Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 710 – In the Eyes of the Beholder

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas

The other night, my son, home for college spring break, went out to the hen house to give the flock our kitchen scraps.

“Some of those chickens are really ugly,” he said as he returned to the kitchen. He was referring, of course, to our pair of resident Guinea hens – birds I had gotten right before he left for college and had never really had a chance to see. The pair are speckled oblong shaped birds with red and blue heads that resemble a vulture’s – definitely different looking flock members.


I sighed, as I turned to my son, the mama hen always ready to protect her young. “They’re not ugly, they’re just … unique.” I told him.

“Yeah, well one of them is also barking,” he said.

That would be the male that I had thought just a few weeks ago was a female. But clearly he’s not. And yes, it does sound like he is barking. All. The. Time.

“Well, you just wait,” I counseled my son. “In the spring when the hens are let loose to graze on the lawn, it’s going to be those “ugly” birds that are the ones who will be eating the ticks in our yard, protecting our family from the threat of more Lyme disease exposure.”

“And when they do that,” I told him, “you’ll see, they will become some of the most beautiful birds in our flock.”

Hands down.


I write about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact me at [email protected]

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even  a recipe or two.

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