True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chicken Milking

Some well-meaning friends talked me into trying a Yoga class. They said it was just what I needed.
Gentle music played and incense wafted as the instructor guided our twists, our stretches, our breathing...while I wrote my grocery list in my head and tried to remember if Sarah's orthodontist appointment was tomorrow or next Tuesday.

After about a half-hour I actually began to get into the groove when, balanced on left knee and right hand, I twisted my head to look up at the clock---

Only nine minutes had passed. 
Nine Minutes?   

Aside from maybe having a molar pulled, this was the longest nine minutes I'd ever endured. 

Panicking silently, I tried to come up with an urgent excuse or a graceful exit, but could think of none.  I would have to endure the eternal yoga class.

Believe it or not, it eventually ended.  With the delightful Corpse pose which I mastered like a master.  I rolled up my yoga mat and skittered out the door never to return.

Wikipedia tells me:
"The goal of yoga, or the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility."

Heck, I don't need no yoga mat for that.

Because I've got a Chicken-milking stool.
No, I don't milk the chickens on this stool.  But if chickens could be milked, this would be the perfect stool for the job.

I got it at Ikea for $7.99.  

It lives out in the yard, and it beckons me.

This stool brings me closer to all things awesome. 

Like Lucy's face.

Late in the day when the girls free-range, Lucy shuffles over to sit by the stool, knowing I'll eventually be planting myself there.   I join the ladies every evening for free-ranging time on account of this:

which has taken up roosting here:
A Red Shouldered hawk.  Actually, we've got a whole family of them, and they'd like nothing better than a chicken dinner.

Since Lucy can't get around too well, (click here for Lucy's story), she sits down and joins me on Hawk-Patrol.  
Marky also keeps an eye out for hawks.  He's a very good little watchdog.

Of course, when he's not scanning the skies, 
he's doing his yoga.

Lucy, too... When she's not watching for hawks, she practices the Bharadvaja's Twist.

They take turns, so somebody's always on watch--

which leaves me free to seek a state of spiritual insight from the comfort of my stool.

At my feet is a telltale sign that Lil'White has begun her molt.  

I find the rest of her beneath the forsythia,
 where she appears to have exploded.

How does she do it?   
While all the other molting gals look miserable and disheveled,   
(poor little Pigeon, here, sports one pathetic tail feather)

Lil'White loses more than half her plumage and still remains the picture of beauty and poise.

Oh, the perspectives I'd miss

were it not for my chicken-milking stool.

And you know, I'm not the only one who seeks to attain a sense of peace and spirituality through chickens.   

Here my friend Sharon Araujo does a modified Standing Half Forward Bend while Terry Golson of attempts an especially complex yoga position to attain the best chicken-butt photo,

and thus, spiritual insight and tranquility.



  1. I like your form of yoga :) I hope the hawk moves soon!

    Paramahamsa Nithynananda
    Sharing Enlightenment is million times greater than living or radiating Enlightenment.

    And boy do those chickens share! I loved this post (but I love all of your posts!) Marky is a natural at the 'Downward Facing Dog' pose!

  3. Wonderful post. I bet the hawks are chomping at the bit to get at your girls. So glad there is lots of guarding going on.

  4. My spirit has concluded that yoga is waaaaaaaay too much work and leads to deep bouts of discord amongst my muscles and bones--and therefore, my psyche.
    i have come to the realization that laughing is the best, all around medicine. the spontaneous belly laugh that erupted from me when Lucy's face came into view, and again when i saw Lil white's "explosion" is the best exercise of my inner self has had all week!

  5. Just way too funny and love your pictures. Lil'White does carry her lost of feathers beautifully.
    Glad there are many to keep an eye out for hawks. I had a problem with a Cooper Hawk, smaller than a Red-shoulder but just as deadly. My moneies on Lucy and Marky.

  6. You are my hero...go chicken yoga!

  7. Yes, there are a number of ways to attain the state of 'enlightenment'! lol

    Great shots!

  8. oh what a flippin' delightful post! Your yoga story reminds me of my meditation attempt. The first three minutes felt like an hour - and yet I can sit and watch my girls for an hour and it feels like three minutes. There's a lesson in there somewhere. : -) Long live chickens!

  9. Your posts are always entertaining. Love the pup doing his yoga! Hugs, Bonnie

  10. Lots of molting going on over here too. I could start a whole new chicken with the feathers!

  11. We have enough feathers here to make another three or four chickens!
    Be very careful with those hawks; I literally pulled a silkie out of a hawk's clutches. It swooped down so quickly!

  12. I love yoga, but this was a thoroughly delightful post!

  13. I'm actually on my way to yoga- but if there was incense and candles I'd run screaming from the room! I see it as a way to do those long, slow stretches that my physical therapist wants me to do. But, perhaps I should just take more photos of chicken butts? The incentive for a good shot sure makes me stretch.
    -Terry from HenCam

  14. I am always soooo excited when I read you have a new posting!! Thanks for making me laugh !

  15. Why did I wait so long to read this post???

    What a treat! This is the funniest thing that I have read in a long time and I quite agree with everything that you said!

    Thank you for the belly-laughs!

  16. Just when I think I've picked my all-time fave post by you, you post a new one and I have to revise my favorite. Wah.

    I've had a little stool sitting on my porch for years, waiting for me to decide how to use it or improve its looks. In honor of your chicken milking stool, I'm repainting it a happy glowing green, and I'll sit on it when I'm milking my cat. Yep.

  17. Lauren,

    So true. Chickens have a way of calming the soul as long as you are still enough to let them inside.

    I love,love,love your photos. The headshot of Lucy is absolutely priceless. Wonderful post,


  18. I kind of like yoga, not that I'm very good at it. (Not bendy.) But there's nothing like watching critters go about their business. Dogs make the best downward dogs, but they also do a great corpse pose.

  19. I LOVE everything about this chicken-loving blog. Your design is striking: clean and playful at once. So cool. And the post is hilarious. I love the time-shifting half hour = 3 minutes part best. I found you after your comment on my scarymommy guest post, so thank you twice! Or squared. Great job.

  20. came here via kabloooey. Because she knows what I love, and I do love th is post.

    A pleasure to meet you.

    Isn't blogging wonderful?

    Like life dominos.

    I know kablooey, she posted on scarymommy, you went to visit her, and now I'm here.

    I love that.

  21. Maybe if I do yoga in your yard the groaning will scare the hawks away...xoxo

  22. Your blog is wonderful! I have been reading about your hens for an hour or more. I LOVE LUCY!

  23. LOL Namaste to you too!! Loved this post...and I love Yoga but haven't practiced for a few years. made me laugh and that's why I love visiting you. I hope your weekend was a good one....enjoy your week!
    Maura :)

  24. This is great. I'm with you on the yoga -- though I managed to do it faithfully for a couple of years in my early 30's, I now find it completely boring. I thought when we aged we got more patient? I seem to be trying to go faster and faster, the older I get. Consciousness of The End looming? Like you, though, I find myself able to sit for long, long periods of time watching my girls. I have a very similar milking stool that has quite a history. My mom traveled to California during the Depression, from North Carolina, sitting on this stool, lashed to the top of their station wagon, along with the larger furniture. I have a photo! Mine is splintery and most of the original paint has worn off, but I love the antique look and will probably continue to sit on it, making sure to wear sturdy pants to protect my butt from splinters. I also sit on it to watch bees in the garden, and just generally groove with nature. Love your blog

  25. My sister has insisted for years I try yoga. Sometimes when climbing up to the barn loft to toss down some hay, or hanging from the ladder painting the porch ceiling, or maybe trying to round up the goats, or maybe hauling a load of compost in the wheel barrow to the raised beds, I wonder about that yoga or that big ole ball my sister rolls around on for exercise. It may be quite entertaining for Jack(the donkey) or Betsy(the cow) or Miracle Eve(the goat) and Goldie(the hen) for me to try something new.(also for FarmMan-the husband!)
    Love your post and the pictures.
    Have a great day!

  26. thats good... I thought little white had been nabbed for a moment

  27. I'm new to your blog, but I'd be worried sick about those hawks. Good thing you've got lots of protection for them out there! I even worry when I have my little dog outside. Your chickens are so cute, my husband and I have talked about getting some . . . something we have to revisit in the Spring.


  28. Yoga scares me. The chicken is doing it right. It should be a Yoga Shaman or shapeshifter or whatever good yogaers (not sure if that is a word) are

  29. We laughed, we cried. OMGsh! My girls (homeschooled) and I purchased 4 chickens last spring, and our lives will never be the same! Our "girls" have brought us a great deal of pleasure (and peace.) I have found myself talking to them on many occasions. They always cock their little heads in understanding. Thanks for sharing. I think we will have to go to Ikea for THREE chicken-milking stools.

  30. Lauren,

    I'll take a milking stool over a yoga mat any day of the week.

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    xo, Rosemary

  31. I never knew the hens were practicing yoga... thanks for clearing that mystery up. I tried yoga once. Painful. No inner peace happening there. I'm glad the chickens have the hang of it. Love your chicken milking stool.

  32. I am enjoying reading your blog! Well done. :o)

  33. LOL I have the entire table and stool set for daycare! HOWEVER the stools have moved one by one by the kidYos to our new chicken run! I saw that pic and giggled! Now what to do with the table!!!! Those stools are the perfect hight! And with RA I can still get up! he he he Thanks for sharing!!