For the Love of Chickens

hen & chicks 003

If I had to choose the one animal that’s held my fascination the most over the course of my life, it would undoubtedly be the chicken. As a child I could, and did, rack up hours of watching roosters and hens scratch around our backyard from sunup to sundown daily.

childhood places 005

The old chicken house, still standing today, where I spent many an hour “chicken watchin’”

Interacting with each other in their peculiar ways—at times calm, other times agitated—chickens ceaselessly explore their corner of the universe in a never-ending quest for hidden caches of food. From the unfortunate bug (who’s lucky day it isn’t), to the spilled kernel of corn from the cow’s manger, if food is to be had, they’ll find it. And they’re good at it…in spite of the built-in disadvantage of their physique. Let’s face it, chickens are the unpremeditated comedians of the domestic bird world. I ask myself why that is. I suppose it’s primarily because we have here a bi-ped creature running around with no arms. Where arms should be, resides a pair of wings that these days are practically incapable of doing what wings were designed to do—that is, for any meaningful period of time. Kind of sad…but funny.

Pioneer Homestead 2007 010

Couple this with the fact that chickens have that uncoordinated aura about them. Few are the animals in all “animal-dom” that measure up to the consistent level of non-deliberately generated humor as do chickens.

funny chicken & bigfoot

On the practical side of the matter, few other animals provide food so commonly used for any meal of the day—breakfast, dinner, or supper 2. Were there very many cultures down through the ages that failed to utilize the simple pleasures and benefits afforded by even the smallest flock of chickens? Without bothering to research that before speaking, off the top of my head I’d have to say no. As my mama once said, “If you don’t have chickens, you ain’t got much.”

Chickens. Among very few animals in the world that might cause someone to almost take bigfoot seriously

Pioneer Homestead 2007 054


I acquired my first flock as a young’un. I suppose what initially captivated me was the fact that a few of these domesticated fowl were capable of providing a substantial part of our family’s diet—in spite of the fact that a mere child was their chief caretaker. It was my earliest memory of contributing significantly to the well being of those around me. Chickens were my first taste of farming…sparking in me a passion for the simple living that to this day remains unextinguished. And it’s due in large part to the unintentional clown of the farm.

By Pa Mac

Copyright 2012, Caddo Heritage Productions

1 Penguins aren’t taken that seriously, either.
2 Hogs, however, are not far behind.
blog comments powered by Disqus