Etsy & Betsy

On Chickens and Self-Esteem

The last thing that anyone would expect from me is a cutie kind of article but seriously…hear me out.

I inherited 4 chickens and a rooster from the folks that rented my house before I moved back in. These creatures were demanding, didn’t lay any eggs and their coop brought bugs and other creepy crawlies around the house. Needless to say, one day, I finally had it…I opened the door and let them out. The chicken coop was dismantled and I was certain that they would become part of the circle of life. GREAT! I am giving back and I do not have to deal with them anymore.

I should not have been surprised that the most cowardice beings never left the perimeter of our house which is surrounded by woods. The most adventurous they got was to squeeze through the fence to get on the other side but they always came back.

They were happy and healthy. Our relationship got stronger as they started to feed on the creepy crawlies and I started to throw them food over the fence. I named my chickens starting  from the smallest one; Etsy, Betsy, Gretsy and Goldie. The rooster was murdered and his body was left mangled on the property. The girls were on their own. Perhaps out of sympathy, I started to spend more time with the girls…they even started to come running when I called for them “GIRLS, CHICKENS!”

Goldie was the next to go, followed by Gretsy. Now I am left with Etsy and Betsy. “Chicken watching” has become one of my favorite things to do…how they interact and how do they act…they are quite fascinating. I have come to learn many things from my chickens whom I now am building another coop for. OK! I am not building it, my husband is and it is going to be a Chicken Castle, not a coop.

Anyways, I expected that the first ones to go would be Etsy and Betsy, since they are the smallest. However, it was the loudest and the largest that fell prey first. Perhaps the lessons that I learned as a child that reinforced “survival of the fittest” were truly just nonsense. My chickens taught me a great lesson, just because someone is bigger, stronger and louder, it does not make them smarter or mean that they will survive and I will Perish. I can use my “weaknesses” just like my chickens did. You see, Etsy and Betsy were able to use their small size to hide and since they are quiet, they did not bring a lot of attention to themselves from predators and they can move the fastest out of all the chickens.

So even when society labels parts of me as “weak and desirable” I can now confidently ignore them because instead of being beautiful like the rooster or Goldie or with the “perfect chicken body” like Gretsy, I am happy to be more like Etsy and Betsy who are odd chicken. Etsy has a frail chicken body but she is the bravest chicken I have ever met. Betsy on the other hand has a mediocre body and is very stand offish…while other chickens jump on food, she waits for me to be far away and then comes in to get a piece. They both have their “undesirable” qualities, but at the end, Etsy’s undesirable chicken size and abnormal courage and Betsy’s caution and undesirable size are the reasons they survived and because they survived, they will now live in their forever home; the Chicken Castle.


  • Lori Reply

    I love how you compared this story to life, Farrah. Thanks for sharing it. I’m a short little thing. Never really let it bother me, but this was nice to read about the smallest chickens.

    I recently started following you (on fb). Really admire your bravery and how you’ve overcome such adversity. Thanks for speaking out.

    • Profile photo of Farrah
      Farrah Reply

      Thank you so much for the kind words. There is a part 2 that I may be posting tomorrow!

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