Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Thirty- eight years of revery

Will it ever end?Product Details

From worms  to turkeys to bees

An idea comes ’round again.

This time it’s chickens, calling his name

A revery from long ago.

Now, he’s retired

Reinventing himself as a farmer.

Guess a farmer’s wife I’ll be.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea


My husband’s brain is going crazy again.  Now that he’s retired, he’s decided he’d really like to have chickens, too.  We’ve been buying fresh eggs down the road and really like them.  Steve has always had a hankering for farming and now that he has the time, he’s ready to dive in.  We’d also been reading a lot of books and magazines about homesteading, since we’d bought a remote cabin in Southern Ohio, and Steve kind of liked the idea of “growin’ his own”!

Me? Not so much.  While I love the thought of fresh eggs, I’m worried about the work involved, and getting stuck doing it!  I think about having to get up early to let them out and feed them.  I wonder if we’d still be able to go camping on the weekends, or down to our cabin, or travel some in our retirement.  I worry that we won’t be home in time to put them in at night.  And what about our kids’ dogs?  And the smell, and the mess, and the expense?  But then I think about baby chicks, and watching chickens scratching around in their yard.  And the fun of working on a project together with my husband.   Hm-m-m-m.  A lot to ponder.

I started doing research online – my usual modus operandi, since I am an information junkie like my father!  I read and read, and started thinking, “Maybe ducks instead of chickens!”  They’re supposed to be cleaner, require less care and tolerate heat and cold easier. And their eggs, though stronger tasting (we’ve never tried), are supposed to be in vogue for chefs and bakers.  I even bought Steve some books about ducks.!

Then one day, our daughter Bekah came home from her home-health job and said her elderly client used to have both ducks and chickens.  He told her that all of the above was true about ducks, BUT, they poop, big and messy, everywhere, and if you let them free range in your yard, you’d never be able to walk through it again!  Okay, never mind, on the ducks.

A few days later we went to our local beekeeping supplier’s farm to get some bee stuff.  While there, I noticed a pretty red hen running around and struck up a conversation with a customer.  He told me they had gotten the same type of chickens (Golden Comets) a year ago, in his retirement and had not found them too much work.  He told me about their auto-closing door, their large feed and watering containers that last for days, and how they handle weekend trips away and such.  He said they get almost an egg a day from each hen!  Okay, now I’m getting interested. . .

Gold Comet hen

Gold Comet hen

I finally acquiesced and told Steve to go ahead and inquire at the local feed store about chicks.  Just my luck, “CHICK DAYS” was coming up in ONE WEEK, and if we ordered now, we could get what we wanted, much cheaper than at another time.   AND, you had to order a minimum of 25!!  Holy, moly!  Chickens in a week was NOT what I was going for here! I was thinking a few months or so – time to get used to the idea, time to get supplies, time to build a coop, etc.  But no-o-o, that’s not how it goes around here.  We always seem to be in panic mode, always in over-drive!  What happened to that calm relaxing retirement?

Of course, Steve  called Pete and Laurie and asked of they wanted some, too (since they’d been talking about it with us), They said yes and Steve immediately put in his order for 25 baby Golden Comet chicks, of which we would keep 20!  Now the race was on.  We had a week to get a brooder box and supplies, find a place to put them in the house, and about 4-5 weeks to get a coop built!

How do we get ourselves into these predicaments!?

Isaiah 43

1 But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

 3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.