...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


Zen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance

Chickens need to eat little rocks and hard gritty things to help them digest their food.
(They don't have teeth, they swallow their food whole).

After months of putting little crushed rocks in saucers and dishes for them,
which they tip over and spill all the time --
I decided to make their grit-getting experience more fun. 

So, I created a Zen 'sand' garden for the chickens!

 Here's Lorpy checking out the new garden,
finding and eating the darker grit (crushed granite) mixed in with the sand.

Here's a close-up so you can see better.
I have a little wooden rake I use to rake circular patterns into the garden.

Thinking about the great mysteries and challenges of life...

1) Where do worms come from? 
2) How many more eggs will I lay?
3) Why oh why did the chicken cross the road? 
4) Are my mothers really too weak of heart to throw me in the soup pot?   
5) How can I find inner peace and calm when there is a fox that lives in the quarry,
and a pack of coyotes in the woods?

Maybe the answers to the great mysteries are in the garden...
If I just look long enough and peck hard enough, maybe I will find them...

But maybe there are no answers. 

I can live with that.

Maybe it's just about being. 

Every day I will keep being and breathing. 
I will stay centered, knowing...
I am a good chicken. 
I am loved.

Maybe it's that simple.
     One day at a time.


The chickens leave their mark.
Often their footprints follow the same path and pattern as my raking.
They naturally walk around the rocks. 

Watching them move through the space is really fascinating - like they're walking through a labyrinth.  With purpose and intention.
Even if the intention is to fill their crop and gizzard with grit!

And just like with any Zen mandala or garden,
we learn about impermanence. 

The garden never looks the same way twice. 
Each moment, a new one.
Full of all the stuff of life.

Yet there are some things
that even in the changing, remain the same. 

Like the calm place inside,
that is still there if you reach for it,
even when you're facing the mouth of the fox. 

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