Category Archives: Chickens!

Pecky Greenleg: Chapter 5

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Jake wasn’t sure what to do next. The lead the postmaster gave them, while interesting, seemed like a big, fat dead end.

He’d already talked to Gilbert at the hatchery and had gotten nowhere.

You have to go back.

Jake shook his head, glaring at Pecky.

“Go back? How? Even if I could convince Mom we needed more chicks, there’s nothing more Gilbert will tell me.”

Pecky strutted back and forth in the pen, frustration simmering around him.

Use me.

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Jake looked at Pecky doubtfully.

No, really. Use me. Tell your mom that I’m not well. I’ll even act sick. 

“I don’t know…Mom already suspects something and I don’t like keeping things from her…”

Then tell her.

Jake snorted and looked at the determined glint in Pecky’s eyes.

“Tell her that the chicken I named Pecky Greenleg is actually a rooster who can talk? Tell her that I’ve already talked to Gilbert at the hatchery and the postmaster? Tell her–“

Ok, ok! I get it. But we have to come up with something. I don’t belong here. 

Jake looked down at Pecky and felt a twinge of sadness for him. How awful would it be not to know where you came from?

“Ok. I’ll figure out a way for us to get back to the hatchery.”

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Pecky Greenleg: Chapter 3

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Pecky and the rest of the chicks were growing at an alarming rate. They were outgrowing their first home so they’d been moved to new, larger pen.

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“You’ll be more comfortable out here,” Jake said as he watched the flock race around in their new pen.

I guess. Did you have any luck at the hatchery?

“Not really.”

What does that mean?

Jake sighed, remembering the rude man he tried to talk to about Pecky when he and his mom went to pick up more chick food at the hatchery.

“Well…I asked if they had any other gray chicks with green legs. Told them that we were thinking of getting a few more.”

And? What did they say?

That’s the strange part. The guy seemed…uncomfortable.”

Hmmm. That’s interesting.

That’s what I thought. He told me he didn’t know what I was talking about. That I must be mistaken.”

Mistaken? Didn’t you tell him you ordered from that hatchery?

“That’s just it. He insisted that I was wrong. Said I must have ordered it from another hatchery. Before I could ask any more questions, he turned and said he had to get some work done and I should just forget about ‘those chicks’.”

Pecky let out a frustrated squawk, startling the other chicks. They all ran to a corner of the pen and seemed to glare indignantly at him.

“So I guess that’s it.”

Pecky ruffled his feathers and looked up at Jake with angry eyes. Of course, thought Jake, chickens always looked angry.

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What do you mean ‘that’s it’? One dead end and you are ready to give up?

I don’t see what else we can do,” Jake said defensively.

Pacing, Pecky let out a series of cheeps and chirps.

Wait! What about the shipping company? 

“Shipping company? What would they know?

They’d know if the chicks came from that hatchery. And, if they didn’t, they’d know where they came from.

Jake went into the garage and rummaged through the recycling, looking for the box the chicks came in. When he found it, he could hardly believe they were ever small enough to fit in the little box. He took it back to the pen to show Pecky.

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“Here it is. They were shipped through the post office. I remember Mom going to pick them up.”

That’s it then. We have to go to the post office.

Pecky Greenleg: Chapter One

Reviving an old story. Take a listen!

“What should we name this one, Jake?”

Jake studied the small chick with a thoughtful expression.

It’s gray feathers stood out in the sea of fuzzy yellow.

“Hmmm,” he murmured. “How about Pecky?”

“That’s a great name for a chicken,” his mom said with a smile.

“Wait,” said Jake. “Look at its legs.”

Jake’s mom peered at the tiny legs and noticed green feathers. “How odd,” she said.

“Her name is Pecky Greenleg!” crowed Jake.

His mom grinned and headed for the kitchen door.

“Are you coming in? It’s about time to eat lunch.”

Jake held the tiny chick in his hands, careful not to squeeze.

“In a little bit, I need to talk to Pecky Greenleg.”

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The chick stared up at the little boy, not sure he liked the name he had been given.

I don’t have green legs! And…I am not a hen!

“Not a hen?” said Jake with surprise written on his face.

The chick stared at the boy. The boy stared at the chick.

“Ha,” Jake said with a shake of his head. “I must be imag–“

You can hear me?

Jake gaped, wide-eyed at the chick.

“Y-you can talk?”

Well of course not!

B-but, I can hear you!”

Jake’s mom peeked out the door. “What was that sweetie?”

Startled, Jake nearly dropped Pecky Greenleg.

“N-nothing Mom.”

His voice was hoarse and shaking. His mom looked at him with concern.

“Are you sure? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

He looked at Pecky and could have sworn the bird shook his head.

“Ha,” he laughed nervously. “No really, I’m ok.”

“Ok, if you’re sure.”

“Yep, I’m fine.”

“Well, why don’t you come in and wash your hands. It’s time to eat. “

“Ok, be right there.”

When his mom shut the door, he looked back at the chick.

They stared at each other for so long that Jake thought he’d imagined the whole thing.

You’d better go in for lunch.

Here a Chick, There a Chick

I was not sure I wanted to get a new flock of birds this year. I wasn’t ready to go through the chick stage. But…two pair of pleading eyes and a pandemic convinced me otherwise. We wouldn’t be going anywhere for awhile, so why not?

We knew we wanted Buff Orpingtons. The two we already have are friendly and docile and good layers.

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As it turned out, we were not the only ones in search of Buffs. Every time we called the store they had just sold the last one.

We called a farm supply store a few towns over and they assured us they had 8 Buffs in stock. Ray and the boys hopped in the truck and went to get them while I got their first home ready.

They came home with 2 Buffs and 6 Golden Comets. As chicks, they have a similar appearance, and Ray was just ready to end the search and get the chicks.

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Golden Comets are sweet and docile, excellent egg layers and kid-friendly.

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Golden Comet

Buff Orpingtons are calm and stately, good egg layers and love to be cuddled.

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Buff Orpington

We are very happy with our purchase. The chicks are all about a month or so old now and quickly outgrowing each new “house” we put them in.

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The boys are ecstatic and cuddle them all the time. They have even started construction on a small coop for them.

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We had planned to move the new birds into the coop and retire the older birds, but the Old Guard must have taken our threats seriously. Since we brought the chicks home, the flock of five has started laying eggs daily again. We may have to try introducing new hens into an old flock and hope it goes better than the last time.

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Cats and Chicks

A cat approached a chick and said,
“My aren’t you a treat!”
The chick chirped and then replied,
“Oh no, I taste like feet!”

The clever cat just smiled and winked,
“I think not, my dear.”
“You see, I’ve sampled chick before,”
the cat said with a leer.

“Ah yes,” the chick said, thinking fast,
“I’m sure your meal was grand.
But if you try to chomp up me
I think you’ll understand.”

“You see, I just had chicken feed
and it was very good.
But to a cat, it may be bland,
and taste like rotten wood.”

But the sly old cat could not be tricked
and with eyes bright and green,
took one big bite, one noisy gulp*,
then licked her white paws clean.

*This is a work of fiction, no chicks were harmed in the writing of this poem.

Revenge

This poem is a collaboration with my nieces and my two boys. Enjoy!

Mean old Bully Bertha,
our clueless, speckled hen,
was mean to Cyclops Jenny,
our one-eyed little friend.

While Jenny planned and plotted,
Bertha pecked and picked.
Our Jenny’s plan was simple.
“I’ll get that mean ol’ chick!”

When all the hens were sleeping,
she shuffled through the hay.
Her evil laugh was quiet
as she approached her prey.

The only sound big Bertha made
was a squawk of great surprise.
Then Jenny made the final blow
and pecked out both her eyes!

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Cyclops

We have a one-eyed chicken.
She’s tiny, gray and white.
Smaller than the others,
full of fear and fright.

The bigger hens don’t like her.
They treat her with disdain.
They block her from the shelter,
and leave her in the rain.

But I know her little secret.
Her brilliant plan, perhaps.
While the others mock and scorn her,
She gets all the kitchen scraps!

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Skunked

We got lazy with the hens
and didn’t lock them in their pens.
For a time, there was no harm.
Then, the girls raised the alarm.

One buff chick was in the cage,
pacing back and forth in rage.
She gave an angry shout
when we finally came out.

We heard rustles, angry cries.
Puffy feathers, beady eyes.
Then, we saw the little punk…
a big, striped, stinky skunk!

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Winterizing

The day it snowed
the chickens crowed,
“What is the fluffy stuff?”

Their feet were cold,
they were not bold,
they fled back in a huff.

I changed their bed
and got them fed,
then had a little talk.

“Look here dear hens,
I’ve cleaned your pens,
start laying eggs or walk.

Their feathers puffed,
they squawked and huffed,
“Just give us one more try!”

I shrugged and clucked,
“You’re out of luck.
Start laying eggs or–…!”

Diary of a Chicken Day 87

87 Days in Captivity

Dear Diary,

We continue our voyage across the green lake. The Stick Monsters are pushing us further and further away from the Big Box. We are not sure what purpose this serves, but it seems to make the Stick Monster happy.

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Every morning this week, when the guillotine door opens, the Stick Monster pelts vegetable peelings and strawberry tops at us as we exit. What fresh torture is this? My cellmates run squawking from the box in effort to escape these missiles.

Still no word from the raccoon. We sent Bertha out to talk to him before lock down, but she escaped and we have not heard from her since. The lucky hen is free now and has forgotten about her sisters in captivity.

Yesterday, the Stick Monsters cleaned the box, destroying our carefully made beds…again.

Fluffy and Mildred were so upset that they flapped around and knocked the temporary door off the cage. For a brief, blissful time, we escaped. Our freedom was short-lived, however. The Stick Monster sent the Twig Beasts after us and soon we were imprisoned once more.

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The Stick Monster installed a strange light outside the box. Once dark, it turns on every time we move. At first, we hated it, but then it brought a crunchy, flying snack. We stayed up all night catching these winged treats. This made the Stick Monster angry and the light was disabled.

Fluffy is going to try and hide behind the silver water tower tonight. Hopefully she can make contact with the raccoon so we can plan our escape. Maybe he can take us one at a time so as not to look so suspicious.

I guess we’ll see.

–Roadrunner, Imprisoned in the Prairie