National Chicken lady day (US) came about to honour Dr. Marthenia “Tina” Dupree, a woman who worked for 12 years in the second largest chicken restaurant in the world (and, rather more integrally, helped to raise educational standards in the United States as Director of Community Relations and Training), but chicken ladies the world over can, and happily do, also take this day as an honorary hat tip to them.
There are a surprising amount of chicken ladies in Christchurch alone and they are not limited to the countryside - the resurgence of backyard chickens is on the rise and as a crazy chicken lady myself, I can vouch for the fact that once you start keeping chickens, you will never want to go back.
Chickens really are a champion pet - not only do they provide you with fresh eggs every morning, but they also show affection in their endearingly goofy, chicken way. Our girls like to follow us about as we do gardening, jump onto the windowsills and stare in at us curiously as we eat dinner, and try their luck at an indoors adventure or lap cuddle.
They are also not the scatter brains that people think - a study conducted by Australian University in 2015 found that chickens can count, while a report by neuroscientist Lori Marino has revealed chickens to be on a par with many other animals when it comes to self awareness and emotion. If you are wanting to learn more about the chicken, Annie Potts, associate professor and co-director of the New Zealand centre for human-animal studies at the University of Canterbury, has written a highly informative and entertaining book on the chicken from its origins as a jungle fowl to its current status as domesticated poultry. Along the way, Potts explodes the many misconceptions and myths surrounding this often revered and conversely often mistreated animal.
There are so many fantastic books on chicken keeping at the library, which will help chicken ladies as they begin their mama hen journey. A real stand out for me is the chicken chicks guide to backyard chickens, which gives helpful day to day advice on selecting a breed, your chicken routine, how to treat your ill chook, dietary requirements and much more. Our selection of books on backyard chicken keeping are really worth a look at whether you are new to chicken keeping or not.
The library also has an excellent selection of books which serve as a guide to the many chicken breeds out there- from the hard working to hybrids to the fancy show girls. Just a warning though- once you start with one type of heritage breed you won't want to stop adding to your flock.
Wanting to go the extra mile and build your own coop? The library has some great books on the subject filled with ideas and even detailed plans of your new architectural wonder.
November fourth is the ideal day for chicken ladies the world over to celebrate their successes - and for aspiring chicken ladies to take the plunge and start up their new flock. As Kathy Mormino (the chicken chick) says in her guide, the question isn't why chickens but why not chickens?