Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.
Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

My Life as a Momma Hen, Week Two

My day starts before sun-up so I can take a shower and brush my teeth and get dressed before Jasmine wakes up. When I’m in the shower and she can’t see me, she gets upset. So, I decided to get ready while it’s still dark and she is still sleeping. When I am done getting ready, I open Jasmine’s crate and am greeted by her soft peep, peep, peeps. Her sounds get louder and more demanding until I take her downstairs to eat breakfast. Jasmine is growing so fast and seems to be hungry all the time. I put her into her playpen so she can eat safely while I feed the dogs and our parrot, Zazu. As long as she can see me she is fine, but if I leave the room for a minute to give Zazu water, Jasmine cries until I reassure her that I am still here. She starts with a fresh, clean area, with a full bowl of chick starter mash (which is basically ground up grain and seeds) and a bowl of fresh, clean water. Within a few minutes Jasmine has kicked all her food out of her bowl and dirtied up the water, and my day of cleaning up after a baby has begun.

My day is filled with meetings and tours and Jasmine is right there with me. She sits in my lap during meetings and pays close attention to the conversation. She sits on my shoulder while I drive, looking out the window. When I give a tour in the barnyard, Jasmine follows me around pecking at leaves, rolling in the sand, meeting the other animals, and stretching out in the sun. The other animals are as fascinated with her as she is with them. I make sure she gets plenty of time outside each day to sand bathe and explore her surroundings. Each day we snuggle and she naps, always touching me or lying close by.

Jasmine is growing so fast and her adult feathers are coming in. Her head is still fluffy and soft but the rest of her is covered in little pinfeathers coming in. It won’t be long now until she is covered with grown up feathers but she’ll stay small and make baby sounds for a while longer.

Being a mommy hen means cleaning up poop all day long, not getting much sleep, being more mindful, moving slower, being present, and always being responsible and careful that Jasmine is safe and happy. Jasmine might be a baby chick but being her mommy feels just like caring for my own human children when they were young. No matter how hard it is or how tired I feel, I have to remember that soon she will be older and out in the barnyard. These days I have with her in my house are precious and I must cherish them as they will be over in the blink of an eye.

I hope you can come meet Jasmine soon while she is still small. You are sure to fall in love!

Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn

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At Tomato Joe’s, we’ve had the privilege of seeing the bounty of Ellie and Jay’s important work blossom over the
years and we’re as excited as ever to watch their heart-warming story continue. We discovered The Gentle Barn
years ago when local food developer Angel McNall was working with our newly opened pizza shop developing her
amazing Vegan cheese that would ultimately become known to all as Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. After we
introduced the first Vegan pizza in SCV, we really had to fight hard to keep that dream going. It was the Gentle
Barn’s support and partnership that gave us the impetus to keep the dream alive in those challenging early days.
Ellie and Jay are such passionate and committed souls, and their mission is unequivocally improving our World,
one beautiful creature at a time! We are most proud sponsors and friends of The Gentle Barn.
“Tomato Joe” Brown,
Long Time SCV Peep & Founder
Tomato Joe’s Pizza & Taps Restaurant, Canyon Country

Tomato Joe’s offers a variety of delicious vegan options for pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and appetizers.