My chickens don’t like human processed food very much, and that’s probably very good. There are a few things they will eat like a bite of or two of bread crumbs from the leftover edges of my lunch sandwich. Even then, it has to be a whole grain bread with nuts and seeds in it. Otherwise they will turn their beaks away from the bleached white puffy stuff.
Along with their regular feed and scratch, every morning I make a fresh salad for them with chopped kale, shredded carrots, lettuce, and cubed apple. There’s usually something extra in there too depending on what’s fresh in the garden or in the produce department.
In the early spring, they can’t get enough of the newly sprouted grass and earthworms. Then later in the spring, they enjoy our strawberries which are must smaller but tastier than the store-bought variety. In the summer, there are plenty of garden vegetables. In the fall, they enjoy fresh pumpkins, and I roast the seeds for one of their most favorite treats of all. In the winter, I sprout wheat and barley seeds for them which they like very much.
I’ve often thought if we all ate like chickens we would be much healthier and happier. We eat things a chicken would never eat like cotton candy and cupcakes!
With chickens, no matter how good or tempting something may look, if it’s not what they know to be good for them, they aren’t going to touch it. Usually they aren’t even going to taste it.
Chickens are naturally suspicious of anything new that is placed in front of them. They cock their head to the side to get a closer look and will usually go right back to whatever they were doing. Occasionally they will give a disappointed or even exasperated cluck.
They tend to stay with what is familiar and dependable. But me, well if it is new, looks appealing in some way, and promises to bring me happiness, it will usually capture my full attention!
People aren’t like chickens with food choices or other things either. Although like chickens we are always looking for something, often we don’t have any idea what we are looking for or are looking for all the wrong things.
The first and biggest mistake I ever made was to say, “I know what’s best for me.” The second was to say, “I know what’s best for you.” (In other words, “If I can’t make myself happy, then you need to make me happy.”)
These errors are perhaps as old as humankind itself. They have brought us a great deal of trouble and heartache…particularly when what is best for me is to lie to you, steal from you, or kill you…or to kill the joy you hold in your heart.
When all else fails to fulfill our longings, it is important to remember faith, hope, and love still remain, and the things best for us are often unseen.
My Life With Gracie convinced me chickens know what’s best for chickens far better than people know what’s best for people.
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