Thursday, October 8, 2009

Are you there, God? It's me, Chicken.

I am a mother of two young girls. A job that has always been complicated, nerve-wracking and amazing all at the same time.

Girls with throw you for a loop. One day they’re digging worms and climbing trees, the next they’re telling you who they have decided that they’re going to marry, and how that, when they’re finally allowed to wear makeup, they’ll be caking it on “just like a Bratz doll”, (I think I’m having chest pains.) All this, mind you, by the age of nine.

Without getting too soapbox-y, I daresay that I am not alone in my concern that our daughters’ innocent childhood years are becoming less and less so with each passing year. Thanks for everything, Paris Hilton!

Keeping all that in mind, when it comes to my other girlies – the chickens – I find myself actually rooting for puberty. Their fuzzy babyhoods were a lot of fun. Their awkward “tween” phase was very awkward and also pretty funny. To look at them, you’d swear that they were mommas in the making, and yet, our flock has yet to bless us with so much as a single egg. El zilcho. With fall coming down hard and fast here in Western Washington, I’m concerned that my hens will go dormant for the winter before we’ve ever seen our first egg.

How can I get these chickies across that magical threshold called puberty and into the egg business? I’ve been so busy shutting down this premature “maturity” thing around here, that now I haven’t the slightest clue about how to actually encourage it. Maybe if I hang a few posters of hunky, misunderstood roosters around the coop and pipe in some Marvin Gaye tunes…