Another season is nearing completion, lots of our little chicks were eagerly awaited and joyfully picked up and taken home by new families.
Reflecting on this season and my own ambitions, I have to ask myself, why do I even care? Why do any of these people care and get so excited to pick up chickens? Why would I or they consider the expense of a coop, chicks/chickens, weekly supplies and added chores for the sake of eggs?
Originally we added feathery companions to our lives for the sake of our children, fur allergies made a pet dog or cat impossible, but a goose… we could have that. And to think I hesitated, almost didn’t get those adorable goslings. Thankfully I went through with it, because she has added so much joy and has touched each member of this family so deeply. She demonstrates to us gratitude, kindness, trust and loyalty, I don’t think even I could have taught that to my kids, because she has taught it to me. She surprisingly taught us that she thinks and that she feels the same things we do like: happiness, anger, fear, tolerance, contentment, joy and loneliness.
I think we all subconsciously know that all animals feel, but we’re are taught from a very young age to desensitized feelings towards the animals we eat. We’re taught that a chicken’s brain is so small that they are quite literally the stupidest creature. Ironically as I write this, I hear a familiar squawk from our front porch, on the railing is our Black Maran free ranging hen telling me that she wants to lay an egg and to come outside and take her to her crate. And that’s it, that is the reason I care, because I confirmed what I subconsciously already knew, they feel and they think.
These people and myself have made a choice to involve ourselves in the animals that feed us. We get to care for them and treat them the way we feel they ought to be treated. A bonus is that they actually become familiar individuals to us and enrich our daily lives. We want to look after them, we want to treat them well and we want to see them happy and healthy.
Know that you are in control, you get to choose where your food comes from, you live in Canada for goodness sake!
If you want to raise your own chickens for food or eggs, you can! You can give them kindness, compassion, respect and gratitude and in turn they will give you amazing eggs or themselves.
If you don’t want to raise your own birds, you are FREE to buy them off of someone who shares the same concerns as you.
If you understand that pigs are in the top 5 of the most intelligent animals on earth, but goddamit they are delicious, then you are free to find a person who raises pigs ethically. Pay a little more and get your meat from them, I think you’ll find it is like the eggs and taste better too.
Find a farmer who raises his own beef and purchase through them directly, you are free to do that!
You live in one of the greatest countries on Earth and you are free to make choices and you are free to care. There are loads of farmers and homesteaders that ethically raise animals for food and you are free to choose them to feed your family. In these times, it is so easy to find them using Facebook, Kijiji and other social media platforms. Visit your local Farmers Market too, there is really no excuse.
If you decide you’d like to raise your own chickens, there are lots of breeders like myself available to get your chicks from. We don’t throw unwanted chicks live into a grinder, we are knowledgable and we’ll help you plan for your growing flock.
Choose to care and teach your kids to care.
Now I have to go let Rosie out so she can continue her adventure free ranging and I can collect her gratitude in the form of a delicious egg!
P.S. we no longer eat goose 😄