Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Cock a Doodle Doo" Meet Gumbo

"Cock a Doodle Doo"

Meet Gumbo the Rooster

 



Living in a subdivision with HOA rules prevents me from having chickens. However, I experience this vicariously last week, while my son was attending Jam camp. You can imagine my excitement when I was greeted by a rooster upon dropping my son off at The Timber Frame Folly located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I literally squealed with excitement! 

I sang with this rooster on the first day. Telling him what a lovely fellow he was. On the second day, I watch him do a bit of chicken yoga and mindful meditation. After all, there are many reasons people choose to keep chickens in their backyards, ranging from the hard-nosed practical to the abstract philosophical. 

 

 

The third day I watched Gumbo (I had learned his name) gather with his social circle of free range chickens. I couldn’t help but wonder what some of the hens thought as I was constant with my clicking of the camera. Billy even gave me the nickname, “Shutterbug.” 

 

Would love to know what they were thinking!


 

I was rather intrusive as I watch Gumbo take a dust bath. Maybe this was going a bit too far. However, I was mesmerized watching them scratch for insect. They love to eat stink bugs. I was also surprised at how they did not seem to mind as a few white cabbage moths would flutter around them.

On the second to last day, I meet Wilbur the Peahen. It was obvious they were Best Fowl Friends!  

 

 
  Matter of fact, I think Wilbur was whispering in Gumbo’s ear something about me!
 

I do wish we were able to have chickens. I began to wonder why some keep chickens.
Probably the most obvious reason to keep chickens is to provide yourself with a steady supply of fresh, healthy eggs. Keeping chickens is good for the environment. 


Wilbur the peahen likes tomatoes.
They’ll also happily devour your food scraps from the kitchen, as well as any trimmings and spent plants from your vegetable patch. Moreover, children can learn a lot about where food comes from by keeping backyard chickens. Owning chickens will provide an educational opportunity. 


Children will develop an appreciation of living things, be encouraged to explore the outdoors, and will learn the responsibility of feeding, watering and checking the health of their chickens.


I learned that chickens have distinct personalities, and can be handled like a pet. Gumbo’s daily interactions were entertaining to watch, especially his antics when I  would read a poem to him. 





The huge variety of size, shape and color available makes chickens a lovely ornamental addition to the backyard, too. Gumbo is a red jungle fowl- range from southern china into mainland and insular south East Asia and is also found in India.





I really enjoyed my time with Gumbo, Wilbur and the hens. Furthermore, I know Gumbo and I could have lots of mischief together. Just like that good quote says, 





“A whistling woman and a crowing hen will always come to no good end.”

 

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