Jenny Pearce

For all you animal lovers out there – a wow chicken story!


You know all this wonderful horse stuff that we do with horses?  Well, it works with chickens too!  And wow!


Click here for this 4 minute story in audio The wow chicken story




Nicole with our chickens, the caravan that serves as a chook shed that we can move around the farm and their guardian Maremma dog, Lily Bair


A few weeks ago, we had Linda a lovely German girl arrive at our place wwoofing (that’s got nothing to do with dogs barking and everything to do with a fabulous program called Willing Workers on Organic Farms – WWOOF  Google it – fabulous program.)

Linda had left her last wwoofer place early, quote “hating chickens” because her last WWOOF’er hosts had completely misrepresented the work on their farm and Linda had just been slaving away all day cleaning chicken pens.  (Not exactly a backpackers ideal working holiday!)

The work here is pretty boring – often weeding thistles and blackberries out of paddocks – so I teach a bit of our horse stuff most days to our wwoofers to make life here interesting.

Linda had “got” the connection that I talk about in The First Key to Happiness with Your Horse quite quickly (completely free if this is your first time on my website.  It didn’t seem right for an animal lover to “hate” chickens – so I set her a task to go and connect to all the individual chickens.  She was awed at how different they each felt from each other and about how she could feel their individual personalities.

But that’s not the “wow” factor.

We had one half grown chicken who had had quite a traumatic start in life.  I had shifted her and her sibling just after they were born and the move hadn’t gone well.  And then a few days later a crow had flown in and stolen away her sibling, complete with much screaming from me for the damn thing to “drop it” and chasing it down the road hoping it would do just that.  The mother chook was devastated, the whole flock was upset and the remaining baby chicken never really recovered and was quite a nervy little thing.

After Linda had practised her connection to the chickens, on a whim, I set her the task of seeing how close she could get to this chicken, if she could help this little lady release some of her fear.  So there Linda was – approaching and retreating from this young chicken, backing off when she felt Not Quite Right and waiting for The Chew.

Just kidding …   chickens don’t chew.  I hope that made you laugh because I nearly wet my knickers roaring with laughter at the thought of waiting for a chicken to chew.  I’m still laughing as I edit this post!    Hmmm…  I guess you had to be here…

This story relates directly to the trauma releasing in the Bonus lesson that you got in The 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse.

Well I was flabbergasted – from this one session of Linda’s with this young chook – she must have released a heap of that early trauma because she’s a changed chook!  (“Chook” seems to be a word peculiar to Aussies.  We use it to describe a female chicken.)

She’s happy to stay in their little caravan with me while I clean it out every morning.  She allows people to come quite close with panicking.  She can leave her mothers side for quite a lot longer (which I know is normal at her age, but she hadn’t been) and her “voice” has deepened quite radically and it ALL changed on the day that Linda did her work.

Woohoo!  Who would have thought you could do trauma releasing behavioural work with a chook?

So since this worked so clearly, what about other possibilities?

What about connecting, then approaching and retreating from the car (keep reading we are not training the car!)  using Not Quite Rights and waiting for the lick and chew from a dog who’s terrified of the car?  I see this problem in my healing practice often.

What other things could you think of?  What other ways could you use the connecting to the animal, trauma releasing, comfort zone model?  The sky is the limit!

Come back and tell me what YOU do with it.



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