What Makes a Chicken Happy?

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A couple of weeks ago, we received 40 baby chicks in the mail. This is the third year we’ve raised them. I’m amazed at how much I enjoy seeing them grow from little fuzz balls to big brownish-red chickens.

After a week, we move the heated brooder from the garage to the chicken tractor outside, where they can safely explore the grass and forage for bugs and weeds. Every night, we put them safely back in the brooder, and every morning, we open the door to a big new world. They are so excited to run outside! They flap their wings and jump around. Every time I walk over to see them, they come rushing up to see if I’ve brought them a treat like a handful of dried worms. I like to sit on the grass and watch them as they sleep, explore, eat, and play. I find it very peaceful and grounding.

My goal is to raise healthy chickens that have had a good life. When possible, I want to know where my food comes from and how it was raised.

So what makes a chicken happy? What are the main ingredients for a good life for them? Space to run around. Fresh air. Fresh grass and weeds. Water and feed. Sunshine. Bugs. Simple things. Every day, when I fill their water and feed, I think, “It’s a good day to be a chicken.”

I think about my dog and three cats. What are the main ingredients for a good life for them? Pets. Food and water. A safe place to sleep and play. Love and attention. It’s always a great day to be a dog when Tyson gets pets, but it’s even better if someone throws a stick or frisbee for him to fetch.

I bet you know where this is going. What makes you happy? What are the main ingredients you need for a good life? And how can you make today a great day to be alive? Keep it simple.

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