My friend, Michelle, became a convert 5 years ago after watching my son play in the yard with a chicken slung under each arm. She’d been wary of these modern day raptors since childhood while she watched her grandmother chase them around the backyard for Sunday night dinner.
But as she watched my son converse with his feathered friends, she thought there might be more to the story than a bowl of chicken soup. Raising hens is becoming increasingly popular in cities and suburbs across America, as people search for new ways to connect with animals and their heritage.
In addition to providing fresh, delicious eggs every day, I discovered that chickens have a complex communication system. Did you know that hens can talk and purr to their eggs before they hatch? The chicks even peep back to them from inside their shells! Hens are affectionate and can show empathy to one another and with their human friends, too. It’s true! I witnessed a remarkable hen offer comfort and companionship to my autistic son for over 10 years.
For all you ever wanted to know about raising chickens and enjoying all the benefits they offer, check out Lisa Steele’s website: Fresheggsdaily.com.
To read a little about my son’s remarkable chicken, Frightful, check out The Secret Language of Chickens in this month’s issue of ParentMap Magazine.
All my best, Kristin
*Photo: Courtesy, Ann Marie Gill