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In which Weasel scolds a naughty chicken in a most satisfying way

When our first two chickens, Mapp and Lucia, were little, they spent a lot of time trying to establish dominance. Mostly by belly-bumping each other like beerful rednecks at last call. It was hilarious. (Lucia eventually won…boy howdy, did she. She’s the capa di tutti capi of backyard chickens).

The second two didn’t do that. Violet is a half-pint but she’s a cheeky, aggressive little shit — well on her way to the #2 slot and just waiting for Lucia to stumble.

Vita, from the outset, was a shy, passive bird. Big, blowsy, slow. Very beautiful.

They pick on her something horrible.

It hurts to watch. The chasing and pecking was bad enough, but eventually Vita lost the will even to run. She’d lie beak-down in the grass and just let the others peck at her until they got tired. (First time I saw it, I thought she’d dropped dead of a heart attack and they were trying to wake her up).

I try to spoil her with little treats, but she’s as scared of me as she is of the other chickens.

Now, generally speaking, it’s best to let animals get on with it. Sometimes, when you try to interfere in the social hierarchy, you just make things worse for the underdog. And, sure enough, Lucia and Violet eventually satisfied themselves that they’d proven their point and are content these days with the occasional head-fake in Vita’s direction.

Not Mapp. She’s crazy evil by nature, and it’s +100 when she’s broody. I have to turn her physically off the nest in the mornings now. She emerges into daylight blinking, stumbling, feathers sticking up all over, making croaky rook noises and mad at everything. Especially Vita.

She takes a special delight in catching Vita off guard. The poor bird will make herself a nice little wallow in the flower border, off to the side, away from the others, not harming anybody, and just as she spreads her wings in the sun and drifts away into bliss, Mapp pounces.

Honestly, there’s only so much of that up with which I can put.

So I bought a Super Soaker. Well, not a Super Soaker, a cheap Chinese knockoff called a Special Gun. Worth every penny of my £4.99. With a little practice, I can splat Mapp several chicken lengths from Vita’s wallow. You know that “mad as a wet hen” thing? Totally true. Huh.

Screw behavior modification, I haven’t had this much fun since I sold my arsenal and moved to Gun Control Land.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 18, 2012, 11:41 pm

Violet and Vita.

Comment from Mike James
Time: June 18, 2012, 11:49 pm

Mapp’s not paying any attention to you, just look at her expression-she’s more firmly stuck in adolescence than any Occupy protestor, or even You-Know-Whoceania.

A children’s book about the chickens, someday, do you think? You’d do a good one.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 18, 2012, 11:50 pm

“HEY, MAPP!!!” Click-Click-SPLAT!!!

Ah, the sound of victory….. LOL

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: June 18, 2012, 11:54 pm

They are soooooo pretty! I want some hens so bad but stoopid home owners association says no foul. Ha, when the zombie apocalypse comes I’m having me eggs and they can go starve!

BTW, what does broody mean and why do you have to stop her from it?

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: June 19, 2012, 12:22 am

When does “All My Chickens” air on tv?

“The Bold and the Broody”

“One Egg to Give”

or the Panamanian version “Pollo Savaje,” since The Husband was addicted to Spanish Soaps when he was stationed down there.

Peckford Hens
Rooster Cockburn (technically cheating, I know)
Cockfight Club
Murder Most Fowl
7 Hens for 7 Broilers
A Few Good Hens
Good Will Molting
and of course…The Birds

That’s all I can think of right now.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: June 19, 2012, 12:32 am

Two Hens For Sister Sarah
Chicken Of The Sierra Madre
Bawk To The Future

Comment from Oceania
Time: June 19, 2012, 12:36 am

All Your Chickens Belong To Us!

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: June 19, 2012, 12:41 am

I used to shoot the bull in the nose with a B-B gun when he stuck his head through the fence. Very effective and way fun!!! Hard on the fence, though.

Comment from Nina
Time: June 19, 2012, 1:14 am

Sometimes a weasel has got to do what a weasel has got to do.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: June 19, 2012, 1:24 am

In The Heat of The Fryer
To Sir, With Fried Chicken

Comment from Redd
Time: June 19, 2012, 1:27 am

Sometimes a weasel has got to do what a weasel has got to do.

You mean rip the chickens’ throats out? Yikes!

Anyway, Boris J. announced that the Dark Ages are a comin’ so those chickens soon will be worth their weight in gold.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: June 19, 2012, 1:34 am

Some Veg,

Hee! Excellent!

Comment from Sonny Seidup
Time: June 19, 2012, 6:07 am

Uncle Buuuck
The Enchanted Coop
Jacob the Layer
Oh Brooder Where Art Thou
One Flew Over the Chicken’s Nest
The Silence of the Hens
What Eggs May Come

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 19, 2012, 6:20 am

@Redd – My grandfather used to simply grab two chickens in each hand, by the head, and whip-snap them over his shoulder. SNAP! off came their heads….

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 19, 2012, 6:21 am

Of course, his chickens weren’t as cute as stoaties…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 19, 2012, 9:24 am

Mrs C…once a chicken has laid herself a good clutch of eggs (assuming you don’t collect them), she sits on them and waits for them to hatch. Twenty one days. They don’t start developing until she sits on them, so they all hatch more or less at once – some people have even successfully hatched fertile eggs they’ve kept in the fridge!

Anyhow, the sitting behavior is called going broody, and some damn chickens will do it without any eggs to sit on. They sit on the nest all day, stop laying and get horribly out of condition. They eat almost nothing because they hate to leave the nest.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: June 19, 2012, 2:38 pm

I think chickens retain a little bit of ancestral DNA and think, “I used to a be a terrifying four-ton predator before the asteroid. One day you monkeys will pay.”

Comment from Deborah
Time: June 19, 2012, 5:48 pm

Poor Vita. Is the water treatment working on Mapp? So if Mapp just disappeared, would Badger House garden be a nicer place?

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: June 19, 2012, 6:34 pm


Weird question here: If I were to soak fertilized eggs in water, heated to the approximate temperature of a hen’s body, for 21 days, would I get baby chicks or soft-boiled eggs?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 19, 2012, 6:50 pm

Oh, no, Deborah — Mapp is a hilarious addition to the garden. As long as she’s not picking on Vita, she’s totally worth it in comic value. And I think she may be responding to The Treatment.

I don’t know if that would work or not, FG. It might work as an incubator; I don’t know if the eggs need oxygen or something. You’d have to time it right for hatching, though, or you’d have a bucket of drowned chicks.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: June 19, 2012, 7:23 pm

Ah good point, I’d forgotten about gas exchange. Probably best not to mess with what nature already does well. Besides, the chicken soap opera sounds like MustSeeTV, which is why I’m looking forward to the eventual serial drama of An American Weasel’s English Chicken Story. Or possibly a comic book, ahem I mean graphic novel.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: June 19, 2012, 8:38 pm

The Kentucky Fried Movie

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: June 19, 2012, 8:39 pm

A Chicken Coop Named Desire

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: June 19, 2012, 9:24 pm

Rooky Horror Picture Show

Comment from Mitchell TAFKAEY
Time: June 19, 2012, 10:08 pm

For A Fistful of Feathers
For A Few Feathers More
The Good the Bad & the Broody

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: June 19, 2012, 10:29 pm

The hell with a super-soaker. Fill a 55 gallon barrel most of the way with water and when Mapp starts acting up, hold her upside down by the feet and dunk her repeatedly in the water.

It’ll break her brooding cycle too. Been there, done that. It works.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: June 19, 2012, 11:30 pm

You know, A.G.T., if you fill the drum with oil at 375°F and dunk, it cooks a lot faster.

Comment from the fella what is called sandman and such like
Time: June 20, 2012, 2:03 am

OT but I’m sorry you sold your arsenal; I just added a 2206 Stainless Steel S&W .22 to my own pile of things and am adding a Uberti .45 Long Colt SA pistol in the next few weeks. Since I can have chickens or guns, I chose guns, and can score my neighbor’s chickens if the balloon ever goes up.

Also awaiting a Mosin Nagant rifle 91/30 that I will cut and re-crown to 20″ of bbl. My AR15 upper is going to come at the end of July, per DSA. ‘

Lots to do, and I’m just as anti-social as ever.

What’s not to love. I use a spray bottle to correct my silly cat so there’s that…love the scolded chicken photo: classic…

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: June 20, 2012, 12:36 pm

Fly Hard
Barnyard Slickers
The Breakfast Club (hey, if it’s already perfect, don’t screw with it)
Buffy the Vampire Fryer
Star Cluck: The Next Generation of Eggs
Omelet, or, The Prince of Denmark’s Chicken Farmers

(Don’t look at me, you all started it. Or maybe it was my second mother-in-law; she taught me how to create my own puns. That’s the ticket: blame her)

Comment from mojo
Time: June 20, 2012, 8:56 pm

The Dirty Dozen Eggs

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: June 20, 2012, 11:31 pm

How The Nest Was Won
Somewhere In Coops
Cheaper By The Dozen Eggs
Saturday Night Feathers
Egg Wars: The Flock Strikes Back
A Clockwork Egg

It just goes on and on, doesn’t it?…

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: June 21, 2012, 12:43 am

Ok, if y’all are just getting silly, then:

Army of BAWKArkness
Pluck’em High
Close Encounters of the Fried Kind
First Cluck
Peepless in Seattle
Nests and Nestability
Chariots of Fryer
Roosters with a View

and finally…a tv show



(homage to Tracy Ullman)

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 21, 2012, 1:39 am

While You Were Peeping.

(Dear lord, I cannot believe I said that!)

Comment from Goober
Time: June 21, 2012, 4:44 pm

Chickens really are hillarious and really good pets, to boot. They control bugs and other pests, and fertilize your lawn and gardens like crazy. Roosters maybe not so much…

Asfor the pecking, in case you’re worried, I doubt very much that she’s actually doing any lasting harm. although I do understand where you’re coming from feeling sorry for the bullied chicken. It really is a nasty business, those pecking orders.

That being said, I think the best thing about chickens as pets is that they give you food. Eggs all around, and then when they stop laying, they are the one pet you can actually throw into a stock pot without PETA getting all antsy about it.

Comment from Auntie Doodles
Time: June 23, 2012, 3:53 pm

One Flew Over the Cluck Cluck Nest

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