Monthly Archives: September 2018

Broken Beaks and Beauty

A broken beak can be a serious thing for a chicken. Beaks are their tools, their hands, their major way of interacting with the world.  Sometimes the bird needs to be euthanized, if the break is so bad that it can’t regrow. (I’ve seen some truly dreadful pictures of hens with their beaks broken entirely off. Shudder.)

Fortunately for Booty, her break, while serious, wasn’t quite that desperate.

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This picture was taken yesterday, after it had healed for almost a week. It is a lot less bloody and oozy. You can’t truly tell in the picture, but it looks like she snapped the entire top layer off, including the tip.  The below pic, for reference, is what a beak is supposed to look like.img_6826_zpsekzn5ajf

For a couple of days after it happened, poor Booty was clearly in a lot of pain, and although she clearly wanted to eat, she wouldn’t. Or couldn’t. The internet said that a snapped beak has nerves in it that makes the pain equivalent to a broken tooth. I kept dabbing some chicken-safe medicinal ointment on it, and kept offering her all her favorite soft foods. She wouldn’t eat. I seriously was considering putting her down, because I didn’t want her to starve to death, and I was afraid she must be in terrible pain. But then mom took her out some bread, and came back in with the wonderful news that she’d eaten some. It still took a few more days, but finally she is able to eat her regular food again, and is clearly going to be ok. Beaks can regrow if enough of the beak is left, and in her case I think it will. But that will be quite a few months down the road. Poor girl. I wish I knew how she did this to herself!

Except for Booty’s trauma, things have been great on the urban farm. The sunflowers are blooming.

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The skies are glorious.

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And I have a bunny barn FULL of bunnies. Two does, and their two litters, born one week apart. I think I have thirteen or fourteen baby rabbits in there. I’m not sure. I was busy, and put off getting an accurate count, and then…they were suddenly out of the nest and hopping everywhere…and getting an accurate count right now is impossible. I went out to the barn last night and watched them playing for awhile, and it is the cutest thing ever. At one point, they tired themselves out and just collapsed into this massive soft wiggly pile of sleepy bunnies! I did get a video of some of it – not the bunny pile, though, the light was too far gone at that point.

Colony rabbit raising is absolutely the best way to go. I feel so sorry for rabbits stuck in small wire cages, either all by themselves, or crowded in a bunch of babies, with no room to express their natural social behaviors. These two does are sisters, and have been together from birth. While they did get a little ornery and testy with each other (and me!) during their very first pregnancies, by this second litter, they have figured everything out, and are perfectly sweet with each other, and I can pet them without fearing a bite.

And the babies! They are so sweet with their babies – with all the babies. I am not sure if they nurse only their own, or if they just feed whichever babies are hungry. I know I have seen babies that belong to Thistle come up to Blackberry and attempt to nurse…but these does don’t believe in nursing when the human is watching, so I don’t know if they hop away because of me or because they are holding out for their own children. I suspect the former, though, by the way the babies are acting.

I should have gotten rabbits on the farm ten years ago!

 

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The Wisdom of Chickens

Hesitant…so hesitant to believe it’s real. They never imagined anything like this. Their whole lives, up until now, lived in darkness and pain and misery – not even truly aware of how miserable they were, because they couldn’t conceive of their being anything better.

And then someone loving lifts them up and away from all that evil, and brings them into a world of sunshine, green grass, soft nests, and treats.

Watching the above video, I couldn’t help but compare it to we humans. All of us were born into a dark, evil world – but because it is the only place we’re ever known, we don’t understand there is anything better. A lot of us don’t even realize how horrible this world is. We try to ‘look on the bright side’ and ‘think positive’ and ‘be the change we want to see in the world’, but all the time this world is wearing away at us, stripping us of our beauty until we are raw and naked.

But just like these chickens, we have someone who cares, someone who wants to rescue us and lift us away into a place of brilliant light and happiness – a place we can’t imagine because we have no frame of reference for anything so good.

God wants to save us. He wants to save you. But I wonder, when these people visited the factory farm to take these chickens home, how many other chickens ran away from their outstretched hands instead of running to them? How many chickens reacted in doubt and confusion and fear instead of joy? How many chickens flinched away back into the familiar darkness of their lives instead of accepting the gift of freedom that was being held out to them?

Humbling Thoughts

So I was at work the other day, and as usual when I’m doing something mindless and routine, I started thinking things. It started out, as it so often does, with whole-body goosebumps and butterflies-in-the-stomach at the realization at how close I am to leaving this world. It’s amazing to think that I could just have a week left…or two days…or two hours. The knife is literally balanced on its edge, and any second it will fall. God’s adopted children will be caught away to safety and glory, and the earth will be left to destruction. I’ll be a little surprised, honestly, if we get through this month of September; everything is just lined up so perfectly, prophetically and politically. It could be that God still has work he wants accomplished first though – and we could be here another couple of years. I truly doubt it, though. I feel it in me, that he is ready to open that door into heaven; I think all of we born-again Christians who are awake and watching are feeling this…anticipation, this joy.

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But on this particular day at work, my thoughts turned to some truly humbling thoughts. Before the earth was formed, God knew that he would make me. He knew everything I would ever do, all the mistakes and horrible decisions I would make, all the sins I would willfully commit, all the people I would hurt, and all my missed opportunities. He knew every evil thought I would ever have – he knew me, absolutely and completely – and despite this, he still loved me so much that he made me anyway. He knew that he would have to come down to earth in the weak body of a man, that he would have to suffer all the temptations and sorrows and pain of a mortal life – and at the end of that life, that he would die the most painful and humiliating death ever devised. He did that, for me.

For me. Because although I can’t fully comprehend this, God wants to spend his eternity with me. Me, personally. I’m not just some faceless part of humanity. He knows me, every part of me, and before the world was made, he was looking forward to welcoming me home, to giving me every good gift – things and experiences I can’t even imagine – despite how, compared to Creator of the entire cosmos, I should be completely insignificant. I am completely insignificant – except to him.

He loves me.

I cannot even describe to you how humbling that is. And how wonderful. And the truth is, he loves you just as much. Whoever you are. Whatever you’ve done. He knew your name and your soul from the beginning of the world; he made you, and no one will ever be able to love you more than he does. He loves you more in one second of your life than anyone else could in your entire lifetime. God is love, and he wrote in his book that he’s delaying the end of the world just in hopes that you will realize it. He wants to spend his eternity with you, as well. He doesn’t care what you’ve done, or how badly you’ve messed up. That, he can fix. He can remove the most terrible sin from you, and make you flawless and perfect before him. He wants to do that. He wants to take away your shame and embarrassment, your pain and your grief. He wants to give you peace and joy. Even during these last few days on earth, he wants to give you peace and joy regardless of your circumstances. And then, when he finally can delay no longer, he wants to snatch you up out of this world and into perfection.