Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A bucket of chicken - Olive style

As I was finalizing our church's quarterly newsletter this week, I needed a filler to take up some space so I googled Stewardship quotes or poems. I didn't use this one, of course - it would have looked a little weird in a church newsletter, but I liked it. This is our philosophy on chickens also. That's why ours are free range.
Treat your chickens kindly.
Let them walk on God’s green Earth.
Let them promenade in sun light
With a shelter for their berth.
Don’t you pin ‘em up in boxes
Or a tiny wire hold
Suspended over fecal sluices
Where their wings cannot unfold.
Don’t feed ‘em antibiotics
Within each and every bite.
Don’t breed ‘em so they cannot walk.
You know that isn’t right.
Don’t grow ‘em by the zillion
And extend them with fake light.
Don’t snip and grind away their beaks
Because they’re wedged too tight.
Don’t make ‘em breathe-in air that’s choked
With amoniated dust.
Don’t make ‘em drink from water troughs
All filled with mold and rust.
Let ‘em harvest bugs and grasses
And scratch pebbles from the ground.
I implore you, treat ‘em kindly.
They’ll be the best chickens around.
                               2007 Mark Pearce

Speaking of chickens, Olive has become broody this week. We were not home for the weekend to gather her eggs. A broody hen will "sit" her nest, trying to hatch baby chicks. The problem is that Olive's eggs are not fertile. The only roosters we have are much smaller than she - plus she keeps her distance from all of them, flying off if one even comes near her. When a hen is "broody", they sit for days on end, hardly coming off for food or water. They go into a trance and nothing phases them. I don't want her to do this without a silver lining of chicks at the end!  I read that one way to deter a hen from sitting is to get her off the nest and dunk her bottom  in a bucket of cool water. Cruel? I'm not so sure.  It supposedly keeps a hen from trying to sit. It lowers their body temp which has been raised while she's broody - and it will get her out of the mood. I've taken a picture of her sitting and will post it below. Of all places to lay eggs, she picked a corner inset beside the house behind a Nandina bush. At least it's hidden away and relatively safe from predators. They have a dozen or so laying boxes filled with hay and they never lay in them. Chickens are odd little creatures. Maybe I should video my little "chicken in a bucket" adventure (if I attempt it) - hens are not happy when you take them off the nest. You may see Olive's bucket moment on America's Funniest Videos.


  1. I decided to let Olive stay on her nest. There were a couple of bantam hens who had also laid their eggs in her nest so she may become a mother to some little chicks after all.

  2. Thanks for your commetns about my Sid Vicious story - and redirecting me here. You might enjoy this one too http://northfinchley.blogspot.com/2010/11/magpie-tales-39-mabel-magnifcent.html

    Chooks are such fun!!


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