So a friend of mine is writing an article about chickens and asked me why I started a blog about chickens and if she could quote me. I happily obliged and rattled off some ridiculous rambling treatise attempting to answer her question. I haven’t read it again since I sent it to her. But since this a blog, and blogs are inherently about oversharing, I figured there is no reason my dear readers can’t hear what I shared with her and will potentially (though unlikely??) be published material and therefore be more credible(?). So here you are. My reasons for starting this blog, as I so wrote in a facebook email to a friend, today. They may or may not be true…
besides being your average internet narcissist and over inflated ego monger, i originally started my chicken blog, Chicken Diction, for distinctly subversive reasons. while i was immediately enamored with my (at the time) six hens, i really wanted to use the frequently perceived oddity of backyard chickens to subtly point to ways of sustainability and creative alternatives to the way people generally imagine the world around them. seriously. the more i thought about the role chickens play in our society and culture, the more i realized i had stumbled upon the perfect way to poke fun at culture, and show off a little bit of home grown resistance to corporate-big-box-pre-packaged-life. in some ways i feel like that overstates the simplicity of any hope i had for the blog, because while i wanted to do all of that, i also knew that the only good blog was a self-deprecating one, which meant avoiding a preacher-like persona, even as i was pointing out things that really mattered to me, like water-harvesting, local food, good (also local) beer, and community activities. of course, at times Chicken Diction simply functions as a photo album i don’t actually have to sit down and go through with my family who is far away. it is also a bit of mental diarrhea for those random moments at work when i really want to (over)share something with people. i really can spend hours just watching my chickens. i will talk with them and make fun of them, sometimes threaten them with soup recipes or a bbq if they aren’t laying eggs. some of them let me pet them, while others run at the first sight of me for no reason other than their hard-wired dna from centuries roaming the jungles before they were domesticated. if someone were to watch me, spending all that time watching and talking to my chickens they would probably have me certified, or if i actually had time to put all my ideas that occur to me on my blog, then i think my friends and family would start to wonder if there really was a screw loose. hopefully i will be posting some video of chickens in the near future. we’ll see is my random moments and uploading time will coincide anytime soon. but actually, if i was really self-critical of this blog (why stop now?), i would call it some lame attempt to be clever by filling in the void of having no children to blog about, therefore i blog about chickens and even though i publicly believe that to make me a better, more creative, and less obnoxious of a person, i am no different than all of my relatives who do exactly that, only about their actual family. me, all i have are chickens, and their endless compost.
The following are very pertinent follow-up questions to my previous ramblings. Remember, you heard it first here folks!!!
Why do you spend so much time watching your chickens?
i think it is a combination of strange, voyeuristic amusement, and that i am free to think of other things and ideas that i only ever think about like when i am in the shower or on long road trips. and there is a certain element of anticipation, in waiting for the day’s harvest of eggs. sometimes i find myself trying to will another egg laid. but it’s like the worst version of watching water boil or toast pop up – i have only ever seen one egg actually laid, and that was by accident.
And how many chickens do you actually have?
started w/ 6. one died quickly of unknown reasons. had five for nearly two years then my neighbors decided it would be fun to have baby chickens but didn’t have a plan for what to do when they started jumping/flying over the fence and eating my vegetables. so when confronted with the simple request that they do something to stop that, they gave me three more. they currently lay very small, but not quail-size-small eggs. all told, eight very content hens, albeit frequently loud and grumpy for no good reason.