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Monday, April 22, 2013


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Free Chicken's if you Buy some Feed
As a kid I was fascinated by the chickens for their world was fairly complex.

If you only gave them a casually look you might miss many of the nuances that goes into being a chicken. They have gotten a lot of negative press and made fun of, but they have a peculiar life style.

The rooster is an amorous creature and starts early each day trying to arouse the object of his affection. The pursuit of the opposite sex is almost human like, so much so I don’t know who learned what from whom. Anyway in case you didn’t know what all the crowing early in the morning was all about, now you know.

I was warned not to get personal with the chickens when I was little and I tried to follow that advice, but to know them is to love them.

My mother had a Rhode Island Red hen that was her pet. She would bring her into the house for awhile each day, and she thought my mother was her mama.  I would chase it through the house and it would flee to the safety of my mother’s lap that was her safe house.  That is about as close, as a chicken could get to loving a human.

There was always a little trauma on Sunday dinner when one of the recognizable birds ended up on the dinner table but was mediated by the first bite of that fried chicken, especially with my appetite.

Then one day my uncle got a free box of baby chickens. They were free if you bought some chicken feed.  These chickens were white leghorns and they all looked alike.
They were better layers but I couldn’t tell one from another.  It was like they were all clones.  Anyway I felt better because when they graced the dinner table I didn’t know which one they were.

Other that Sunday dinner the great nemesis of the chicken was; the chicken hawk.  It seemed the chicken hawk liked chicken as well as I did.
My uncle solved this problem by putting up bird boxes so that the martins would nest in during a part of the year. When a hawk showed up those little martins were all over them, and kept the airways clear of those predators.

Having said too much I can only further say; if it wasn’t for the chicken I would be a lesser man for I got my education down on the farm. What has the chicken added to your life, this noble bird has done more for me than the bald eagle has or ever will?

There are many old sayings using the chicken as a vehicle like;

You can get this for chicken feed,
I go to bed with the chickens,
Nest egg - to save a little money each week
Scratching out a living - to earn enough to get by in life.
Don't count your chickens before they hatch

Don't put all your eggs in one basket –

And how about these sayings and their meanings
Feather your nest - saving for the future
Hen house - large number of females living in the same house
Mother hen - very protective
Madder than a wet settin' hen - very angry
Fussing like an old hen – angry

Hen cackle – to laugh
Laid an egg – failed
Feeling like Henny Penny – one person doing all the work
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
Scarce as hen's teeth - extremely hard to find
Chick - young girl or teenager

Hen-pecked – nagged
The rooster may crow, but this hen lays the egg!
Flew the coop - gone
Up with the chickens - waking early with the sunrise.
Walking on eggshells- treading softly and trying not to upset someone
Like a chicken with it's head cut off - running around with no direction
Like a head with it's chicken cut off - depressed
Shake a tail feather - get moving
Strutting' your stuff - Showing off
Strutting around like a banty rooster - showing off
Bird brain - senseless
Dumb cluck - senseless
You're chicken! - Being afraid
Sunny side up - cheerful attitude
Hard-boiled - tough attitude
Over easy - soft inside
Chicken out - not follow through
Ruffle your feathers - something annoys you
Chicken hearted - Not brave
Chickens have come home to roost - the past is catching up with you
No spring chicken - you're old. Plain and simple.
Like a Banty on a June bug - all over you
Hatch an idea - put a plan into motion
Egg on your face - caught in an untruth
Squawking - putting up a fuss
Rule the Roost - to be the boss
Pecking order - finding your place
Cock of the walk - to be the boss
Play Chicken - a stand off, who will give up first
Something to crow about - exciting news to tell
Brood over it - to worry; to hover over a problem
Chicken scratch - poor handwriting
Stick your neck out - go to bat for someone else
Stuck in your craw - upset about something and won't verbalize what's going on inside you; carrying a grudge.
Cock sure - to brag
Bad egg - less than honest person; poor moral standards
In a stew - got yourself in trouble
Raise your hackle feathers - visibly annoyed
Cock and bull story - tall tails and elaborate lies
Hen Party – Ladies meeting

Empty nest syndrome - depression and loneliness when children leave home
Made from scratch - made from raw materials by hand
Chicken hawks - politicians who are pro-war but declined to participate themselves
Tastes like Chicken - to describe the taste for any number of other meats
Use everything but the crow - use it up and wear it out; made due with what you have.
The rooster makes all the noise, but the hen rules the roost!

What has the chicken added to your life?  This noble bird has done more for me than the bald eagle has or ever will do.


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