The following piece is part of a regular column in the local newspaper that Brenda writes, often inspired by our farm journey and adventures. It first appeared in The Chautauqua in 2012.
A few weeks ago I shared my concern over the ladies that our rooster was hanging out with. The crowd he tends to run with during the day aren’t the hens we wanted his attention focused on. I wondered if I should get involved and pen them up together or if I should just trust that what I might not be seeing was still taking place. Yesterday I got my answer.
All winter long we’d been watching one of our hens bolt from the coop under crates, pallets and anywhere else we couldn’t reach her. She’s a regal-looking gal with black lacy feathers, sharp orange eyes, and an intelligence to match her fast feet. We named her Queen Victoria. She’s the main reason we decided to get a rooster and when a neighbour offered us her spare, we offered him a home. So when they seemed to always be on opposite ends of the yard – I began to get worried. However my anxiety (and purchase of an incubator!) all seems pointless now.
Yesterday Queen Victoria showed up in the yard with 7 peeping chicks behind her. She’s settled them into the coop and is the exemplary mother we hoped she would be.
We’ve recently christened our farm operations as “Earth Works Farm.” It’s a reminder to us that the earth works: ecosystems and organisms know how to grow, produce and renew – without us trying to control or manipulate them. We participate in those systems but also try to stay out of the way, to trust and to learn from nature.
Queen Victoria has been one of our teachers in this realm and I am proud to say I am one of her students. She definitely is the queen of our coop and my hope now is that she will be as long-reigning as her namesake.