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The lean season is upon us

buttercup The old girls have stopped laying completely. The young ones have banked it down. Six chickens, one egg a day.

To be fair, head chicken is molting, headcase chicken never lays more than a dozen a year and I don’t know what’s wrong with Vita. I switched from pellets to crumb and that didn’t work out so good, so I’ve switched back.

The cold is upon us and there are feathers everywhere.

Here’s a nice little article from Modern Farmer on the Inner Lives of Chickens.

Do Chickens Have Feelings?

Yes, says British researcher Jo Edgar, who determined that hens, at least, experience empathy. He designed an experiment that simulated chick stress and found that the mother hens behaved as if they themselves were experiencing the pain—a classic sign of empathy. Chickens are also known to display mourning behavior when another chicken in the flock dies, and they will show signs of depression if they are removed from the flock and placed in solitary quarters.

Also hens are notoriously promiscuous, typically mating with several roosters at a time. They have the unique ability to eject the sperm of inferior roosters after copulation[!], however, ensuring that their genes will be coupled only with the most studly cock around.

And A surprising number of people suffer from fear of chickens, a condition known as alektorophobia. My mother-in-law is a chickenphobe. Also my nephew, which was fun — Mapp had a fine time chasing him all over the garden.


Recent research has shown that chickens can distinguish between more than 100 faces of their own species and of humans, so they know who you are and will remember you if you treat them badly. They’ve demonstrated complex problem-solving skills and have super-sensory powers, such as telescopic eyesight (like birds of prey) and nearly 360-degree vision (like owls). Chickens are the closest living relatives of the Tyrannosaurus rex (researchers determined this in 2007 by testing proteins from a particularly well-preserved T-rex leg bone), and they outnumber human beings on the planet 3 to 1.

So, you know. Watch yourself. The Time of Chooks may be at hand.


Comment from Crabby Old Bat
Time: October 4, 2016, 8:27 pm

So, you know. Watch yourself. The Time of Chooks may be at hand.

“Then he heard the tapping on the window.” Daphne du Maurier, “The Birds”

Thanks for the reminder, gonna read some classic du Maurier tonight.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 4, 2016, 9:39 pm

It would be a good night for it here. It’s blowing hard out there.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 5, 2016, 1:04 am

Then the ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and stricken thou,” I said, “art sure no quick ‘un,
Ghastly grim and ancient Chicken wandering from the Nightly shore–
Tell me what thy noble name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Chicken, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning–little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door–
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Chicken, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if its soul in that one word she did outpour
Nothing farther then she uttered; not a feather then she fluttered–
Till I scarcely more than muttered: “Other friends have flown before–
On the morrow she will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

(Sorry, Edgar)

Comment from Bob B
Time: October 5, 2016, 4:10 am

I don’t know why, but your post this evening reminded me of the movie Baraka. It’s been more than a few years since I watched it, but as I recall there were segments that compared human life to the lives of food chickens being raised in cages. The Wikipedia entry for the movie doesn’t mention that. I hear the sequel, Samsara, was even darker.
Now I’m depressed.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: October 5, 2016, 7:16 am

Chickens outnumber humans three to 1.

So we can have a chicken in every pot!!

Comment from Timbo
Time: October 5, 2016, 9:44 am

Yeah, yeah, yeah. What about their highly intellectual display of “holding the line” when you put a chook beak to the floor and draw a line with it?

Joking of course. I realize they are at least as intelligent as half the human population.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: October 5, 2016, 4:17 pm

What happened to the chicken cam? I thought we were going to see live streaming of chickens?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 5, 2016, 7:04 pm

Gosh, Ric. Good memory. I’ve got the cam, I bought a remote-controlled ATV…but I haven’t gotten around to putting the two together with a harness.

Comment from Ccs
Time: October 6, 2016, 12:30 am

A chicken farmer went out one dark and dreary day,
He stopped to sit beside the coup to break along his way,
When all at once a rotten egg hit him in the eye,
It was a sight he dreaded…Ghost Chickens in the sky.

Bawk, bawk bawk bawwwwwkk,
Bawk, bawk bawk bawwwwwkk,
Ghost Chickens in the sky

The farmer had raised chickens since he was twenty-four
Been workin’ for the Colonel some thirty years or more
Raisin’ all thise chickens then sending them to fry
Now they want revenge… Those chickens in the sky.

Their beaks were black and shiny, their eyes a burnin’ red,
They had no meat or feathers, these chickens all were dead.
They picked the farmer up and he died by the claw.
They cooked him extra crispy…and ate him with coleslaw.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: October 7, 2016, 10:50 am

T. rex Tastes like chicken!
Remember that band from the ’70s..??

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