January 4, 2007
What is it about feeding chickens that makes me think about the bigger
picture? We feed the hens once a day in the morning. Waste not want
not types that we are, their feed includes vegetable scraps from our
kitchen, a mix of lay mash and high protein game bird crumbles and half
a loaf of stale bread from the local food pantry.
Hens are picky about what they eat. We may not have the same taste in
food, but they definitely have preferences. For instance, we've discovered
that the birds will not eat premade garlic bread from the pantry, or
onion rolls or onion bagels. They happily eat raw or cooked onion scraps
and garlic from the kitchen, but once its on bread, no way.
There's also the novelty factor in what they choose to eat. Their feeder
can be full but if I walk in and shake the feed so it's rearranged in
the feeder tray, chickens will begin eating like they've never seen
the feed before.
Same deal with the bread. In the afternoon I'll go in to the yard and
pick up the pan that was full of bread in the morning, stir it around
with a stick or old clamshell, make sure its damp and the birds will
fall to eating like it's new again.
I think that there's something in that behavior that puts me in mind
of some people, who are always looking for the NEW, even when it's not
as good as the old. Sometimes there's a reason for the traditional way
of doing things -- it is better.
But the real trick is recognizing when things are changing -- and adapting
before being left beached by a falling tide.