gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Fly me to the Moon

on August 26, 2012

20120826-224010.jpg

20120826-224003.jpg

You may be surprised to learn that hens can fly. I know you know they are birds, but perhaps you thought they were more like penguins and ostriches, having wings purely for decoration. I have however seen it with my own eyes. Until yesterday, only a short flap from the top of the coop ladder to the ground, but when I let them out for a run around yesterday afternoon, not one but two girls took flight and flew at least ten feet across the garden following me. It was quite a moment. hen flight is not a graceful swoop but a great crashing of wings with a little startled face followed by a heavy landing.
Some hen keepers trim the hen’s wings by clipping the first ten or so feathers off. Only one wing so they can flap but I guess rather frustratingly for them, end up turning in circles. Apparently wing clipping doesn’t hurt, it’s a bit like getting your hair cut (that usually only hurts when you come to pay the bill)
A second school of thought is to let the hens keep the ability to fly should they need to escape from predators. In France noticed Mme Caroline had pea netting over the hen netting, I assume to stop her flock from flying away. This would be my thinking too, just in case the dog does escape to the garden while they are out and about; or a cat, or even the urban fox we see occasionally.
To have the power of flight must be a wonderful thing. I’m not good with heights but the pleasure and thrill people get from parachuting, bungy jumping, zip wiring, wing walking, parascending is obvious. My dear friend Miss CC has done at least two of these things for charity as well as ticking them off her “bucket list” of life experiences. (My own bucket list is a bit more gravity-centred.)
We have all been saddened by the passing of Neil Armstrong this weekend. The first moon landing is one of my earliest memories. A moon landing is certainly not on my bucket list. But it is good to have challenges, objectives, goals, aspirations, both short and long term, so you aren’t spinning round in aimless circles like a flightless hen. I wonder if Neil ever asked himself- If you walk on the moon as a young man, how can anything you do for the remainder of your life on earth match that? As we start a new school year, full of fresh blank exercise books, bright starchy shirts and sharp new pencils, I will leave you to ponder Neil’s own words :

20120826-223702.jpg

Advertisements

One response to “Fly me to the Moon

  1. amaryllislog says:

    As always, awesome post! I think you need an Armstrong in your flock!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: