Would it surprise you to know that there are over 25 billion chickens in the world? They outnumber any other bird species. If all the chickens on earth were evenly distributed among our population, every person would have at least three chickens each. I imagine many people reading this note will quickly say, “There is no way I would ever own chickens!” Two months ago, I would have agreed with you. But while my family has been “cooped up” during this COVID-19 quarantine, my wife shared her longtime desire to have a chicken coop, raise hens, and harvest her own farm fresh eggs.
If this feathered fantasy had been presented to me at any other time, I would have most likely declined the request citing a lack of available time or interest. But in our current state, a coronavirus construction project seemed like a great escape! But like most do-it-yourself plans, what I originally thought would be a minimal, but much-needed distraction, quickly turned into a mammoth undertaking.
Speaking of massive, did you know that chickens actually evolved from dinosaurs, and are the closest living relatives of the magnificent Tyrannosaurus Rex? Birds (aka – chickens) are the one lineage of dinosaurs that survived the mass extinction 65 million years ago. The chicken is definitely the most primitive of any bird species and is more ‘dinosaur-like” than any other modern bird. Granted, I’ve only been a hen handler for a few weeks, but just watching our broody hens run around with their distinctive gait, making their signature noises, it is not hard to image their relationship to the ancient Velociraptor.
I apologize for the random fowl facts, but I’ve grown a particular fondness for them. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found unsuspected positives in the midst of a seemingly negative situation. I believe that we have all found ourselves stretched to find a new normal lately, and in doing so have often been happily surprised with the outcome. That is exactly what the theme of this Saline County Lifestyles 12th Anniversary Edition highlights: “Conquering COVID – Prevailing a Pandemic.” I believe you will be encouraged as we focus on the positives, moving forward together as a stronger whole. Your town. Your life. Your magazine.