Category Archives: spiritual dimension of life with chickens

My sweet Sicilian Buttercup – went home

Once again, life came and went. It never ceases to amaze me and each time it is this: once in forever, a form, in this case – my sweet buttercup –  came to be – alive – and the best we can do is give it what it needs to live the best it can, see it, love it – be kind, take the time while there is time – and be grateful and amazed. There is this very deep feeling, this painful wondering about this –  that it is forever gone….like our forms will be someday, gone. It helps to know it was a life well lived, to know there was love – but still …it came and went ….

My sweet little buttercup – you were so tired – thank you with all my heart.

On Tuesday July 14, 2015, just at the change from late afternoon to early evening, one of my sweet buttercups went home. Her name was Middle, she had turned 3 years old in May. She was one of my first 9 original flock hens. I am just writing down some things here, because, memory fades so fast, but words can’t describe too well all the things I went through with her

I am left with a sense of gratitude. I learned with her – about chickens that seek the proximity to a human, about their sweetness, she taught me about being egg bound, about bathing a chicken to get rid of lice, about blow-drying a chicken, about being patient and accepting and about getting ready to help her go when she stopped eating, even though I don’t really know that she suffered,  and about going quietly, in the midst of a thriving flock. I loved that little bird.

I am writing because – just to share the topics I explored, just because – she is no more…her expression of Being – her animated self – is no more. This is to honor her, because she had managed to wiggle herself into my heart space.

Here is some of her story.

She came to me from Sandhill Preservation as part of a straight run of 27 day old mixed Mediterranean breed chicks – my first chickens, 6 of them were Sicilian Buttercups.

This little buttercup was probably a roo, just to show you how they were even as chicks

From the very beginning, the 6 buttercups, (turned out there were 3 girls and 3 boys – as an aside, of the roos, 1 eventually was gotten by a predator, he roosted in a tree, the other 2 went to live in Texas), anyway the buttercups, even as chicks, were already interested in getting close and liked sitting on me, and that never changed for any of them. To me, Buttercups are the sweetest chickens when it comes to humans.

This too could be her or one of her sisters
This too could be her or one of her sisters

It is amazing to have them come to you and hop on your lap or your shoulder and seemingly enjoy being there,  some preening, talking to you – it is just very endearing.

She had a good life, free ranged all day, organic feed, good company. There were some roosters, maybe a little bit of too much attention the first year as a hen, but live was good. She was always one of the favorites and I had to watch it till the very end.

Less than a year old, when we still had the buttercup roosters
Less than a year old, when we still had the buttercup roosters

One day in May 2014, she was not walking right, hanging around in the coop. I checked her on the roost that evening and felt  something hard, an egg inside her….oh dear. I let her be there in hopes maybe she’d pass the egg overnight and that evening read all about egg binding I could find online. Next morning, no egg, I gave her the bath, nothing, then another warm bath and with the liberal use of coconut oil and some doing…the egg got out – she even helped.


This was after we got out the stuck egg
This was after we got out the stuck egg

After a few days, she seemed to return to normal, even saw her in a nest box a few times but I don’t know if she ever did lay another egg.

Getting back to normal after being egg bound
Getting back to normal after being egg bound

So a few weeks ago she stayed back at times from running out with the others, but I didn’t think much of it because I always have some thing extra to give. I don’t even recall how I realized she was so so skinny, and now worried about worms, I wormed her and started paying closer attention. I checked out her feathers too, and she had chicken lice…lots of them, but no nits…I dusted her with a mixture of fine dirt, wood ash and diatomacious earth, around the vent and abdomen. I observed her some more and saw she was not dust bathing. I read up all I could on lice and how to get rid of them. I didn’t see any mites, but they are so small and I wander if I missed them.

The 3 buttercups
The 3 buttercups

Basically, lice in free range chickens are just a matter of time till they appear, however, giving opportunity to dust bathe, chickens take care of them. If dust bathing is not possible, either no opportunity or the chicken is unable to do it because she is ill, then they start proliferating. (btw, those are chicken feather lice, they don’t go to humans, we have our own …)

I had also read a lot on chickens wasting away, none of which was good news, so I stopped the antibiotics I had started and given her for 3 days.

There was no abdominal swelling of any kind. Not other symptoms.

A lot of old timers – would just cull a hen like that.

Here she was still able to get on to the roost
Here she was still able to get on to the roost

Seeing how she stayed with the flock, but was hiding under plants or a wagon and moved slowly and not dust bathing …I decided to give her a bath to get rid of the lice, just so she didn’t have to feel them on her. Of course, I read up all about that too, the chicken lice treatment options, and yes, this does work:

  • 2 cups of liquid dawn dish soap,
  • 2 cups of salt,
  • 2 cups of white vinegar in
  • 5 gallons of warm water for 5 minutes, do the elbow test for right temperature. – dead lice will be floating in the water
  • rinse in 2 buckets,i found 1 rinse was not enough.
  • then blow dry…this is actually when most of the lice – all dead – came out.

I didn’t want to use the toxic stuff on her, and the water can be reused, but I have to say the blow drying took over an hour…and with her being so skinny, I had to get her all dry, not just sort of dry enough. She smelled good, well, like dawn …and she was clean. This would not work for a whole flock only because: the blow drying takes too much time. Luckily, healthy chickens who dust bathe take care of themselves.

She is there somewhere :)
She is there somewhere 🙂

I gave her special foods 3 times a day….of which she mostly picked and dropped, not ate much, but nonetheless she was actually eating something. Here are her favorites: watermelon,tomatoes (the inside), grapes, cucumber, grubs, chicken carcass with a bit of meat on it, some fermented grain, yogurt. Strangely enough, hard boiled egg yolk and scrambled eggs, an all time favorite, were not something she was interested in during the last 4 days. While she pecked and ate little, it was enough  to poop. Once I saw her expel something, while she was pecking with the flock…some stuff that look like part of what I have seen described as latch egg or coagulegg (it was eaten by some hen so fast, I could not examine it). Never have seen when worms might look like if they got expelled after treatment, if they don’t get absorbed.

Every day she spent some time on my lap, though she was unable to fly up any more.

During those days, my prayer and invocation was for her to not be in pain and for that to happen which would be the best possible outcome, even if it included me culling her. And yes, I read up on all the chicken killing methods and weighed the pros and cons and then decided on what seemed like the best for her.

I kept at least one other buddy with her
I kept at least one other buddy with her

Anyway, the day after the bath, Sunday, she stayed in the little hospital coop except for a short time in the afternoon. I had a heat lamp for warmth at night, a fan during the day when it was hot. She ate little and I was going through all the options to help her pass. During the last few days while in the hospitable coop, I did have at least one of her sisters spending the night in there too.

But the next day,  Monday, things looked better! I was surprised at the interest she had in the food. She did really have the best food choices of her life in the last few days. She wanted to even go out with the flock, she ate more and in the afternoon, spent a while outside the hospital coop inside the coop run…and even tried to dust bathe, which for her just meant sitting in the dirt tub and looking around, there were the 2 mamas and chicks and a couple of younger hens.

In the evening on Monday I let the flock in and told her – that is your flock, this is where you live. I wondered if this was the …”I am getting out one more time thing”  before she left, like I has seen our dog do,  …or was she getting better? She even tried to get on a roost, but then decided to stay under it, half way under the heat lamp. She didn’t have the strength.

The answer came Tuesday…she was slow to move and, while still interested in food, pecked little and ate little. Yet in the afternoon, she had walked to the edge of the little coop (which has wire on the side she went) to either be closer to the fan or to the flock …so I fed them all some fermented grain to make her feel included.

She remained surrounded by the energy and sounds of a thriving flock, just protected from eager roosters
She remained surrounded by the energy and sounds of a thriving flock, just protected from eager roosters

Even if it is all some chicken program and habit, I still wanted her to get the sense she was still part of the flock.

She still ate in the morning, but nothing that evening

I had decided: if or when she stopped eating, I’d help her by taking her out, using a slightly modified version of the method posted at the end of this blog. I had some cloth to gently wrap her in, had decided on a location and had a scalpel.

By Tuesday evening, she had gone to her spot under the nest box. She looked at the cucumber I offered, but made no attempt at pecking at the juicy flesh. I gently picked her up one more time and she sat on my lap for a while. It just felt that she was going to leave.  I told her I loved her …and asked her: is it time? You look tired.  After a while I put her back in her spot. I got my camera and took some photos, but after a couple of shots, the card was full. So I told her again I loved her, and that I would help her this evening, unless she wanted to go before then.

she was tired
she was tired



When I came back, she was gone. Looked like she sat down where she had been standing and leaned to the side, her beak was closed, one eye was closed, the other one had the eyelid half over it. She had been so tired…and went to rest finally.

All throughout I prayed for her and did some readings. She heard the 4 lines and at least part of the Clear Light Prayer.

I was glad she didn’t have to feel any lice crawling on her during the last few days, she had the best food of her live, she was able to stay with her flock, but I wonder if I should have taken her before.

I remembered my aunt, who at 81 year old died at home of colon cancer, which had metastasized. She had gone through several chemo treatments and was sent home as there was nothing more that could be done. She didn’t really want to die, however, she was simply getting weaker and weaker, till she could not even hold the phone any more. She was catholic and always said: I don’t want to be in pain, and Mother Mary is gonna take of of that, that I won’t be in pain. If prayers to the unseen guides had anything to do with it, sweet little buttercup was not in pain.

And now she is free.

I took some feathers, and told her I was gonna have to take a look inside. She looked clean internally, skinny, and btw, not a single louse on her either. There was no abdominal fluid, no mass of egg yolks….but there was a yellow coagulated mass of something almost the size of a small egg, just more irregularly shaped in the oviduct. Maybe she was the one who had layed the occasional wind egg in recent weeks? Something did go wrong in the reproductive organs after all.

I buried her and planted a blueberry bush next to her.

The mayor issue I had is this: to cull her or not? In the natural world, no chicken would be able to survive this long this slow and weak without being eaten. But in the natural world, chickens are not laying eggs all year or have their broodiness bred out of them. In the natural world, she would not have been hearing the music she heard as a chick, or the prayers, she would not have been a teacher of mine – about life and death, dignity, egg binding & lice treatment in chickens, and the fact that no matter how many times it goes well, very young chicks need to be protected from other flock members – her included…and about the fact that no matter how similar it seems, no living creature is ever 100% the same. Modern physics now say that all of creation really is like a computer simulation – all in the mind of the supreme being. Well then, I did my best to do what was best for her, on the path to learn to be compassionate and non attached.

The way she went, I feel grateful, hoping that she just went like my aunt in Germany – just taking her last breath as the life force leaves completely. She ate and pooped till the day she died, I hope she was not in pain and she was with her flock, always home, and now home for good.

Thank you Middle, sweet buttercup & travel well.

If there is some way to take you with me, I am
I there is some way to take you with me, I am
I buried her next to a blueberry bush I planted the same day. She is under the logs, which are there to discourage digging.
I buried her next to a blueberry bush I planted the same day. She is under the logs, which are there to discourage digging.

The flock likes to hang out where she is buried.

I would have culled her on my lap, cutting the jugular with a scalpel. She would have fainted quickly. I don’t think I would have pulled her neck, just have her wrapped in a cloth and hold her. It was not necessary…her final gift.

I didn’t cull that injured chick

Just some thoughts and considerations from an experience that was both intense and still, confusing and profound – because I didn’t cull that injured little chick.

Saturday, the weekend of Memorial Day in the USA, was hatchday …and she had hatched during Friday night, still not completely dry in the morning. Her sibling had hatched a day early and was fine, another egg had pipped. As I checked a few more times, just listening fro sounds and hoping for chick sightings, I noticed chick distress peeping, and that is unusual,  and decided to take a closer look – shocked to see the black baby chick badly injured. At first I thought she had rubbed herself on the wire hardware cloth bottom of the nest box, but later I came to the conclusion that the other chickens had pecked her from below the box. First lesson learned the hard way: no matter how much straw you put into the nest box under the eggs, the hen will get down to the wire. And even if all went well a few times with hatching…that does not mean it will again….always put something over the wire.

I took the chick with me, set up my brooder again, and put her in after it warmed up…but she was mostly distress peeping in there, despite the warmth and the little plush toy….but was quiet when I held her.

Little Black Beauty - I never did manage to get a good selfie pic - I won't forget this one
Little Black Beauty – I never did manage to get a good selfie pic – I won’t forget this one

Despite chicken’s almost miraculous healing abilities when it comes to injuries, some of which I have witnessed, when baby chicks are involved and the skin is broken – chances are slim to none because there is that infection that happens – by day 4 usually. And she was in a bad way, I didn’t even really appreciate how bad till the end of the next day.

I got some non stick gauze, had some none-lidocaine antibiotic ointment, made normal saline, used koi med (which I had used to treat bumble foot with) , warmed everything  up prior to each use, fed her save a chick and even mixed in egg yolk starting day 2 and in the last 2 days, used honey and coconut oil on the wounds –  but that is just a summary or the stuff over 3 days. It really was a 24/7 job.

But first, I had asked in an online chicken group what the best way is to cull a chick.

I got these: put it in a bag and then in the freezer. Bag with baking soda and vinegar. Sharp shears or scissors and cut off the head, hit head with brick, instant death. Reading up some more, freezing does kill, but can hurt, and CO2 – unless done right, it can end up being like suffocating them. I was not sure the shears were sharp enough, ripping off or bending the neck backwards might be an option, and I know they are so fragile.

I had wrapped the little chick in a clean sock after putting the ointment on and the non-stick gauze and carried it against my chest….and that is where it lived 24/7 for 3 days. Once I just for a few minutes put it back in the incubator but the distress peeping started again…

My back hurt, I was tired, I didn’t get much done, walked, talked and moved differently ….it was a bit of a challenge.

And there was always this: just take a brick and hit the head, get those sharp shears and cut the neck, don’t be s whimp… way it can make it, put it out of it’s misery …. and maybe it was in pain, at least when it came to dressing changes….

There is definitely a time and resource consideration in trying to help and safe a little chicks, vs just “taking it out of its misery”, which can for sure be used as an excuse to quickly kill it. However, judging by the sweet sounds it made when it went with me  …everywhere – there was more than just misery…much more.

It had such live force, …and, must have felt ok and safe next to my heart, because for 3 days it delighted everyone,  in between the baby chick naps, who got close enough in the house to hear it, with the sweet little baby chick peeps and chirps. We went visiting the coup, the mama recognized the voice and vice versa, it talked…it responded to the siblings,  my voice, and I heard more variety of chick sounds than ever before.

It got to hear music, and hear clear light readings, gentle humming and singing and guitar sounds…it felt like it felt safe ….and it got exposed to the workshop spaces of a spiritual school.

It even briefly stood  on it’s feet on day 2, even tried to peck some egg yolk once.

Once I realized the extent of her injury I also saw that only suturing would have given her a chance, if at all ….and finally, too late for her and overdue – I made that order for medical supplies I had planned to make for some time. None of the supplies have come in yet, but if you were around like you were on the first 2-3 days, I’d go all for you when they do….despite visions of needing to build you a special little coop.

I also found out about Manuka honey, the best raw honey for wound healing.

So yet, there was pain, and I was torn, having internal considerations….about just ending the life, saving her pain and myself sleepless nights, a sore back and a pounding headache …but then …it sounded so content.

The last day,  today, she peeped a few times at 1 am, I got up for a dressing change, she took some water from a dropper, but not like before, but mostly on Tuesday, it was quiet, no more sweet peeping and I knew it would end. The breathing changed, she didn’t move much any more.  We listened to the clear light orb over and over and in the end,  Little Black Beauty took her last breath to the sounds of the Clean Light Reading – it was just before noon.  I was working on making special amulets.

Even then, would it have been better to take it outside and kill it? I had gone over it in my head …it would not be so hard…but was it right? I kept her as comfortable as I could…and she passed to the sounds of the clear light readings from the clear light orb.

Life can be painful, in fact, I know of no one that has not experienced it. The worst distress for this chick was being left alone, not held, though there was pain when I changed the dressing. It was amazing how much honey and coconut oil disappeared.

Nature would have dispensed of her as soon as the Mama hen left the nest, on day 2 to 4 after hatching usually, and she would have served as food for some other creature.

In the end, her life had a different meaning, but it had meaning – she taught me about listening to certain of my perceptions….about doing things in a timely manner – listening to the same intuition. I learned even more about the life force and resilience of little chicks. because of here I learned more about coconut oil, Vitamin E and raw honey use on skin (no on the vit e) but especially found out about Manuka raw honey. She touched people who heard her chirp, or see her peek out from the top of the tank-top. She made me go through considerations about a baby chick’s life and death and what is generally considered the best thing to do, about the possibility of being too whimpy ….and/but …

And – it also was a bardo trip for us.

Instead of having a short painful life after all that work getting out of the egg and then getting injured and soon meeting a brutal death – this little chick actually got to experience something else too – feeling safe, hearing a heartbeat, being in the electro-magnetic field of a human loving heart for 3 days, hearing sounds of music, karma-wash  orb – which I love,  and clear light reading orb, touching people who had never heard baby chick sounds with her delightful chirps and peeps – so in the end, despite the pain there might have been, I am glad I didn’t take a brick and smash her head upon seeing that she was so badly injured. Looking at her, I even think there was some non-related difficulty with one of the legs to start with.  I hope the honey and coconut oil, the non stick dressing and being wrapped and held in a sock, lying against my chest – made it ok enough for her – in any case, she made lots of sweet chick sounds  during her short life, including a soft thrill sound I hadn’t heard before from a baby chick.

I saw her take her last breath.


There are bardo, or macro-dimensional aspects to this experience, but they would lead to far for this blog.

Thank you, Little Black Beauty, or Manuka, as I would call you now. Yes, I make sure that the broodys who insist on being in a nest box get extra cover under the eggs…and yes, there will be perennial flowers where your little body found it’s rest. You are free now. And I am sorry if this was the wrong choice …but it seems it was the better one….you had a  more balanced life in the end, and with  meaning – serving in way that a quick dispatch would never do.

What will I do next time …I don’t know till then, but I am better prepared.

Why am I keeping chickens ?

There is actually quite a sort answer to it: it is an expression of where I am at in the process or becoming aware and feeling.

When people are ready for something, they are ready, or predisposed, or interested, or resonating, – then and not before. The interest for a certain way to feed yourself has gotta come from your smarts, your caring, your own nature and awakening to a new level of sentience. I was talking to some people this afternoon in March of 2015 – telling them that I don’t really know how to get people interested, magnetized or fired up about the chickens, the garden and, of course, the wonderful eggs that become available for our bodies nourishment.

However, I did ask myself: why am I doing this ….this “chickens in the garden thing” –  other than that I love it – still love it after 4 years of often hard work, or “work getting a little old” and sometimes heart breaking times. I love birds in general, be around birds, listen to birds, observe birds, love seeing them foraging all over the garden, love listening to their sounds, love seeing them so healthy and well. …but I could have been a bird watcher then.

I presently “keep chickens” for the sake of the animals who provide us with a precious food, eggs – as long as we eat eggs and just about all our guests eat eggs … so for animal welfare reasons one could say, with the added benefit of deep litter compost, but there is more to it.

I have a vision and a dream within this dream we live in, a belief if you will: by keeping these chicks-201407-september_1367 healthy chickens, allowing them a chicken-worthy life free ranging in a garden, scratching for bugs, with a safe spot to roost and lay their eggs, by doing that –  a template is fortified, a way of life is given strength….a way of life in which animals who are living with humans for whatever reasons,  are treated with respect, are cared for, seen and loved – a quantum entanglement with this, rather than some other worlds. There is beauty and communion and magic and health and grace and flow …..

The is a  way of life where animals  are recognized, through their intimate observation and care, from eggs to old age,  as expressions of the life force and consciousness that runs through all things.

One can hear the vegans already (nvm what happens in the harvesting of vegan foods etc) about it being unethical to “keep” any animals for any type of food or human “use” purpose. I am not going there – however, even in free range flock who gets to live out their lives, there are 2 issues that will not go away:

The rooster issue:

When allowing a hen to hatch a clutch of eggs, over time, roughly 50% will be male. What will you do with them? There are space, flock health and financial issues. Currently, the rooster issue gets handled like this: when a broody gets a clutch of eggs, I tell the “to be chicks” what life they will have, and if they are roosters…that for now, once their mother is done with them and they are about 3-6 months old, most of them will go to the feed store, where some get adopted for flocks, some get taken and raised to be eaten. They know what life conditions await them….and I tell them…don’t hatch of that is not ok with you ..because I simply cannot keep you all. And – once I started this – plenty of them have not hatched. The mind wants to find some other explanations…like heat, age of the hens or some other such reason…but really, the question already is on the horizon: is there, or rather, where and when is there a point when I either will not longer “keep” any chickens, or…start “culling” killing – the surplus roosters for food?

The old hen issue:

A hens get older, they lay fewer and fewer eggs…ok, but towards the very end, before they get some kind of infection or tumor – would it be better to “harvest” them? In a couple of years, a decision will need to be made….but it does raise this issue: to kill or not to kill while they are old but still healthy? ( harvesting, sending to freezer camp, culling – as just other words for killing in most cases). And how is it best done, with the least amount of stress to them?

Yes, the eggs are more tasty as well as nutritious from chickens that are free ranged in a huge garden-pasture. In addition, they are fed soy free organic feed. But for me, the improved freshness and general egg quality are secondary. Seeing these hens out foraging is beautiful to me. I feels like the right thing to do. And I don’t force-molt them or use lights in the winter to make them lay more eggs, and if they go broody, they get some eggs to sit on.

Yes, those kinds of eggs DO cost more than the mass produced eggs from the battery hens, cage free or no not….and after keeping chickens for a couple of years, I know why. In fact, I am spending some of my life savings on it. …and I do know – living with integrity is not compatible with doing things as usual. These days, if it is cheap, especially very cheap, be it food or clothing or anything, it is based on abuse, either of animals or humans, including children, or the environment. If people had to pay what it actually costs, they …ok, most, simply would not…or, certain items would be special occasion foods.

I no longer wish to contribute to commercial animal keeping because of the atrocities and violence and destruction done to the animals and the environment.  In the case of where my eggs are coming from, that is possible….and meat and fish I no longer eat.

It is the principle, the integrity that matters to me: once you know, once you feel, once you really see what is done to animals raised for human consumption – maybe you too don’t want to keep supporting a system what is so so incredibly abusive…..and luckily, you don’t have to either…but it’ll cost ya. There is no free lunch here either.

One could argue: in eating commercial eggs consciously, one honors the life of those hens…..sure – and, you are still supporting the system. I am not saying don’t do it like that…but this is a post of why I am doing this chicken keeping thing.

If medically you don’t need to eat meat, why do you?

I would love to do art – but it is not more important to me than working on a chicken garden. I would love to have this very beautiful aesthetically pleasing chicken coop – rather than the DIY-reuse- every-bit-of-wood-you-can-find-put-together … rustic at best chicken house….maybe some day.

I do like my DIY feed storage though, even if it is rustic, here a picture with it almost done.

July 2015 - feed storage, not quite done
July 2015 – feed storage, not quite done

There are plans of doing some paintings for the coop, but the list of things to do that are basic necessity is still way too long…but never is this out of my mind: how I can I make this not only healthy and functional, but  beautiful and cost effective too – and without killing animals before they have lived out their lives?

It is still a work and experiment in progress, and I am not growing much chicken food at the land yet, for a little more self sufficiency and cost saving, still working on the coops.

If I personally were capable of living off water and the energy of the sun directly, I would. Principally, it ought to be possible.

In the meantime – to all work buddies out there,  does anyone wish to support this chicken garden project by sponsoring a chicken? 🙂 – hen OR rooster? Here is just one of them, a young girl not yet laying – as her sponsor, you’d get to name her 🙂 – and when you visit, you be sure to get garden eggs, even in winter, even if it means i don’t eat eggs that day….and no worries, many more chickens are available for sponsorship!

This one here gave me a heartache the other day by not showing up at roost-time…vanished without a trace, I looked everywhere…but then, there she was the next morning…I still have no idea what happened…and obviously I didn’t look “everywhere” 🙂


Update – see here, about 1 year later: a little more clarity in the dark side of backyard chicken-keeping



Three little blue chicks

Seeing your little lifeless body on the coop floor, your mama still
clucking to you – is a sight I won’t forget in this life.
It will not always hurt like this. I told your mama that all her
babies are gone now – and I am so sorry. Little one, you were
beautiful and  I was so looking forward to your being with us here.
Sometimes – you don’t get to sing your song for very long.
Feeling heartbroken for the little one who died today.
A few unfortunate circumstances, and misguided preferences – makes it all worse.

You were seen and loved – and after what happened to your 2 siblings – you
were also afraid. …as if you knew – so very strange. I am so

Life – Life – how it bursts forth everywhere in all kinds of forms.

Attention – is what makes the crucial difference – focused attention
of someone’s eyes and heart –  making another life-form seen, and loved.
Today there is sorrow that life, this grand life that bursts forth in
abundance everywhere – will not shine through you any more. The song
of your lives was short – sweet little blue chicks – and this is another
reminder – that nothing but living and being you – nothing but being
your song right now is gonna ever be exactly  like that – nothing but you.

It is true, that quote – for animals and other life forms here too, not only humans

You are irrevocably gone, a momentary blip of focus in the sea of consciousness – but seen and cherished and loved …there is something about that that seems to make it eternal.
Just that – your having been seen, adored – doing what you did.
Placing loving attention fulfills a sacred purpose of all this life being born – to be
recognized in perfection and beauty – to put attention  on anything
with adoration and love –  does something that nothing else will do
– it brings forth another level of life in life. It creates Beingness.

And last night I took to Pencil Magic in pain – “just a little chick” they say. “They” don’t know  … about all this life – connected through invisible matrix of being. Sweet little blue chicks, I can see you all there in the drawing – I even know which one of you is which. Does a drawing give some meaning –  I don’t know – but it feels right to have done it….and in the morning, I noticed there was peace in me that could not be found yesterday.

Thank you little blue chicks. Glad you got to know being under a mama’s wings.

If you like, you can learn Pencil Magic here on gorebaggtv live (and archives), and also review lessons here on the Tools for Transformation -> Art ->Pencil Magic ->  Lessons section

The Hoʻoponopono prayer – a practial test

This may not – at first glance, have anything to do with chicken-keeping  but it is very related to the practice I described previously which was, at least in part – inspired by my experiences and realizations during chicken keeping. This is pretty much transferred from a personal blog post – so please google-folks and robots, don’t punish me – it is my own stuff – just trying to reach chicken lovers too or anyone concerned with the way things are going for the natural world on the earth. Thank you.

During the course of my work with animals in recent years and expanding to plants, and on the basis of all the other things I had learned in my life, I had come to a place where it seemed to not make sense to have to kill anything to sustain my body. Around that time, I came across the description of sun-gazing – and BOOM – I started that week…and very quickly realized that I would never be able to complete this if certain emotional and mental states persisted, never mind how “right” I felt. This is when I remembered the modern Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) prayer, its origin being an ancient Hawaiian practice.

When do some google-ing- you will eventually  find the story about the psychiatrist and the modern form of this practice/prayer and what happened to the psych ward full of crazy people. When you read the story – and I take it as true – you will be floored.
I had dabbled in using the prayer way back sometime, but the level of urgency and necessity, the relentless burning to BE, to walk this earth in a way to not cause any unnecessary harm to any sentient creature – my love for animals and plants – had me face it for real.
The thing about this prayer is: YOU are ultimately responsible – not just for your personal individual self actions, but all of it.
The adaptation of the practice is this prayer,  4 little phrases – to be said in any order – with the person or group of people in mind you need to make things right with – within your-self.

I love you.
I am sorry.
(Please ) Forgive me.
Thank you.

Seeing all others as part of my own Self … is what enabled me to do it with someone whose actions had caused me great pain. It does not make the actions right …but that is, frankly, irrelevant in this process. It is about  YOUR inner state – and the knowing, that unless that changes – nothing in the outer will change. I should say that it took a mere days for the effect to manifest. It is still a process, yes, but a big obstacle has been left behind. I don’t think it will turn me into a very patient person any time soon …but I am liking this effect of the prayer.

First snow

I have since then, on occasion, put groups of people there who do those abominable things to animals, plants and the environment that is killing our very mother –  earth – who, like the sun, is also a Being.

I do work with non-physical guides too, but this prayer – and to be able to say it for real – feeling in your heart –  is a test of your spiritual practice.

An interesting observation is: when I first stated it, I kept wanting to say: I forgive you …but no –  is goes: Forgive me ….when you feel like YOU have been wronged. I know it makes no sense ….and you won’t ever know that it does – unless you try. …and when you discover why – that is another step on your path.

Much Love


Loosing another chicken to a predator

Originally published May 4, 2013 on quan yin gardens on blogspot

Fly free – as they may say

This blog is not about predators threatening the free range flock or some disease or another that takes them from us – it is about the spiritual dimension and teachings involved in loosing a chicken – as in: it is no longer part of your flock, you will never see it again – whether it is dead or went to live somewhere else – it is OUT OF YOUR life.

In the last couple of years I have lost 2 dogs and in the last few months – it was chickens. The first losses were young roos lost to predators, then there was culling, and shipping to new homes, someone coming to pick one of them up and sending more of them off for culling, then there was sweet Runti last week.

This morning,  May 3, 2013, a predator got one of the 2 remaining buff boys in the orchard. I could see from the feathers in several spots that he tried to get away. Of the buff boys, he was the sweetest and most trusting. …and again – I wonder, as I did with the others: did he suffer? – hoping he didn’t, recalling the state I was in when I had a car accident – and if it is anything like that – then there is no suffering. Certainly – it would be less scary than having to travel in a crate and be put into a cone? — but, and here is the thing – when i found what was left of him – he was already dead – he was gone. WHATEVER suffering may or may not have gone on was no more. It was done. Where did he go? Whether he went back to God or dissolved into the premordial Being – he’d be fine in either case. In fact – he would have vanished without a trace of individuality. And if he has an eternal soul – he would carry the love and his earth time with him. Either way, he’d be ok. And if he was just some mechanical scripted sentient machine – he was now kaput to the degree that he was no more in the sense that the life, the spirit that moves through all things no longer moved through him and the body was in the process for desintegrating.

So I observed my reaction, what I did with his body and was put back into the space-time when ancient homo sapiens walked the earth and their magical thinking about death, ancestors and even why cannibals eat humans, why eating the heart of an animal was magical etc.

There is a mystery.

…but back to this one: he is gone, they will all go sooner or later and all I ever can think of is: may they have a good life. This is their only life. ….and that is true for humans too: as this particular human – no matter how much we are all the same – and how similar it all is: it is none the less its only life ever….ever …. and while they are alive – they are sentient.

And after the chickens are gone, they are so totally gone …there is this realization that all they had was the moment of their life ..and all I could ever do to them was right then in their life – and only then did it make a difference to the totality of BEING itself – only in that 1 moment of the NOW can you ever go any good or harm. Now he is no more. Grief is literally pointless, even though sentient beings seem to go through it in stages.

Ok, it seems I didn’t do a real good job explaining.

There is always only the now.
If this sweet roo ceased to exist as an individual roo, having melted back into the light, it may not matter now that I love him simply because he is no more … it only mattered in the moment – that I gave him an extra treat that day …in that moment it mattered, not before or afterwards. He no longer suffers now, like Runti.
So I catch myself thinking about him, going back over things and realizing: there is no point. Holding on is pointless because he is gone, forever – and all I  ever had, all anyone ever has –  is NOW – this very moment.

Having connected with him eye to eye – what is it the connected?

Would it make a difference if they had eternal individual souls?

More and more this here is realized as truth (for the moment): I had nothing but myself with which to make the world.

It is somehow comforting to imagine that they – animals as well as humans – have a soul and that the love stays with them, or,  that karma will catch up with them one way or the other, but really, if they do not then – get this ….it is only in the moment that anything matters, that the love added to the totality of Being ………

ok fine – I can’t explain it….but these repeated losses  have been driving something home …about impermanence, uniqueness as well as non-separation of everything and the only difference we can ever make is NOW – and this feeling realization is slowly changing me.

Oh well, enough – there are many more aspects to this. Some say it does get easier with the chickens – but I wonder ….. because each one is unique ….and it’ll likely be the same. ….. and all I can hope to do is love them, give them the opportunity to let them be who they are and do my best so they don’t suffer.

Then there is that whole issue about consciousness and life forms …. including plants – but that is a whole other story as well as: it is all energy and vibration ….hm ….

So the lesson – can’t be described.

The words sound maybe something like this: Your responsibility is NOW. Your life and their life is only NOW.

Re-sharing this one, made in 2002 – it is only part 1 – I chose it because of what the teacher says: they only have this one life …. but it really is quite a remarkable teacher and class and I recommend you watch all 5 parts.


Beautiful Blacky – actually gorgeous Black “Blue” Andalusian: “Big Blacky” no longer needs a home – he has gone home.

This morning (it is July 11, 2013) as I walked down the driveway I found myself thinking – I don’t think Blacky is crowing, maybe he is done already for the morning? The others were, but then I was not 100% sure. I didn’t think anything more of it because ever since his close call the other day I made sure both gates from the orchard to the rooster run are closed. But then, when he wasn’t greeting me at the gate that separates the rooster run from the main run – like he does every morning – and when he was nowhere to be seen – I went looking and the rooster run was empty – no feathers anywhere. Blacky isn’t like that – even if for some reason he was in a tree – he’d come around when he sees me – as each and every time.


I went looking – and found some of his feathers – that wouldn’t be so bad – but there was blood. I searched more – and found his head, then his body. Whatever got him was hungry …his comb half gone, his wattles, the neck-meat, one entire breast, thigh and part of the leg …

Strangely enough, while looking for him I found Brother-cat – who had been missing and thought quite ill, or dead. He was close to his body actually, but looked too ill to be the culprit. He is at the vet now and – ending up staying there with fluid in his lungs …

I do not know how it was that Blacky was out there – unless the doors are open, he does not go, and lately they have been closed except when i let them into the orchard a few days ago …but i think whatever is prowling gets into the run and then he manages to get out …but this time he must have decided to run rather than fly into a tree, who knows.

I loved it when you were up there – and you did too 🙂


I had plans for him for breeding next year  – since he seemed so good the time he accidentally ended up with some of the girls in the orchard. Some of the hens were not opposed to him. He got along with his daytime rooster buddies. He always had a buddy or 2, or 5 or 9, depending when….and it worked out well. When Mama Fayoumi and her 5 chicks went into the orchard – he was just fine with that, not bothering her or the chicks. That was so nice to see after suspicions of being rough on the buffs last year.

He did so well with the females


Blacky with some buffs in April 2013

I remember yesterday morning – all the (3) roosters got treats, he did too and i gave them food and fresh water. In the afternoon, while the girls get to free range – they got to go into the compost run and see the rest of the flock (through the chicken wire door that is) and peck around  and I always throw some extra grains – which they then all peck together – albeit on different sides of the run.

Blacky – you were a joy to me – thank you great spirit or whoever for letting him be in my live. My human is crying – and my soul takes it as a reminder: be kind to everything you meet, take the time, learn to be more compassionate while you have this body and this world to work with. All that is – only is like that one this one time. I will miss your plaintive voice Blacky – I know what your were telling me …next year …but then you left ….

Go ahead -wake us up

Blacky – I loved you – and admired you, your beauty, posture and feathers so many times. And you were never mean. I remember hand-feeding you in the coop for 3 days when your hormones spiked and you could not stop running when your feet hit the ground. You learned to trust me then, you who were the biggest of the chicks and often off by yourself….and I learned about flighty and the transient nature of hormone spikes in roosters – or maybe the thunder spooked you too, on top of that. I miss you going on the roof of the greenhouse – and your crowing. – I don’t know if you have a separate spirit or if you went back to the void as your life stopped flowing  through your body. I am making good use of it, for the dogs, the sick cat, myself and you are resting in the field, able to nourish it too. You were VERY healthy, in case you didn’t know. I miss you, and as those of you guys before – your leaving is a reminder of the impermanence of this world, the shortness of this life, and a reminder to make good use of it. I gave you the best rooster-life i could. In the end, you got spared being transported in a dog crate and taken and “harvested”. Maybe it is better to go down fighting, or, more likely in your case, running. I don’t know, but it is nature’s way.

Blacky loved going on the roof of the old greenhouse structure.


With his old buddies


He still matured after this
One glorious morning – Blacky on the “roof”
Just a few days ago, July 8 – the 3 bachelor roos got to go into the compost run, this other flock in the front.
Blacky at 12 weeks, out into the garden field
Blacky and my mom, visiting from German in October 2012
As a baby
Blacky on his roosting spot as seen through the coop – you liked it there well enough, even though you’d have rather gone in – it’s just that it was too much for the girls, bare-backed as some are …. but you talked to them on the other side 🙂

Just one more thing – I had a chick in my first run of 27 who had pasty butt – I probably saw it after 12 hours, and/but she pooped a lot after treatment. She was not well however and ate slowly …and I might have make matters worse the way I tried to dropper feed her. Today, I’d do it like I just did with cutie-pie and her food problem and general weakness.

Blacky and Sweet Angel in the dish – if you do still exist somewhere, maybe you can run and fly together. It is a nice dream anyway.

Anyway, this little fayoumi was getting weaker, and far from attacking her, one of the chicks was always with her – and Blacky was one of them. He stayed with her quite a long time. Blacky and Sweet Angel – if you do still exist somewhere, maybe you can run and fly together. It is a nice dream anyway.

Many people will not understand, they’ll call it sentimental or attachment…and besides, he is gone now, dead, not suffering anymore.  After all, it was “just” a bird, running on automatic programs. Ya, most of it all was just an instinctual program – and yet, the same intelligence, the spirit that runs through all creation, ran through him – and I met him – spirit expressed as him and uniquely him for all times and so I met, through him, the divine dimension of the Universe manifested as what came to be known as “Blacky”. And so I honor him with this page – on the day he went back.

The human in me misses him – and my soul recognizes and walks a step closer towards compassion. Thank you Big Blacky.

The next day: I always knew I didn’t want to send you to slaughter, but I can’t believe how much I miss you there and hearing you …. and how regrettable it is you won’t be there next spring for your own flock. Yet another lesson for me, a reminder: we only always have the moment – NOW.