The Chicken Companion
The Chicken is one of the most successful species on the planet. The chicken has traveled the world, exhibited in shows and been pampered affectionately. For centuries they have enjoyed the best seats, fully catered free rides on ships, planes, trains, buses, canoes and rafts. Contrary to recent reports, Chickens are likely to adapt faster to climate change than humans. They have adapted twice already during their companionship with humanity. They are set to stay.
Chickens Process Waste and Provide Perfect Protein
Over Ten Thousand years ago, the chicken became the first domesticated animal. What attracted the chicken to people was the abundance of waste. Chickens don’t mind eating slightly off-meat and love maggots and other distasteful horrors. Chickens rarely compete with humans for food. They eat a wide range of food and grit. People probably decided to keep the persistent chickens because they are relatively easy to catch at night and have highly nutritious eggs. They would have seen how quick and efficient chickens are to clean the waste.
What do Chickens have that we don’t?
Chickens often have carers. Chickens are also opportunistic eaters and learn to adapt to dietary changes. They are persistent parents. In good conditions they will breed every year. The chicks learn quickly and are independent within a few short months. Quite often, if things go poorly in the mothering house, a chicken will simply take a short break, fraternise with her favourite rooster then start laying and sitting again. Each generation provides a chance to genetically adapt. Even old hens [ie. our 9-year-old chicken, ‘Ginger’] suddenly started laying again if the conditions are right.
Chickens wake up with purpose and sleep well.
Chickens have been bred to be docile. Many domestic animals can die from stupidity. Chickens are highly unlikely to cause themselves harm. Chickens have been known to accidentally drown or get trapped. Nor are Chickens so gallant that they choose to die. However, Roosters have been known to nobly defend the flock.
Chickens come originally from the dense forests of the Tropics. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that they have already adapted twice before to enable them to grow obese and to breed all year round. They can adapt again, if they are given the r. Dr Carl-Johan Rubin of Uppsala University.
When we provide chickens with the chance to shelter in the cool sections of a food forest, they help to control the weeds, fertilise the trees and clean up fallen fruit. Their tendency to get fat makes it easy for us to catch them when we need to.
Creative Chickens Train Their Keepers
It is us, the keepers that need to adapt if we wish to continue enjoying the company of Chickens. We can devise solar passive chicken houses, give the chickens some self-determination about where to lay or hang out during the day and take time out to observe them.
Don’t just dream about it – do a permaculture course and enjoy the change.