I took these photos of happy, free chickens when we were walking on a meadow which had been transformed into a garden. It was a beautiful summer morning. It had rained a lot the previous day and all the dust had been washed off leaves and grass – it was so beautiful it did not matter that our shoes were soon soaked because of the wet grass.
We walked uphill, admiring the little brook that had been built into the garden, and approached the edge of the forest.
Suddenly we noticed movement in the bushes – and a whole flock of chickens ran to greet us. We, townspeople that we are, stopped in amazement. It was the last thing we expected to see – real grandma’s chickens running to greet us – literally running with such speed they were almost tripping over each other. They were such a funny sight that I spontaneously started to laugh.
These brown chickens obviously were very well kept and liked people. The gathered at our feet and when we squatted down they all came right next to us and were not afraid at all. I’m sure we could have lifted them to our laps and they would have been happy to stay there. But we did not, and they were happy trying to untie our shoe laces.
They followed us for a long while and I knelt down to take photos of them. It was such a fun incident, because they were obviously so happy.
Now I do not eat meat, but I do understand that is not the way for all of us. Still, I feel for the animals that are raised for our food, or kept for their produce – like milk or eggs – should be treated with respect. Too often they are kept in surroundings that are not natural for them.
The chickens started to lead us, running for a while and then stopping to see if we followed. Well, we were curious, and we did. In the midst of the trees was a small hen house with its door open. We could see watering and feeding automats. The hen house was clean and the chickens obviously well kept. Behind the trees we could see the house that probably owned the birds. I don’t know who lived there but someone who kept their animals well.
The chickens were scratching the ground, and exploring the bushes and ferns nearby in a manner natural to chickens: I felt so happy for them. If only all our production animals were so lucky! Well, to these hens I could say that I only buy eggs of free chickens. I know it is a small thing, but world changes only through actions in your own behavior.
I hope you enjoy these pictures, and maybe, the next time you go to buy eggs, you choose the ones from free chickens.