Renee’s Gotta Fly

Naming the chickens is not easy. I have 14 hens that I plan on enjoying for many years & they can not be named randomly. They are now 11 weeks old & I have named less than half of them. I’ve been ‘practice naming’ a few, keeper names on a solid six. Renee was named at least a week ago. She is a sharp Araucana with a lovely chocolate brown body. I believe she is the chick that that escaped into the woodshed at a few weeks old & almost made me miss the James Taylor concert-
This evening Mark & I are out enjoying the sunset, settling in with a glass of wine & a nice fire when I notice Renee sitting atop the dog-kennel fence. Now we do intend to free-range the birds later this summer, but I am waiting until they’re a bit older & steadily coop at dusk. Yet here is Renee, ready to roll. I go over & coax her (tap her on the tail-feathers) to fly back into the enclosure. She flies in, but as the sun sets & darkness encompasses, we spot her up on the fencetop again. She really is the sort of bird you could envision in the wild~ not your average chicken.
I think about clipping wings, something chicken farmers are supposed to do to keep the birds contained. Something I’ve never done & feel almost morally against (yes, I know they’re chickens).

Thoughts wander to my younger days- as a child raised with the freedom of a dead-end country road, then starting a family & raising children of my own.
I was a good 10 years short of the ‘child of the sixties’ movement growing up. Born in 1960, not really old enough when Woodstock came to town. But I did manage a good grasp onto the bandwagon & had a home life with fairly open boundaries.
So when I had kids of my own, they too were raised free-range. Good, bad or ugly we managed to get them to adulthood & still proudly claim them as our own.
We never did clip their wings.
Chickens, kids, control, responsibility.
Open boundaries.

And now there’s Renee. Maybe she just needs a little space of her own, or it could be a search for more. I’m going to let her be, for now. I think of Renee’s namesake, a young woman bent on making the world a better place & how a single clip to her wings could disrupt a path of love & healing that we truly need. Araucana Renee may be a spiritual compliment on the journey. So today we will let Renee fly.

But if she gets into the vegetable garden & reeks havoc, the wing-clipping page in my Raising Chickens book has been tagged.

Stay tuned for a special republish of the 2009 “Chicken Chronicles” running for the 2012 chick-season


About lpcostello

Searching for my true self- I am not the roll I play

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