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Stories From Our Readers

Chicken Update
The Hen Herald staff wants everyone to know that all three of the girls are now laying eggs.  And with the change, the hens are again food-focused.  This makes working with the girls so much easier, for they come running for food when called and practically push Denise over to get into their run where the food is placed.  No more herding them into the run – thank goodness.

Chicken Stories from Our Readers
Reader Number 1:  As a little girl and youngest of three sisters, we would sometimes visit our country cousins.  Each of us had cousins around our age, so we all had someone to play with on at the farm.  The cousins had all kinds of farm animals including chickens, and the chickens had chicks.  During one visit, my young cousins and I decided we needed to teach the chicks to fly.  Being the bright kids we were, and not wanting any chicks to get hurt, we put down a lot of straw before we proceeded with our lessons.  Each of us took turns picking up the chicks and tossing them into the air so they could learn to fly.  As you can imagine it did not work out very well, good thing chicks are light and bouncy, so they did not get hurt. We were probably at it about ½ hour before an older cousin found us and informed us that our efforts were useless. The lesson was over.

Reader Number 2:  When my sister and I were about 6 and 4 we received 2 chicks for Easter. They were dyed Easter colors (something you would not do today – animal rights), and as they grew they turned into pure white hens.  Only one of them made it to adulthood and lived to old age, dying about 7 years later.  Her first companion was killed by a dog, and I believe this taught her to out-fox the foxes, because she survived all other encounters with predators that other ducks and chickens we tried to raise or breed did not.  Her name was Sabrina, she lay large brown eggs and a lot of them were double-yolked.  She was a gentle hen and always let us pick her up.  Once she was in your arms she had one very impressive trick that we showed to everyone that was interested in her.  If you pressed her head down gentle, her neck shrank down so that she looked like a tight little package.  She would stay in this position until you grabbed her by the beak and gently raised her head to the full stretch of her neck.  She stayed in this position until you moved her head down again.  Everyone that saw her trick was most impressed.  Thanks for the good times Sabrina!

Chicken on her back getting an belly rubReader Number 3:  One of our readers has gone “chicken wild,” collecting several different breeds and building up quite the flock.  Some of them coming by mail order!  She and her family live in the country, so having a large flock of chickens is not a problem.   Here is one of their “house” Serama breeds getting a belly rub.

Reader Number 4:  A friend of ours used to live in Beavercreek. She had a bunch of chickens… Lucy, Dezi, big red, etc. We used to feed them and collect their eggs. And mucked her horse stalls… The chickens would follow us around like we were part of their gaggle. The chickens gave us a lot of feathers for my artwork.

Woman hugging chicken
It’s a love THANG!

Reader Number 5:  It was love at first sight.  Not a common love….but a love of kindred souls.  We knew we belonged together.  The world around us didn’t understand our passion for one another….but our hearts spoke the tale….a tale of fate and feathers intertwined.  Others told us our love was un-natural…but we persisted in our efforts to see each other.

Warning – this story may not be suitable for all readers.

Reader Number 6:  A lot of times, memories are filled with sights and sounds and smells. Italy is full of them. Like lying in bed in my family’s home in Celle Ligure – just a small beach town right on the Italian Riviera. Outside the bedroom door – the external one that leads to the patio – is a multitude of sights and sounds: chickens clucking, dogs barking, a rooster crowing. Someone is playing bam-bam music in their home and I can hear the beat. Off in the near distance is the big blue sea. I can hear birds and far away freeway traffic, and there’s the sound of sunshine – although that one is hard to describe. I can hear my Aunt, Mina, in the kitchen preparing lunch items, although it’s still morning. A lingering smell of coffee and biscuits. And I can hear my Uncle, Silvio, talking to a neighbor outside on the small street.

When I walk out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, I’m taken with the view of the sea and the smells, the sun, and a hearty good morning kiss from Mina. There’s that enveloped feeling of being surrounded by love and those that love you. A sense of calm intertwined with a new language and the unknown of the day. And there….on the counter. Hanging from the TV stand over a bowl is a chicken. It’s head chopped off, tilted upside down, and hanging right there on the same hook as the rest of the body. Feet and all. Featherless. Dripping. It pulls me near and I can’t help but look. And although I have breakfast and go about the rest of my day, I have the image imprinted on my mind.

Later, with the smells of rosemary, onions, garlic and cloves, I hear the chicken sizzling in the pan. Juices running out. All caramel and creamy at the same time. It’s more than good on my plate. I have seconds and the melding of the smells and tastes make me giddy. Silvio – across the table from me – eats the crown. He’s happy like a little boy who has gotten his favorite treat, and he’s smiling away. Mina’s smiling, too. Her happiness from the sounds of a good meal and the happy eaters.

And so, when I think of chickens. I think of this memory. It is a good one and upon it are built many more. I hope to someday have some chickens of my own. Though, I’m not sure I’m ready yet for the dripping part………………

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