|Robins return each year habitually to hatch eggs.
Habits can be classified as good and bad. I think that we all tend to have both. Good habits can benefit us directly and some are even chore-like. When I think of good habits, I think of brushing my teeth, setting a bed time, eating healthy (or at least trying to), catching the school bus in the morning, going to church, or regularly meeting a friend for coffee. Good habits can also be chores, such as paying the bills, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house and cooking dinner every night. Unfortunately, we all have bad habits too. I think of young kids picking their noses. Biting our nails. Chewing with our mouths open. I happen to pick my cuticles and hangnails. Interestingly, I have noticed that chickens also have both good and bad habits.
Their bad habits include kicking shavings into the water, emptying their feed dish, hogging the roosts, sleeping in the nesting boxes and eating eggs (gasp)! Their good habits include rising early in the morning, running out first thing to have some scratch, going to sleep at night and carrying on conversations with me.
Tilly’s best habit is the job she does as head hen. Every evening, she is always rounding up everyone and making sure that they are all in for the night. Her bad habit is being mean to the Silkies. Sometimes, she tends to overreact.
Oyster Cracker’s best habit is always being first to greet me at the run door. Her worst habit is repetitively jumping into my lap when our quality-time session was only supposed to last a few minutes.
Sunshine’s worst habit is pecking my hand very hard when I hand feed the girls scratch. You’d think she had to make a kill before she ate. Her best habit is being Oyster Cracker’s inseparable best friend.
Dolly’s best and worst habit is always being broody.
Autumn’s best habit is surveying the run first thing in the morning before dining on any scratch. She seems to be checking that the perimeter is secure, or…she could be trying to escape. Her worst habit is sleeping in the nesting boxes.
Feathers’ worst habit is pecking at my jewelry. Her best habit is being my most friendly Silkie.
Fifi’s worst habit is pretending to be broody and faking me out at least once a week. She sure does put on a show, complete with growling, tail in the air and the classic poufing up. Her best habit is taking care of her feathers. She is the fluffiest little girl for a non-show quality chicken.
If you look closely and observe most species, you will find that they over time develop patterns and repeat things. Some say that routine is familiar and familiar feels good. Others say that sometimes things are merely according to schedule. Animals instinctively fill roles that aid in survival. People, I believe, are the only ones with the power of insight to change them or at least add one new good habit to out-number our bad ones.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest