On the 15th November last year I sent an email to an estate agent. The agent encouraged us to view the house I had made tentative enquiries about. We did that following weekend. Standing at the gate to the property, waiting for the estate agent to show, we knew this was going to be our Family Home.
Just ten days short of six (stressful) months later, we moved in.
Once those keys had been handed over we not only gained a house, but also a pond containing three ducks. This fantastic introduction to feathered friends encouraged us to buy some chickens. That first moment I held a chicken, on the chicken course, was one of the best days of this year. The house move was done, the school run back to my son’s old school was done, and this chicken signified the change in direction my life was going to take. I relaxed for the first time in months.
Chickens are not going to make me a pile of money. They aren’t going to allow me to have a lie in either. But what they have given me is enjoyment, a sense of peace, a bond with nature and fantastic eggs.
Yes, I worry about them. Sometimes I panic and think I haven’t shut them up properly (I always have). If one of them is under the weather I panic again and think she is dying (she isn’t). And yes, I’ve spent a fortune making sure they have a nice house with a run and an electric fence to keep them safe. But they are fantastic little creatures. They always run to meet me. Four or five of the eight will crouch and allow me to stroke them when I come near. And did I mention the eggs?
After a number of years not having much confidence in myself these clucking, scratching, pecking, odd little creatures have given me a new found confidence. I’ve come across stumbling blocks in our new house. I’ve thought many a time I’ll have to wait for my husband to be free before I attempted something new. But then, I gave it a go. And managed. In fact, better than managed. I was bloody good at it.
I’m going to take a break from writing this column. I’m going to take a while to pause and reflect and think about what I want to do next. Because these little cluckers and quackers have given me the confidence to try new things. I’m tempted by pigs, by trees, maybe an orchard or even Christmas trees. I also would like to rescue some ex-battery chickens and incubate and breed some little chicks. Or ducklings. Then there is the baking side of things…
Who knows what’s going to happen next? Or where three little ducks will lead me.