When I think of chickens, I think of this little redheaded girl in a dress jumping out of her daddy’s truck running across blue green sod towards the bird aviary. Through her magical looking glass, she would say “good morning boys and girls” (a lot like Romper Room). She would begin to say hello to each of her chickens by name. I see Sugar and I see Clove, I see Daisy and I see you. That little girl grew up in Long Island Sound in New York and was raised by a Sicilian father who was a second-generation bird shop owner at the time. Here her father was breeding, selling and healing birds. Her grandfather, Angelo, was featured on the cover of Life magazine as “The Bird Healer”. People from all over would drive, sometimes across the country, to bring their sick birds to him. She remembers her grandfather, who spoke very little English, put his hand on the birds and healed them energetically. She knew he was a powerful, spiritual man. She felt his energy and was inspired.
I knew as a little girl that he and I had a very strong spiritual connection. At three years old, I didn’t know that we shared the same gifts. But now when I care for my birds, I feel the energetic gifts that he passed to me and I can intuitively know what my birds need.
To this day, birds have always been a big part of my life. I have owned everything from finches and peacocks to emus, but my everyday bird is and always will be chickens. I still name all of my chickens, and my favorite is Curly who has a curled back toe. She is my road dog, she helps me weed in the garden and has special roaming privileges. If she’s not with me you can always find her in the bamboo shoots.
I am always learning and experiencing ways to help take care of them in order to have healthy, happy chickens. We started sprouting grains such as barley, lentils and mung beans. We noticed right away that they lay more eggs and have found the yokes richer in color. There is nothing better than a healthy, organic, free-range egg. We also added heating lamps in the colder months and kept their laying boxes full of fresh wood shavings. They now lay eggs throughout the winter.
I love walking outside on the farm and having them run to me with such passion. I see little balls of beautiful light surrounding me. Sometimes I just sit there in such awe as they look up at me. It’s almost like they see right into my soul with a strong understanding. It’s true: you get what you give, tenfold. I’m so grateful to have such beautiful and bountiful life around me.
In a comfortable state of gratitude,
Kerry Romano Zall