Column: Independence in the coop

Hello again! Your favorite chicken guest columnist, Gertrude, here once again.

The Mutha said I need to talk about independence this week because I guess there’s some sort of holiday coming up Sunday that celebrates that very thing.

I’m truly flattered she would think to put me on the job. I mean, who knows more about independence than a mature, sophisticated, lady such as myself?

As one of the founding members of the original flock, I definitely know a thing or two about independence. I wake when I want to, roost when I want to, pick at bugs and worms when I want to, put those roosters in their place when I want to. I’m not one to be easily pushed around.

All that being said, I do sometimes feel my independence is being challenged when some new younger chicks arrive. I have to deal with their constant questioning about where they fit in with the flock, I have to share my food and I also have to deal with their constant squawking about how fluffy my feathers are compared to their just emerging adult feathers. The nagging is enough to make me want to peck them, and sometimes, I do.

Mutha Clucka seems to think she has a lot of independence on the farm, as well, because she’s not always prompt with feedings. Sometimes, it’s right when she gets home or other times, it’s closer to sunset.

Now, please don’t think she’s leaving us without food because there’s always some food in the feeder, but I keep a watchful eye on the level of food in that contraption, and when it starts to get low, I start to grow concerned. I truly think she should give me the independence to serve myself each day. She could show me where this magic source of food comes from.

Anyway, about this holiday coming up, myself and the other gals in the coop have heard a lot of boom and bang lately, and it’s enough to scare the eggs out of us. I tried asking Mutha what this was all about, but I guess she’s not very good at understanding chicken-speak.

She just brings us food, water and frequent treats and then just walks away as the noise grows louder into the night. Does she not know it’s dangerous out there?

I did have a little birdie tell me the holiday is to celebrate the freedom of the country, and I can go along with that, just without all of the noise. I don’t get to be very independent when I’m constantly answering questions from the flock about what’s going out beyond the chicken coop.

Mutha says I need to wish you all a very Happy Fourth of July, so I’ll go along with that and do so.

Until next time…

Gertrude is the oldest bird on the Purple Shamrock Farm at 5 years old. Send comments to [email protected].

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