority on any farm. Knowing what to do at any time is essential to handling any kind of domesticated animals, including protecting them from the wild ones. A farm is a constant battle against nature!
During the evenings leading up to the moment where crazy lady and I collide, I watched the farmr basically manhandle the crazy lady to get under her to feel if there were any eggs. Back then i knew her as a mean chicken who would growl and peck aggressively. To be honest, i was scare of her. On the third evening it was my turn, egg box in hand, leather gloves on, and away I went to collect the eggs come hell of high water. I opened the door, there were seveal nests in which the hens lay their eggs during the course of the day. I did what any grwn woman would do; I searched the open nests first. Then I turned towards the crazy lady nest. I put my han under her and the batte began. I was so close to her I noticed that she had these wild eyebrows, the kind you see on older men, like giant spiders on a face. She was crazy, the look in her eyes and the way looked. From that time on I have called her the crazy lady. I am thinking you may want t know how i carried out my searches under the crazy lady, I used a broom! I slip the broom under her, lift and a clear shot for any eggs!
Turns out that she neve leaves her nest. She just wants eggs to sit on, she wants to keep them warm, take care of them until they hatch (28 days in this case) and her bottom line is just to be a mom. Because of herbad attitude the other hens avoided her and never laid an egg in her nest. I am pretty sure this made her even more difficult to deal with. Crazy lady just had hios heart felt desire to incubate and raise a family, not too mch to as, right? To make matters a little more complicated we have no rooster, so the crazy lady would have died without realizing her dream of motherhood.
Enter the turkeys.We have Turkeys and boy do I love turkeys. Though our turkeys and hens share a pen during the day (free range), they all lay eggs, they are pretty simliar besides the size difference. they all seem to get along. Turkey eggs are the same size as hen eggs and have a tendency to have a type of speckle look on the shell, this is how we tell the eggs apart.
Sometime ago, long before i moved to the farm to inten the farmer bought the turkeys in a box through the mail. We think that we can just buy animals, plants but when we allow them to undergo the natural processes ofwho and what they are not only are thre permanent flaws, but their offspring will also suffer. Generations need to exist on the same land, a farm for successful natural breeding and this also applies to plants. It is either a quick meal to fill the belly or medicine for body whic do you prefer?
We have 7 turkeys at the time of this story 6 female and one turd of a male turkey. We know for a fact that the male is fertile however he is not the brightest bulb dealing “between the sheets”. there are times when he literally cannot find th area he needs to be implanting. I have witnessed the females turkeys get pretty my at the guy. The female turkeys were laying eggs for month, they never could hatch them. they were missing basic skills. I had no idea until i was present on the farm that these are issues animals have. If we look around we see them present within our whole society and we want to create life in a test tube? what are we thinking and what are we not taking repsonsiblity for? These adult turkeys were hatched in a box under a light, and then mailed by snail mail to the farmer. They have no identity and social skills because they were not properly sat on in a nest, cared for, managed, rotated and raised by a live care taker with love and care. They were not protected, they were not shown how to eat, what to eat, how to care, nurture and raise off spring. Now you would think that it would just be in there somewhere in the genes maybe? It seems not to be. These turkeys were just like so many people who basically hatch out their kids and ignore them. the results are unsatisfactory, to say the least. Our turkeys could not figure out how to sit on their nests, how many should sit on one nest (up to 3 some days which crushed many of their eggs) and where to lay the eggs. The female turkeys became so thin. Brooder animals will sit on the eggs until they hatch. the brooder is an animal who will take responsiblity for all the eggs layed even if they did not lay most of them. The brooder will sit on the eggs until they hatch; they will starve themselves, as the eggs are the most vital thing at that time for them. In the case of our turkeys they were not able to practice the basic nesting skills their eggs never hatched. if they never have an egg hatch the do not remember to eat, they continue to sit and sit. Eggs can last a month or so before they need to be sat on to start the process of incubation.
The farmer understood what was happen to the turkeys and began collecting their eggs as soon they egg was laid. The farmer was not sure what he was going to do with them. The farmer had about 10 turkey eggs he had been saving, his desire was to come up with a solution to hatching the eggs. One day the farmer realized that there were many chickens that were brooding and that one of hem could be put on to the turkeys eggs to hatch them. The next day we rolled a big wooden box with a door into the hen pen, cleaned it, put straw in it, water and food. That night the farmer put the turkey eggs in the straw and in the dark the hen of choice was placed on top. The next day we looked in the box and the hen was not interested. What to do? What to do? The only real choice all along was the crazy lady; her destiny was always shown to us. The very next night the old crazy lady finally got the chance se had been waiting for. She was put in the box after dark and when we looked the next morning she was in complete bliss. Crazy lady had that nest fixed up all the eggs tucked in, her body spread as far in all directions that she coul physically manage. She was so happy, proud and doing what her hearts desire wanted to do. She did not care that the eggs she was sitting on belong to the turkeys; she just wanted to nurture them with all her heart. Crazy lady was the most comitted mother to those eggs for 28 days.
It was a Tuesday evening we heard peeps from the brooding box. The eggs had hatched. Five of the 10 eggs hatched she was very protective, she would growl at us and hide them under and behind her. The baby turkeys being very curious would try to look around her to see us and the crazy lady would just tuck them back and preparing for a battle in case we came to close. They are hers, she teaches them, they listen and watch her carefully. She shows them how to get the best bugs with patients and sometimes she even will share hers. These turkeys are getting the proper raising it will change the cycle and how they raise their offspring. they will in turn become good mothers with the skills of “how to” that the grumpy crazy old lady chicken gave them.
I know any of us have a heart felt desires that never seem to manifest. Maybe like the crazy lady we had our own agenda of how, why, when and what was supposed to arrive. A bit of advice… when spirit comes in the night and delivers not exactly what we wanted, we may need to open ourselves and treat “it” as if it is what we wanted for at least 28 days.
Grow Food, Be Free & Live for a Living!