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I have rival gang wars going on in my backyard. It’s true. The gangs face off, stare each other down, do a little trash talking, then the feathers fly. You read that right…feathers. These are chicken gangs, and it’s a sight to see!

So you need to know the story behind the chickens. In our quest to become self-sufficient, we decided chickens were a great place to start. They provide eggs, some very fertile manure, and we might even get away with calling them pets for the kids. (They have been begging for a pet for years!) I started searching ksl for chicken coops and chickens we could buy, which simply means I started sending my husband all over the state looking for chickens! First stop – downtown Salt Lake. He said we would have to scrape years of chicken manure out if we bought that one, but he did like the four unusual breeds of birds that came with the coop. I continued looking… Next was a cute barn-looking coop in Sandy, with seven chickens included. This one was a winner. We carted the coop, chickens and all home, but my husband couldn’t get those cool chickens from downtown off of his mind. I called back to see if we could buy the chickens without the coop, and they happily agreed. I went and wrangled four chickens into Rubbermaid totes and brought them home too.

This is where our troubles began. We didn’t know that chickens from different sides of the track wouldn’t get along. We are beginners at this chicken thing, so we just threw them all into the chicken run together. This is where the gang wars started. It was crazy. The seven would line up on one side of the coop and the four on the other. They would eye each other, but wouldn’t cross the line…until the food came. Then it was just too hard to resist. Red, the leader of the big pack, and Blondie, her sidekick, would quickly take all the best kitchen scraps for themselves. Then Frenchy, the leader of the small pack, would elbow her way in and take what she wanted. The twin striped chickens would get their share, then the others would get pecked and squawked at until they were quivering in the corner, afraid of their own shadow. I watched this and got mad! Why were they being so selfish? Why were they so mean to those that weren’t as aggressive? There was plenty to go around – why couldn’t they just let everyone have their fair share? There was a moment when I even contemplated putting an end to Blondie’s antics – and Blondie herself – once and for all!

As I sat back and watched the “Pecking order” unfold (and yes, there is most definitely a pecking order), I realized they are just like us. We do the same thing. Throw people from different sides of the track together, and feathers are bound to fly. Why do we look out for ourselves and for our own first? There is plenty in this world to go around, so why don’t we always let everyone have their fair share? These are deep thoughts, and I certainly won’t answer these questions in the scope of this writing. But it started me thinking, and I hope you think about it too. How can we look outside of ourselves more, and how can we teach our children to do the same? How can we even out between those that have none and those that have way more than enough?

Next year we hope to a little bit of our part in this. We are going to the Dominican Republic to help those that have no dental care and no dental prevention. We hope to bring smiles back to some Dominican faces. We don’t ask for help very often, but this is something we believe in strongly enough to ask. We are collecting donations for this trip and these families. The campaign is called Smiles for Life. You can get custom whitening trays with bleaching gel made for $99 through the month of June. Here’s the cool part – all of those dollars are tax deductible for you as a charitable contribution. We donate our time and materials, and every dollar you give goes to help children in the Dominican. If you don’t want or need your teeth whitened, donate $10 and have your name entered in a great raffle at the office. Let’s help these kids!

We find it a blessing every day that we have the chance to look outside of ourselves to care for you. Dentistry is a great profession, because we can really help people smile!! Thank you for all of your contributions to the Smiles for Life Campaign. Make sure to send in your donation or come in for whitening trays to be made. Thank you again!

Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

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