One of the benefits of having chickens, particularly baby chickens, is watching Chicken TV. We were surprised how easily amused we are by their antics. There is something about watching small creatures do simple things that is meditative.
In the summer we sit out in lawn chairs and watch our chickens wander about doing chicken things – pecking, eating grass, scratching dirt, sunbathing, perching, wallowing in dust holes.
Watching chickens is one of the ways that Professor Kirsten Eve Beachy prays. Seriously. A professor at Eastern Mennonite University, Dr. Beachy has written a heart-warming, educational, and amusing treatise called “Field Notes Toward a Doctrine of Chicken“. Chicken behaviours are explained under theological headings such as ‘Petition’, ‘Original Sin’, ‘Communion’, and ‘Salvation’.
The theological analogies are sometimes a stretch, but she has chicken behaviour dead-on. In my favourite passage, she writes:
“A flock of chickens is no Zen garden […] A flock of chickens is a series of distractions, the ever-shifting motivations and pursuits of six greedy individuals with fifteen-second attention spans spending the afternoon together”.