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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Faceoff: Fun with Chickens

hens are standing absolutely still
Hens provide lots of good, clean, cheap fun. I was cutting turnips from the bed at the right, the pink one, was uncovered. Since I had to go inside for my camera and did not want the hens playing in my turnips, I asked exbf to stay close and guard the bed as he worked. He decided to sit. When I came out, the hens were motionless as was he. He said they ran over and just stopped. He thought they wanted the turnips.
See the yellow rake on the far right? They are terrified of the yellow rake. One day, I was walking along, dragging the rake as I walked. I overcame the original four hens I had as they walked ahead of me and to the left. As the yellow rake came past them, the head of the rake swished past just behind them. Other than the Devil Dog and raccoon encounters, I have never seen them so frightened. Now, Thelma, one of the original four, has taught Lucy to be afraid of the yellow-handled rake.
I use a pink-painted broom handle to herd them. They will not come near it and go where I guide them.
Chickens are funny and afraid of everything. But, consider this: maybe one of these stiff, colored objects will fall to the ground and writhe toward them. They were afraid of long strings of banana peels when they were less than a week old. Chickens don't like snakes at all! So, any long thing must be dangerous. Makes sense to me.
Chickens are a money saver, a promoter of parsimony. You see, I could be spending money for entertainment. I don't because I have resident chickens for amusement. Some of these encounters with chickens are quite the philosophical exercise. I stand in no danger of becoming a cat lady. I will be the chicken lady, minus a house full of chickens.
This picture was taken about two months ago when the St. Augustine grass was still crunchy.
Your turn
Do you enjoy watching chickens as much as I? What do your chickens fear?


  1. I had to trim my chickens wings to keep them from "flying the coop" One hen was so frightened by the goings on that she fainted before her turn! I was afraid she had had a heart attack but she had simply swooned.

  2. Janet,
    I am sorry , but I laughed. Poor hen. Watching my sisters being mutilated (feathers flying) and hearing their protests might make me faint, too. Hens have been known to die from fright. I am glad she recovered. Oh, I am still chuckling. Thanks for that story.

  3. I've never had chickens. I think I'll stick with Netflix for entertainment.


    1. Janie,
      I am guessing that Netflix never requires you to go out in the rain, herd, carry wet hens, or trap raccoons to protect your entertainment. Right?

    2. Right. Netflix comes straight to my door.

    3. Janie,
      If hens were only so

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. My two springer spaniels think my yard should be a snake free zone. Fortunately, here in NW IL poisonous snakes are rare. They quickly kill any snake, big or small that they come across. I threw a small one into the chicken yard thinking the hens would eat it. They all circled around the dead snake and were "discussing" the situation. It was so funny that it really sounded like they were talking about it. I don't think they ever ate it.

  6. Patti,
    I suppose it is good to know your dogs take their job seriously!

    I can just see your hens "discussing" the dead snake and what to do next. My chicks would do that with a banana peel and soon would be ripping it apart. I keep saying I am going to get a hen cam to catch these moments. Thanks for the hen story.

  7. We inherited chickens with our house from the previous owners. We brought with us an old tom cat that had adopted us at our apartment in the city. He was scarred and torn, a survivor of many street fights. But Old Tom was terrified of the chickens. I don't think he had ever seen birds that big! He didn't come out of the garage for two weeks but would peer at them from the door. When he did finally come out, he'd skirt the chicken yard fence by a good ten feet every time. So funny!

  8. Jane,
    They are big birds if you are a cat and have never seen a chicken. The cats from the neighbor around the block used to come and get in stalking positions to look at the chicks when I would take them out for sun and grass-time, all while in a cage. Now, four years later, the same cats just sit in my yard and the huge hen, Thelma, and the smaller Lucy just walk within three feet of the cats. The cats just sit and look, in awe, it appears. The cat switches her tail back and forth, low to the ground. I don't know what it means, but I suspect she still dreams of getting a hen, but thinks the size might be a

    I like how your old cat was introduced to chickens at a late time in his life and feared them. Thanks for the really good story.


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