Chickens Stories from Our Nest

The Attitude of a Geriatric Chicken

Since getting started with chickens in 2010 we have always had Silkies. I selected this breed because of their gentleness, small size, ease of handling, and their undying desire to mother. The breed lived up to all of its promises and more. I have to say I love Silkies.

We have always had at least 4 Silkies in the flock. However as half of our flock continues to age, we have had to say goodbye to some of our favorite original girls including two Silkies.

Now that we have an old flock and pullets. I like to tell people that I consider myself as having a chicken nursing home and a nursery. We like to let our chickens live out their natural lives. After all, it is our way to repay these family pets for their years of gifting us with beautiful eggs. Old hens are funny though. The attitudes of geriatric hens are polarizing. They either completely mellow out or become crotchety old ladies.

The Silkies in general were always easy going. They were content to be at the bottom of the pecking order and never showed any signs of aggression. Feathers is a black Silkie Bantam who is one of our original girls and boy is she one of those crotchety old ladies!

For her miniature size, she has become a bit of a terror. She pecks at anyone who comes near her during morning treats, choosing to hoard the cracked corn in the area immediately around her. She chases anyone out of the dust baths who wish to partake in becoming boneless chickens with her. She even pecks at other chickens half her size just for checking out what is in her zip code.

I call her a tyrant.

My son tells me if she was an old lady, she would be bopping people in the head with a cane! That made me giggle.

I guess like with people we can all chose how we would like to age. Do we choose grace? Do we become more tolerant and accepting? Do we not sweat the small stuff anymore? Do we let things go? Do we develop a deeper understanding of life around us? Oyster Cracker has done all of these and more even though she lost her sister just a few short weeks ago.

It’s interesting how aging affects all of us. I love that we have a choice on how we treat those around us and how others see us. We are all in control of our destinies. I will always chose kindness.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

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