I had a vision of having a chicken or two. A synchronistic phone call lead me to a gal who rescues roosters. Although, I sat with getting a rooster, the M&M sisters, Mildred, Myrtle, and Marriane were in need of a home too and they matched the vision I had. I thought the hard part would be getting their home ready. Fred, carpenter by trade, used his skills to create the girls nesting boxes, then a ladder and finished it off with a predator proof door. I had this idea that William and Molly's pen would be a bunk room, with the chickens above and the pig and goat below. I had no idea that a change like this would be hard on them.
Attaching the chicken houses to William's pen created a loud noise and adding the door changed the look of his area. It was just too much for the sensitive porker. He couldn't get himself motivated to be curious and check out the space, not even with corn as an incentive. He slept outside on the porch for two nights.
He came back to his pen on the third night but when we got the M&M sister's, with their squawking and different smells, William was traumatized!
I hadn't really thought about William's possible struggle with transitioning to new roommates. Farms have chickens, pigs, goats, horses, and cows intermingling all the time. Did they have trouble adjusting to change?
William was acting like he got kicked out of his home, fussing and whining at bedtime like an exhausted child but not feeling comfortable to go in his bed, he wandered around in the shadowed evening, looking for a safe place to lay. Oh! My poor piggy! I coaxed him on a dog bed in the garage petting and crooning to him til he drifted to sleep.
Then I had to deal with Molly, who displays her transition troubles differently. Molly was energetic, skipping and prancing from the gas tank to the rock wall like a Mexican jumping bean. She had been all to helpful setting up the area for the chickens as Fred's irritating assistant, grabbing screws out of his nail pouch with her nimble lips. She'd investigated everything in the pen with her mouth and hooves. She had walked in and out of the pen for days before the new arrivals came. And when the three chickens came, unlike William who withdrew, she walked right in their segregated section and introduced herself, ignoring appropriate personal space boundaries and getting the girls catawallering.
I didn't think the change was going to bother Molly, but it did.
William and Molly sleep together or at least near each other and the fact that William had been fussing and unable to relax made Molly uneasy. It didn't help that I got William to sleep in the garage, their normal routine was to sleep together in their house and William wasn't going in their pen and she wasn't going in their at night alone! Although Molly had reacted with more curiosity than William's cautious reserve, she was upset at the change too!
I thought Molly would eventually settle down next to William in the garage but I could still hear her bell tinkling at 3am. She was on high alert! I shuffled out to Molly, grabbed her by her collar and pretty much forced her in the pen. She went into the house and rammed the sides with her tennis ball covered horns and stamped her hooves in the wood chip bedding. This was a dramatic outbursts not too unlike a two year old tantrum.
Here we are, four days later and we still have bedtime issues. William's still sleeping outside and Molly has to be escorted and locked in the pen so she settles for sleep otherwise she acts like a guard dog parading around the front of the house, knocking on our windows and jingling like gypsy girl.
The chickens themselves are great! They love it here! They strut around like a cliche around the yard, talking amongst themselves. They are neither aggressive nor afraid of the crew, much to Greg's disappointment as he's been attempting to stalk them. The girls even went for a walk with us in the woods today!
The days are great, it's the bedtime routine that's messed up!
As I navigate this transition I remember what my mother use to say, "This too shall pass."
I find myself repeating her phrase to William as I stroke his belly before bed.
All will be well, eventually.
Up Coming Events at Crow Moon Healing Bed and Breakfast
"Connecting with Divine Spirit through Shamanism"
A two-day basic shamanism workshop led by Debra Morrill
August 18-19, 2018
Saturday, August 18 from 9am-9pm
Sunday, August 19 from 9am-4pm
From the beginning of time, indigenous cultures on every continent shared a shamanic spiritual view. Our forebears lived close to the earth, deeply in tune with her cycles and seasons, the elements and nature. In this connection, they found their spirituality. They believed that every living being had a spirit- not just people, but also animals, trees, stones, and plants. They commonly traveled into the spirit realm to communicate and interact with power animals, spirit guides and nature spirits. Through exploring the basics of shamanism, we can rekindle our connection to the divine and develop our ability to communicate directly with Spirit to receive guidance on our spiritual path.
In this two-day experiential workshop, you will:
Debra Morrill, B.A., has a shamanic healing practice in Prairie du Sac, Wi. She specializes in compassionate repossession, ancestral healing and curse unraveling. She leads a six-month ancestral healing circle and a two-year shamanic training program. Visit her website at debramorrill.com for more information about shamanism, spirituality and personal healing.
Cost for the two-day basic shamanism workshop:
$330 with early registration by August 9- OR- $375 after August 9. Meals included in the workshop fee: snacks, lunch on Saturday, breakfast on Sunday and lunch on Sunday. Healthy and delicious food is served, with gluten-free options. Dinner on Saturday evening is potluck style before the evening fire ceremony and celebration. Basic lodging is available at Crow Moon Healing for no extra charge. There are a variety of beds, air mattresses and sofas available. Or bring a tent and camp.
Registration or more information:
Contact Debra Morrill at 608-279-4319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.