Category Archives: Chickens!

Xavier Feathersworth

Sir Hubert McFeatherington is the leader of his flock.

The hens adore him and the other three roosters fear him.

Xavier Feathersworth was his faithful follower.

He’s the lieutenant and Sir Hubert is the general.

Yet, as they’ve grown together, Xavier has started to become…resentful.

Resentful because the other roosters pick on him while Sir Hubert just laughs.

And with this growing resentment, Xavier has started to become…disloyal to Sir Hubert…and his own flock.

One day, after a particularly painful pecking, Xavier quietly escaped through a gap in the run and darted over to the older flock to talk with their leader.

Pecky Greenleg.


Pecky and a few of his hens were out in the pen. They turned toward him when he cleared his throat.

“Hmmm,” said one of the hens. “What do we have here?”

“Looks like a little rooster,” said another hen.

Pecky eyed Xavier warily. The hens, who had no respect for Pecky gave a few sharp pecks and wandered up the ramp to eat.

Xavier’s heart fell. A henpecked rooster would not be able to help him.

“What do you want?” Pecky asked, embarrassed by the hen’s treatment of him.

“Well, I had hoped…but nevermind,” mumbled Xavier as he turned to go.

“Wait! Why did you came all this way?”

Xavier turned back and saw a desperate yet hopeful gleam in his eyes.

“I was hoping to find a new leader for my flock. A leader big and strong enough to put the other roosters to shame.”

Pecky looked at Xavier thoughtfully, then turned and looked at his raw, red back and his lack of tail feathers.

Maybe, this was his chance to start over with a new flock.

“Tell me more,” Pecky said, smiling as much as a henpecked rooster could smile.

To be continued…


Underneath the vineyard
Tiny buds appear
Are they signs of kiwi?
Will this be the year?

Underneath the chicken run
Small pullets play and fight
Fluttering and flying low
Huddled up at night

Underneath the playset
Two boys rest with a treat
Chocolate pudding faces
Sticky smiles so sweet

Underneath the lovage
A little kitty purrs
Hiding, yawning, napping
Cleaning all her fur

Underneath the bright blue sky
The wind blows soft and strong
Greens and yellows dot the land
Summer won’t be long

Okra (et al.)

Today I planted okra
Lettuce, spinach, kale
And one sad tomato
All crooked, bent and frail

Worms in every spadeful
Wiggling in the dirt
A few big nasty grubs
A little chick dessert

Next I planted flowers
And cilantro all around
Bush beans in the garden
Carrots in the ground

I looked down at my hands
When everything was done
Dirt and mud had crusted
My fingers…every one

And then I heard the laughter
The sound of running feet
I looked up from the garden
And got an awful treat

Two boys armed with squirt guns
Had come to chase me off
They giggled, smiled and shouted
Hey Mom! It’s time to stop!


We move the chicks outside to the run every day. The boys fight over who gets to pick them up, transport them and put them in the pen.

Then, they both eagerly hop in and start digging.

They like nothing better than to feed the chicks live worms.

They get the biggest kick out of the little pecks and tweets and fights that break out when they hold a wriggly worm in the air.

As I sat watching, I wondered at the chicks lack of fear with the boys. They hopped on their laps, walked right up to them and came running to a “hear chickie, chickie”.

“Why don’t they do that with me?”

“Come in here Mommy, and they will.”

And then I realized that it’s time. Time is the key.

It’s not enough for me to feed and water them and occasionally pick one up. Time spent playing with and holding them is what makes the difference.

Time. And patience.

I would never describe either of my boys as patient. Yet in this, they are more patient than I am.

They will sit and coax a chick into their laps and not get frustrated when it doesn’t come right away.

Yet, I see them lose patience with so many other things.

Joe gets in a huff when he can’t do something well the first time he does it.

Jake loses all patience when he can’t get the wrapper on his cheesestick off.

But maybe it’s because these “other” things are just not in their control. They have to rely on someone else to help them.

Maybe thats where the frustration comes from.

Playing with the chicks, nourishing them and coaxing them to be comfortable is not frustrating for the boys.

On a weird level, they connect with that vulnerability.

The chick is at their mercy. The chick is relying on them.

There is really no magic to the chicken whispering.

There is just time.



My Dear Mr. Greenleg

Pecky has been through a lot
His feathers look so sad
He’s constantly attacked by hens
They’re really very bad

He never tries to fight back
He never tries to win
Every time we let him out
He tries to get back in

You can’t control your chickens
You can’t command your flock
These girls have got you beaten
They only need to squawk

My dear Mr. Greenleg
Oh how you make me cringe!
I want you with the others
Not hanging on the fringe


The teenage chickens are hormonal.

Their pecks are starting to bite a bit and they are getting on each other’s nerves.

If Cheep Cheep makes the mistake of trying to eat at the same time as Yellow Feather, fighting breaks out.

If Fluffy takes a drink too close to Flappy, a battle begins.

And if Fin tries to cuddle up with Sir Hubert McFeatherington…the gloves come off and the pecking gets even more aggressive.

They definitely have some of their mothers’ traits. Some of them are calm, cool and collected, but the two that I think are roosters are angry juveniles fighting for the alpha position.

Enter the chicken whisperers.

Since it is such a nice day, we decided to bring them out to their run for a little fresh air and sunshine.

I don’t know if it because they had more room, or because the chicken whisperers were in the run with them, but they were instantly calmer and spent the time exploring their new surroundings and climbing all over the boys.

I dread putting them all back in their dank tank in the garage. They seem so happy hopping and flapping around the run, and the boys love being in there with them.

But they sure did get a treat today.

Two boys control them
Softly soothing with whispers
Held gently with love


I stand up on the water
And stretch my neck out long
I know that I am different
Just listen to my song

I’m destined to do great things
And all the hens agree
I’m unique and I’m special
Just take a look and see

I’m leader to this small flock
I protect them from the night
No cats or rats get past me
Without a feathery fight

So listen to my warning
Make sure you get the scoop
My name is Sir Hubert Mc–
Oops…did I just poop?

Edible Roommates

We moved the chicks to the garage last night. They, mostly, have all their feathers so should be able to stay warm. Besides, they were getting way too big for their box.

They are now in a large tank and are very confused.

They no longer try to jump out. Instead, they huddle to one side and take turns darting out to explore.

It’s pretty entertaining.

The garage is home to our two cats: Boots and Echo. They are not overly fond of roommates since a skunk decided to visit last year.

They don’t care about the full-grown hens. The chicks however, captured their interest.

I’ve told both cats my expectations. 

They should not, under any circumstances, try to approach or talk to the chicks.  

These are not edible roommates.

No matter how much noise they make, they are not asking for help.

In other words…leave the chicks alone.

I think they understand. At least, I hope they do.

Don’t Jump!

The chicks are growing quickly
They’ll soon outgrow their bin
Today we’ll have to move them
They just will not stay in

They jump up on eachother
They knock the cardboard lid
I hear them cheap and rustle
They’re just like a little kids

They’re getting kind of sassy
They peck at all our hands
I’m trying hard to love them
I’m not sure that I can

They’ve lost their skittish nature
They’ve grown so brave and bold
They may be more like leghorns
Mean and hard to hold

I only hope they lay well
And more than one a week
If they don’t then can guess
What their lot will be

Crazy Chick Growth

We let the chicks out the other day and in only 4 days, they’ve grown and are losing their fuzz and getting their feathers.

April 1

They shed the fuzz and the feathers are slowly coming in so they are starting to look a bit bedraggled.

April 4

It is amazing how quickly they grow. In just under 2 weeks, they are easily double the size they were when we moved them from the incubator to their new home.

At 15-22 weeks they become pullets until they start laying eggs. Then, they graduate to hens.

March 23

We aren’t sure if these girls will be good layers or not. Their Pearl White Leghorn mom(s) are one of the best laying breeds. But they also have DNA from Pecky who is a Blue Cochin.

Cochins are really more of a show bird and lay around 1…per week. Yikes.

I came in the school room the other day and one of the chicks was walking around outside the tote.

At first, I thought that it had jumped on top of the waterer to get out. But when I looked in the tote, I saw the chicks jumping on each other and then trying to jump out. I guess they were giving each other a boost up.

Teamwork at its finest.

Go team chicken go!
Give each other a boost up!
Don’t poop on the floor!