Regency Chickens, Because Why Not?

 

Wench 4th c bce etruscan

Fourth Century BCE Etruscan chicken beaker

Joanna here, talking chicken history, with special attention to chickens in the Regency.

By this I mean historical eating chickens rather than show chickens or fighting chickens or pet chickens, though I imagine some Regency folks kept chickens and became very fond of them. I will talk about pet chickens later.

Not everyone agrees chickens are pet material.

Look in the eye of a chicken and you’ll know. It’s the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creature in this world.      Werner Herzog

In the Regency — in most times and places — chickens were “women’s livestock,” a minor and cozily domestic part of the farm economy, kept by the woman of the house for “egg money,” fed thriftily with scraps and garden bugs and free-range foraging.
I don't know about everywhere, but in the US in the C20 the money a woman made from her chickens was hers to spend as she would.

Wench girl feeding chickens albert anker 1831 1910

Might be grain. Might be table crumbs

“Chickens consumed a lot of garden waste. For example, if you’d finished picking all the peas, then you pulled up the vines and fed them to the chickens. When you had a biscuit that didn’t rise properly or bread with mold, you threw it into the farmyard. Chickens love bugs and are omnivorous, so they eat meat and, sometimes, eat each other. They also love mice.”

  Elaine Shirley, Colonial Williamsburg

Wench late c18

chicken, wishing she were in a coop

Chicken coops have probably existed as long as chickens, the birds not being notably good at defending themselves against predators of the night. The Roman writer Columella in the first century advises that “chicken coops should face southeast and lie adjacent to the kitchen, as smoke is beneficial for the animals” and "poultry never thrive so well as in warmth and smoke."

We can therefore happily and accurately imagine our Regency heroine (who is hiding on her old nurse's farm to escape her evil guardian,) feeding the chickens and shooing them into their coop for the night, safe from foxes.

Random chicken fact:

Most chicken owners will tell you that hens with red/brown earlobes lay brown eggs and those with white earlobes produce white eggs. This is a useful rule of thumb but there are exceptions.
     John Lloyd & John Mitchinson, QI, The Telegraph

The chickens I have known most intimately have been West African chickens. They roost in trees at night. You’d drive home after dark and there they’d all be, big loaf-sized shapes up in the branches of the trees.

If strangers come into the chicken run, the big, vicious, brightly colored roosters attack, going for your face. They used to scare me to the death.   

Wench doodle Beale collection 1784r

Doodle from the Beale papers, 1784. A rooster in trousers

Historically, the meat of the chicken has been secondary to the egg value. Farm women sold plump capons and scrawny old hens for a nice price. Hens graced the farm table in the cold autumn when forage got scarce and egg-laying stopped. And unlucky chickens might be served up on special occasions. (i.e. “We’ll kill the Old Red Rooster when she comes,” which is enough to make anyone nervous about visitors, frankly, chicken or not.)

But a good layer or good brooder was too valuable to eat.

Worth noting here that eggs were seasonal too. One reason we eat eggs for Passover and for Easter is that they’re — Yeah! — available again in the spring and so welcome. We take so much for granted in modern times.

 

Buff orpington wiki

a Buff Orpington who must have been working out

 

 

Geese and turkeys were the meat birds. Premium food. Rich man’s fare.

Couple of reasons for this. For one thing, they had considerably more meat on them than the Regency chicken.

A modern Buff Orpington, (which comes to mind because of Dorothy Sayers — I think it’s Busman’s Honeymoon,) weighs in at 7 or 8 pounds. A common chicken of the Regency period, the Dominique, would be 5 or 6 pounds in its modern iteration. Smaller, most likely, in the Regency when its food supply would be somewhat more precarious.

Dominique wiki

Dominique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wench late c19 early c20 tennessee

A goose drive. It's actually Tennessee and late C19 or early C20 , but the principle is the same

But geese and turkeys were also more marketable.

Let us consider the annual autumn March of the Geese (or turkeys.) From the late Sixteenth Century onward, flock by flock, a couple hundred at a time, geese and turkeys walked from farms in Norfolk to Leadenhall Market in London.

In the Regency period this might have been 100,000 to 200,000 birds in all, sauntering by easy stages to London, nibbling wasteland and stubble as they went.

 

Daunting historical tidbit: the turkeys wore little leather boots and the somewhat-less-cooperative geese waddled along with feet dipped in tar and then sand for protection from the rigors of the road.

Dipping the feet of outraged, full-grown geese into melted tar is another of the many farm tasks I would not have enjoyed.

Wench ledenhall market victorian

Leadenhall Market in C19

So turkeys and geese were raised for the London meat market. Chickens weren't. When I imagine the difficulties of walking mass flocks of chickens all the way to London, my mind boggles.

 

 

 

More chicken history …

Wench red junglefowl

Red Junglefowl, father of all chickens

Chickens thundered out of the East, India or China, a few millennia BCE. The root ancestors were a couple sorts of bright-colored East Asian jungle fowl.

Wench epiktetos ca 520-510 bce

Here, a boy rides a Very Big rooster. Epiketos c. 520-510 BCE

Being hardy, prolific, adaptable, and tasty, chickens spread in all directions. They hit southern Europe somewhat after 1000 BCE. We see them in Greece before 800 BCE.

Behold, these do not fight for their household gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty or the safety of their children, but only because one will not give way to the other.
    
Themistocles, general, 5th century BCE, seeing roosters by the side of the road being mutually murderous. He approved.

The Romans used chickens for oracles, both when flying and when feeding. The hen gave a favourable omen when appearing from the left, like the crow and the owl.
     Cic., de Div. ii.26,  via the wiki

May all your hens fly in from the left.

 

Wench dorking wiki

The Dorking, an early breed in England. Roman? Pre-Roman?

Maybe chickens arrived in England in shipboard coops with Phoenician tin traders. Maybe they squawked their way unhappily amid the sheep and pigs and small children of early invaders from across the Channel.

But when the Romans got there in 55 AD, they were greeted by chickens. Julius Caesar, in De Bello Gallico, remarked, "The Britons consider it contrary to divine law to eat the hare, the chicken, or the goose. They raise these, however, for their own amusement and pleasure."

Did Caesar get it right? Were chickens exotic oddities? Fighting birds? Useful for predicting the future? Pets?

Someday aliens may wonder why we keep cats since we don't eat them. 

 

All this leads to the question of pet chickens.             

Would Gallus gallus domesticusan be to your taste if you were picking an unusual pet companion
and you could ignore practicalities of all kinds?

Thursday Next had a dodo. (got THAT one wrong.)
I kinda like fancy fish.

What about you?  

160 thoughts on “Regency Chickens, Because Why Not?”

  1. Other than a couple of parakeets, we only ever had cats and dogs as pets. I never did warm up to the birds. They just seemed like work to me (cleaning cages).
    When I was young, I often visited a farm that belonged to a great aunt and 2 great uncles. They had raised my father and were like grandparents to me. They were getting up in years, so they didn’t have a lot of animals. Just several cows and pigs but a bunch of chickens. The cows and pigs had names, even though we knew from the get-go that they would be someones dinner one day. The chickens did not have names – too many I guess. And although some of them were also dinner, most were used for eggs – some of which were sold.
    I remember helping to collect the eggs, and sitting at a table and cleaning them with some sort of vinegar solution. I don’t remember the egg laying as being seasonal – but I was pretty young. Fun post.

    Reply
  2. Other than a couple of parakeets, we only ever had cats and dogs as pets. I never did warm up to the birds. They just seemed like work to me (cleaning cages).
    When I was young, I often visited a farm that belonged to a great aunt and 2 great uncles. They had raised my father and were like grandparents to me. They were getting up in years, so they didn’t have a lot of animals. Just several cows and pigs but a bunch of chickens. The cows and pigs had names, even though we knew from the get-go that they would be someones dinner one day. The chickens did not have names – too many I guess. And although some of them were also dinner, most were used for eggs – some of which were sold.
    I remember helping to collect the eggs, and sitting at a table and cleaning them with some sort of vinegar solution. I don’t remember the egg laying as being seasonal – but I was pretty young. Fun post.

    Reply
  3. Other than a couple of parakeets, we only ever had cats and dogs as pets. I never did warm up to the birds. They just seemed like work to me (cleaning cages).
    When I was young, I often visited a farm that belonged to a great aunt and 2 great uncles. They had raised my father and were like grandparents to me. They were getting up in years, so they didn’t have a lot of animals. Just several cows and pigs but a bunch of chickens. The cows and pigs had names, even though we knew from the get-go that they would be someones dinner one day. The chickens did not have names – too many I guess. And although some of them were also dinner, most were used for eggs – some of which were sold.
    I remember helping to collect the eggs, and sitting at a table and cleaning them with some sort of vinegar solution. I don’t remember the egg laying as being seasonal – but I was pretty young. Fun post.

    Reply
  4. Other than a couple of parakeets, we only ever had cats and dogs as pets. I never did warm up to the birds. They just seemed like work to me (cleaning cages).
    When I was young, I often visited a farm that belonged to a great aunt and 2 great uncles. They had raised my father and were like grandparents to me. They were getting up in years, so they didn’t have a lot of animals. Just several cows and pigs but a bunch of chickens. The cows and pigs had names, even though we knew from the get-go that they would be someones dinner one day. The chickens did not have names – too many I guess. And although some of them were also dinner, most were used for eggs – some of which were sold.
    I remember helping to collect the eggs, and sitting at a table and cleaning them with some sort of vinegar solution. I don’t remember the egg laying as being seasonal – but I was pretty young. Fun post.

    Reply
  5. Other than a couple of parakeets, we only ever had cats and dogs as pets. I never did warm up to the birds. They just seemed like work to me (cleaning cages).
    When I was young, I often visited a farm that belonged to a great aunt and 2 great uncles. They had raised my father and were like grandparents to me. They were getting up in years, so they didn’t have a lot of animals. Just several cows and pigs but a bunch of chickens. The cows and pigs had names, even though we knew from the get-go that they would be someones dinner one day. The chickens did not have names – too many I guess. And although some of them were also dinner, most were used for eggs – some of which were sold.
    I remember helping to collect the eggs, and sitting at a table and cleaning them with some sort of vinegar solution. I don’t remember the egg laying as being seasonal – but I was pretty young. Fun post.

    Reply
  6. Ameraucana chickens are curious and friendly: they will “talk” to you, and love fresh treats. Also, for some reason, chickens think that two is company and three’s a crowd: I’ve seen plenty of bullying issues with three or more birds, but seldom when two were segregated by themselves, even if they had both been difficult with other birds previously.
    The one exception I recall was an old white hen who was grieving the loss of her chicken-buddy. She did not want to be paired with another bird, and would attack any that we tried to put in with her. The two had bonded and she was not interested in a replacement.
    But yes, I would love to have chickens as pets again, if I could.

    Reply
  7. Ameraucana chickens are curious and friendly: they will “talk” to you, and love fresh treats. Also, for some reason, chickens think that two is company and three’s a crowd: I’ve seen plenty of bullying issues with three or more birds, but seldom when two were segregated by themselves, even if they had both been difficult with other birds previously.
    The one exception I recall was an old white hen who was grieving the loss of her chicken-buddy. She did not want to be paired with another bird, and would attack any that we tried to put in with her. The two had bonded and she was not interested in a replacement.
    But yes, I would love to have chickens as pets again, if I could.

    Reply
  8. Ameraucana chickens are curious and friendly: they will “talk” to you, and love fresh treats. Also, for some reason, chickens think that two is company and three’s a crowd: I’ve seen plenty of bullying issues with three or more birds, but seldom when two were segregated by themselves, even if they had both been difficult with other birds previously.
    The one exception I recall was an old white hen who was grieving the loss of her chicken-buddy. She did not want to be paired with another bird, and would attack any that we tried to put in with her. The two had bonded and she was not interested in a replacement.
    But yes, I would love to have chickens as pets again, if I could.

    Reply
  9. Ameraucana chickens are curious and friendly: they will “talk” to you, and love fresh treats. Also, for some reason, chickens think that two is company and three’s a crowd: I’ve seen plenty of bullying issues with three or more birds, but seldom when two were segregated by themselves, even if they had both been difficult with other birds previously.
    The one exception I recall was an old white hen who was grieving the loss of her chicken-buddy. She did not want to be paired with another bird, and would attack any that we tried to put in with her. The two had bonded and she was not interested in a replacement.
    But yes, I would love to have chickens as pets again, if I could.

    Reply
  10. Ameraucana chickens are curious and friendly: they will “talk” to you, and love fresh treats. Also, for some reason, chickens think that two is company and three’s a crowd: I’ve seen plenty of bullying issues with three or more birds, but seldom when two were segregated by themselves, even if they had both been difficult with other birds previously.
    The one exception I recall was an old white hen who was grieving the loss of her chicken-buddy. She did not want to be paired with another bird, and would attack any that we tried to put in with her. The two had bonded and she was not interested in a replacement.
    But yes, I would love to have chickens as pets again, if I could.

    Reply
  11. Fascinating, Jo! So many useful chicken bits. When I was very small, my father raised chickens and sold the eggs. We had two small devices, one for weighing the egg, which would show what size category it fit into. The other for “candling,” which mean putting the egg in front of a light to see if anything inside would be objectionable to the purchasers. One day he bundled them all up in burlap bags and took them away, possibly selling them to another chicken entrepreneur. I didn’t know their fate, nor miss them much.

    Reply
  12. Fascinating, Jo! So many useful chicken bits. When I was very small, my father raised chickens and sold the eggs. We had two small devices, one for weighing the egg, which would show what size category it fit into. The other for “candling,” which mean putting the egg in front of a light to see if anything inside would be objectionable to the purchasers. One day he bundled them all up in burlap bags and took them away, possibly selling them to another chicken entrepreneur. I didn’t know their fate, nor miss them much.

    Reply
  13. Fascinating, Jo! So many useful chicken bits. When I was very small, my father raised chickens and sold the eggs. We had two small devices, one for weighing the egg, which would show what size category it fit into. The other for “candling,” which mean putting the egg in front of a light to see if anything inside would be objectionable to the purchasers. One day he bundled them all up in burlap bags and took them away, possibly selling them to another chicken entrepreneur. I didn’t know their fate, nor miss them much.

    Reply
  14. Fascinating, Jo! So many useful chicken bits. When I was very small, my father raised chickens and sold the eggs. We had two small devices, one for weighing the egg, which would show what size category it fit into. The other for “candling,” which mean putting the egg in front of a light to see if anything inside would be objectionable to the purchasers. One day he bundled them all up in burlap bags and took them away, possibly selling them to another chicken entrepreneur. I didn’t know their fate, nor miss them much.

    Reply
  15. Fascinating, Jo! So many useful chicken bits. When I was very small, my father raised chickens and sold the eggs. We had two small devices, one for weighing the egg, which would show what size category it fit into. The other for “candling,” which mean putting the egg in front of a light to see if anything inside would be objectionable to the purchasers. One day he bundled them all up in burlap bags and took them away, possibly selling them to another chicken entrepreneur. I didn’t know their fate, nor miss them much.

    Reply
  16. My 95-year-old mother says that anyone who ever had much to do with chickens wouldn’t mind killing them. She says this with all the bitterness of a small girl whose bare feet the chickens were constantly confusing with their feed! She says in those days, her mother mail-ordered the chicks and they arrived via railroad when they were a few days old. Once they weighed a pound and a half, they were eligible for the dinner table. And if they stopped laying, their days were numbered!

    Reply
  17. My 95-year-old mother says that anyone who ever had much to do with chickens wouldn’t mind killing them. She says this with all the bitterness of a small girl whose bare feet the chickens were constantly confusing with their feed! She says in those days, her mother mail-ordered the chicks and they arrived via railroad when they were a few days old. Once they weighed a pound and a half, they were eligible for the dinner table. And if they stopped laying, their days were numbered!

    Reply
  18. My 95-year-old mother says that anyone who ever had much to do with chickens wouldn’t mind killing them. She says this with all the bitterness of a small girl whose bare feet the chickens were constantly confusing with their feed! She says in those days, her mother mail-ordered the chicks and they arrived via railroad when they were a few days old. Once they weighed a pound and a half, they were eligible for the dinner table. And if they stopped laying, their days were numbered!

    Reply
  19. My 95-year-old mother says that anyone who ever had much to do with chickens wouldn’t mind killing them. She says this with all the bitterness of a small girl whose bare feet the chickens were constantly confusing with their feed! She says in those days, her mother mail-ordered the chicks and they arrived via railroad when they were a few days old. Once they weighed a pound and a half, they were eligible for the dinner table. And if they stopped laying, their days were numbered!

    Reply
  20. My 95-year-old mother says that anyone who ever had much to do with chickens wouldn’t mind killing them. She says this with all the bitterness of a small girl whose bare feet the chickens were constantly confusing with their feed! She says in those days, her mother mail-ordered the chicks and they arrived via railroad when they were a few days old. Once they weighed a pound and a half, they were eligible for the dinner table. And if they stopped laying, their days were numbered!

    Reply
  21. I have a small flock of chickens. Welsummer. They’re a Dutch breed from early 20th Century. Think of the rooster on the Kelloggs Cornflake packet. That’s a Welsummer.
    My rooster’s name is Roger, so I call my flock ‘Roger and the Ramjets’. Roger has 11 hens, so he’s more than happy.

    Reply
  22. I have a small flock of chickens. Welsummer. They’re a Dutch breed from early 20th Century. Think of the rooster on the Kelloggs Cornflake packet. That’s a Welsummer.
    My rooster’s name is Roger, so I call my flock ‘Roger and the Ramjets’. Roger has 11 hens, so he’s more than happy.

    Reply
  23. I have a small flock of chickens. Welsummer. They’re a Dutch breed from early 20th Century. Think of the rooster on the Kelloggs Cornflake packet. That’s a Welsummer.
    My rooster’s name is Roger, so I call my flock ‘Roger and the Ramjets’. Roger has 11 hens, so he’s more than happy.

    Reply
  24. I have a small flock of chickens. Welsummer. They’re a Dutch breed from early 20th Century. Think of the rooster on the Kelloggs Cornflake packet. That’s a Welsummer.
    My rooster’s name is Roger, so I call my flock ‘Roger and the Ramjets’. Roger has 11 hens, so he’s more than happy.

    Reply
  25. I have a small flock of chickens. Welsummer. They’re a Dutch breed from early 20th Century. Think of the rooster on the Kelloggs Cornflake packet. That’s a Welsummer.
    My rooster’s name is Roger, so I call my flock ‘Roger and the Ramjets’. Roger has 11 hens, so he’s more than happy.

    Reply
  26. I’ve never been close to live chickens though my husband’s family raised them when he was growing up. Frankly, they scare me. Call me a … chicken!
    We did have a beautiful white and yellow parrot when I was a child. His name was Pali (pronounced Polly) which was Hungarian for Paul. He was a protected bird in Australia, so we had to find him a new family when we left the country.

    Reply
  27. I’ve never been close to live chickens though my husband’s family raised them when he was growing up. Frankly, they scare me. Call me a … chicken!
    We did have a beautiful white and yellow parrot when I was a child. His name was Pali (pronounced Polly) which was Hungarian for Paul. He was a protected bird in Australia, so we had to find him a new family when we left the country.

    Reply
  28. I’ve never been close to live chickens though my husband’s family raised them when he was growing up. Frankly, they scare me. Call me a … chicken!
    We did have a beautiful white and yellow parrot when I was a child. His name was Pali (pronounced Polly) which was Hungarian for Paul. He was a protected bird in Australia, so we had to find him a new family when we left the country.

    Reply
  29. I’ve never been close to live chickens though my husband’s family raised them when he was growing up. Frankly, they scare me. Call me a … chicken!
    We did have a beautiful white and yellow parrot when I was a child. His name was Pali (pronounced Polly) which was Hungarian for Paul. He was a protected bird in Australia, so we had to find him a new family when we left the country.

    Reply
  30. I’ve never been close to live chickens though my husband’s family raised them when he was growing up. Frankly, they scare me. Call me a … chicken!
    We did have a beautiful white and yellow parrot when I was a child. His name was Pali (pronounced Polly) which was Hungarian for Paul. He was a protected bird in Australia, so we had to find him a new family when we left the country.

    Reply
  31. This city slicker first encounter with a chicken was through an elderly friend living out in the country. She raised a different breed of chicken that had feathered feet. This particular chicken had a beautiful black and white chicken. The woman picked up her “tamed” chicken to let me touch its soft feathers.

    Reply
  32. This city slicker first encounter with a chicken was through an elderly friend living out in the country. She raised a different breed of chicken that had feathered feet. This particular chicken had a beautiful black and white chicken. The woman picked up her “tamed” chicken to let me touch its soft feathers.

    Reply
  33. This city slicker first encounter with a chicken was through an elderly friend living out in the country. She raised a different breed of chicken that had feathered feet. This particular chicken had a beautiful black and white chicken. The woman picked up her “tamed” chicken to let me touch its soft feathers.

    Reply
  34. This city slicker first encounter with a chicken was through an elderly friend living out in the country. She raised a different breed of chicken that had feathered feet. This particular chicken had a beautiful black and white chicken. The woman picked up her “tamed” chicken to let me touch its soft feathers.

    Reply
  35. This city slicker first encounter with a chicken was through an elderly friend living out in the country. She raised a different breed of chicken that had feathered feet. This particular chicken had a beautiful black and white chicken. The woman picked up her “tamed” chicken to let me touch its soft feathers.

    Reply
  36. I had an elderly relative who said that when she was a child—this would be back before World War I—she and her brothers and sisters loved Easter because this was the one day of the year they could eat all the eggs they wanted. The rest of the year, the eggs were strictly for selling.

    Reply
  37. I had an elderly relative who said that when she was a child—this would be back before World War I—she and her brothers and sisters loved Easter because this was the one day of the year they could eat all the eggs they wanted. The rest of the year, the eggs were strictly for selling.

    Reply
  38. I had an elderly relative who said that when she was a child—this would be back before World War I—she and her brothers and sisters loved Easter because this was the one day of the year they could eat all the eggs they wanted. The rest of the year, the eggs were strictly for selling.

    Reply
  39. I had an elderly relative who said that when she was a child—this would be back before World War I—she and her brothers and sisters loved Easter because this was the one day of the year they could eat all the eggs they wanted. The rest of the year, the eggs were strictly for selling.

    Reply
  40. I had an elderly relative who said that when she was a child—this would be back before World War I—she and her brothers and sisters loved Easter because this was the one day of the year they could eat all the eggs they wanted. The rest of the year, the eggs were strictly for selling.

    Reply
  41. An adjunct instructor in Serbo-Croatian taught me more about chickens than grammar. He brought in pictures of his beloved chickens: “See the beautiful sheen of her feathers! When I took her to Jordan Marsh and put her on the counter, everyone said how lovely she is. Even the policeman who came to arrest me said she is beautiful.”
    More Balkan chickens: in the memorable memoir “Confessions of a Bashi-Bazouk,” (c. 1890), the intrepid British journalist embedded with the Ottoman Army in Macedonia noted that in every village he could buy either chickens or eggs, but never both.

    Reply
  42. An adjunct instructor in Serbo-Croatian taught me more about chickens than grammar. He brought in pictures of his beloved chickens: “See the beautiful sheen of her feathers! When I took her to Jordan Marsh and put her on the counter, everyone said how lovely she is. Even the policeman who came to arrest me said she is beautiful.”
    More Balkan chickens: in the memorable memoir “Confessions of a Bashi-Bazouk,” (c. 1890), the intrepid British journalist embedded with the Ottoman Army in Macedonia noted that in every village he could buy either chickens or eggs, but never both.

    Reply
  43. An adjunct instructor in Serbo-Croatian taught me more about chickens than grammar. He brought in pictures of his beloved chickens: “See the beautiful sheen of her feathers! When I took her to Jordan Marsh and put her on the counter, everyone said how lovely she is. Even the policeman who came to arrest me said she is beautiful.”
    More Balkan chickens: in the memorable memoir “Confessions of a Bashi-Bazouk,” (c. 1890), the intrepid British journalist embedded with the Ottoman Army in Macedonia noted that in every village he could buy either chickens or eggs, but never both.

    Reply
  44. An adjunct instructor in Serbo-Croatian taught me more about chickens than grammar. He brought in pictures of his beloved chickens: “See the beautiful sheen of her feathers! When I took her to Jordan Marsh and put her on the counter, everyone said how lovely she is. Even the policeman who came to arrest me said she is beautiful.”
    More Balkan chickens: in the memorable memoir “Confessions of a Bashi-Bazouk,” (c. 1890), the intrepid British journalist embedded with the Ottoman Army in Macedonia noted that in every village he could buy either chickens or eggs, but never both.

    Reply
  45. An adjunct instructor in Serbo-Croatian taught me more about chickens than grammar. He brought in pictures of his beloved chickens: “See the beautiful sheen of her feathers! When I took her to Jordan Marsh and put her on the counter, everyone said how lovely she is. Even the policeman who came to arrest me said she is beautiful.”
    More Balkan chickens: in the memorable memoir “Confessions of a Bashi-Bazouk,” (c. 1890), the intrepid British journalist embedded with the Ottoman Army in Macedonia noted that in every village he could buy either chickens or eggs, but never both.

    Reply
  46. When I was a child, we had dogs, a couple of pet skunks, some chickens who got too big for their britches, and my sister had a pet rabbit and we also had a pet duck named Willie.
    When I had children at home, we had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, (one of them was defective and we woke one morning with two more than we had the night before),horses a yellow nape parrot, an umbrella cockatoo, a cockatiel and a pair of doves.
    The chickens we has when we were kids became escape artists. No matter what we did they wanted to be where they were not supposed to be. Eventually we had to give them to someone on a farm – my parents never told us – but looking back I think they were all roosters. I do not believe they lived long and happy lives after going to a farm.
    In our family I have dealt with wonderful hens who were nosy and funny and laid eggs really well. I have also met two roosters who thought they were still prehistoric creatures who ruled the earth and all the creatures thereon. The roosters who I knew as a child were just ornery. The two roosters who lived with my grandmother were killers in feathers.

    Reply
  47. When I was a child, we had dogs, a couple of pet skunks, some chickens who got too big for their britches, and my sister had a pet rabbit and we also had a pet duck named Willie.
    When I had children at home, we had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, (one of them was defective and we woke one morning with two more than we had the night before),horses a yellow nape parrot, an umbrella cockatoo, a cockatiel and a pair of doves.
    The chickens we has when we were kids became escape artists. No matter what we did they wanted to be where they were not supposed to be. Eventually we had to give them to someone on a farm – my parents never told us – but looking back I think they were all roosters. I do not believe they lived long and happy lives after going to a farm.
    In our family I have dealt with wonderful hens who were nosy and funny and laid eggs really well. I have also met two roosters who thought they were still prehistoric creatures who ruled the earth and all the creatures thereon. The roosters who I knew as a child were just ornery. The two roosters who lived with my grandmother were killers in feathers.

    Reply
  48. When I was a child, we had dogs, a couple of pet skunks, some chickens who got too big for their britches, and my sister had a pet rabbit and we also had a pet duck named Willie.
    When I had children at home, we had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, (one of them was defective and we woke one morning with two more than we had the night before),horses a yellow nape parrot, an umbrella cockatoo, a cockatiel and a pair of doves.
    The chickens we has when we were kids became escape artists. No matter what we did they wanted to be where they were not supposed to be. Eventually we had to give them to someone on a farm – my parents never told us – but looking back I think they were all roosters. I do not believe they lived long and happy lives after going to a farm.
    In our family I have dealt with wonderful hens who were nosy and funny and laid eggs really well. I have also met two roosters who thought they were still prehistoric creatures who ruled the earth and all the creatures thereon. The roosters who I knew as a child were just ornery. The two roosters who lived with my grandmother were killers in feathers.

    Reply
  49. When I was a child, we had dogs, a couple of pet skunks, some chickens who got too big for their britches, and my sister had a pet rabbit and we also had a pet duck named Willie.
    When I had children at home, we had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, (one of them was defective and we woke one morning with two more than we had the night before),horses a yellow nape parrot, an umbrella cockatoo, a cockatiel and a pair of doves.
    The chickens we has when we were kids became escape artists. No matter what we did they wanted to be where they were not supposed to be. Eventually we had to give them to someone on a farm – my parents never told us – but looking back I think they were all roosters. I do not believe they lived long and happy lives after going to a farm.
    In our family I have dealt with wonderful hens who were nosy and funny and laid eggs really well. I have also met two roosters who thought they were still prehistoric creatures who ruled the earth and all the creatures thereon. The roosters who I knew as a child were just ornery. The two roosters who lived with my grandmother were killers in feathers.

    Reply
  50. When I was a child, we had dogs, a couple of pet skunks, some chickens who got too big for their britches, and my sister had a pet rabbit and we also had a pet duck named Willie.
    When I had children at home, we had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, (one of them was defective and we woke one morning with two more than we had the night before),horses a yellow nape parrot, an umbrella cockatoo, a cockatiel and a pair of doves.
    The chickens we has when we were kids became escape artists. No matter what we did they wanted to be where they were not supposed to be. Eventually we had to give them to someone on a farm – my parents never told us – but looking back I think they were all roosters. I do not believe they lived long and happy lives after going to a farm.
    In our family I have dealt with wonderful hens who were nosy and funny and laid eggs really well. I have also met two roosters who thought they were still prehistoric creatures who ruled the earth and all the creatures thereon. The roosters who I knew as a child were just ornery. The two roosters who lived with my grandmother were killers in feathers.

    Reply
  51. Oh yes, when my children were young, we also had 7 aquariums filled with very interesting fish. Some were beautiful, some were interesting and most of them had no qualms about eating an old friend who had been swimming with them for a long time.

    Reply
  52. Oh yes, when my children were young, we also had 7 aquariums filled with very interesting fish. Some were beautiful, some were interesting and most of them had no qualms about eating an old friend who had been swimming with them for a long time.

    Reply
  53. Oh yes, when my children were young, we also had 7 aquariums filled with very interesting fish. Some were beautiful, some were interesting and most of them had no qualms about eating an old friend who had been swimming with them for a long time.

    Reply
  54. Oh yes, when my children were young, we also had 7 aquariums filled with very interesting fish. Some were beautiful, some were interesting and most of them had no qualms about eating an old friend who had been swimming with them for a long time.

    Reply
  55. Oh yes, when my children were young, we also had 7 aquariums filled with very interesting fish. Some were beautiful, some were interesting and most of them had no qualms about eating an old friend who had been swimming with them for a long time.

    Reply
  56. To me chickens are the source of eggs (to which I am sensitive) and of meat. I HAVE fed the chickens on a friends farm, and eaten one (the body reaction after beheading had that one leap rooftop high; the rest of the eating chickens have come from grocers. I have also bought eggs from famiy chicken “ranches” in Wabash County, Indiana.
    My experinces would lead me to believe that they are brainless and ill-behaved; not good pet material.

    Reply
  57. To me chickens are the source of eggs (to which I am sensitive) and of meat. I HAVE fed the chickens on a friends farm, and eaten one (the body reaction after beheading had that one leap rooftop high; the rest of the eating chickens have come from grocers. I have also bought eggs from famiy chicken “ranches” in Wabash County, Indiana.
    My experinces would lead me to believe that they are brainless and ill-behaved; not good pet material.

    Reply
  58. To me chickens are the source of eggs (to which I am sensitive) and of meat. I HAVE fed the chickens on a friends farm, and eaten one (the body reaction after beheading had that one leap rooftop high; the rest of the eating chickens have come from grocers. I have also bought eggs from famiy chicken “ranches” in Wabash County, Indiana.
    My experinces would lead me to believe that they are brainless and ill-behaved; not good pet material.

    Reply
  59. To me chickens are the source of eggs (to which I am sensitive) and of meat. I HAVE fed the chickens on a friends farm, and eaten one (the body reaction after beheading had that one leap rooftop high; the rest of the eating chickens have come from grocers. I have also bought eggs from famiy chicken “ranches” in Wabash County, Indiana.
    My experinces would lead me to believe that they are brainless and ill-behaved; not good pet material.

    Reply
  60. To me chickens are the source of eggs (to which I am sensitive) and of meat. I HAVE fed the chickens on a friends farm, and eaten one (the body reaction after beheading had that one leap rooftop high; the rest of the eating chickens have come from grocers. I have also bought eggs from famiy chicken “ranches” in Wabash County, Indiana.
    My experinces would lead me to believe that they are brainless and ill-behaved; not good pet material.

    Reply
  61. I agree with you about birds. They don’t don’t seem … well … fond of the owners somehow.
    But I can’t keep birds because I am allergic to feathers so I really don’t know.
    I don’t know whether chicken eggs were seasonal because the breeds are different, or because it’s now possible to keep the lighting right. Or because we can afford to feed them grain in the winter …

    Reply
  62. I agree with you about birds. They don’t don’t seem … well … fond of the owners somehow.
    But I can’t keep birds because I am allergic to feathers so I really don’t know.
    I don’t know whether chicken eggs were seasonal because the breeds are different, or because it’s now possible to keep the lighting right. Or because we can afford to feed them grain in the winter …

    Reply
  63. I agree with you about birds. They don’t don’t seem … well … fond of the owners somehow.
    But I can’t keep birds because I am allergic to feathers so I really don’t know.
    I don’t know whether chicken eggs were seasonal because the breeds are different, or because it’s now possible to keep the lighting right. Or because we can afford to feed them grain in the winter …

    Reply
  64. I agree with you about birds. They don’t don’t seem … well … fond of the owners somehow.
    But I can’t keep birds because I am allergic to feathers so I really don’t know.
    I don’t know whether chicken eggs were seasonal because the breeds are different, or because it’s now possible to keep the lighting right. Or because we can afford to feed them grain in the winter …

    Reply
  65. I agree with you about birds. They don’t don’t seem … well … fond of the owners somehow.
    But I can’t keep birds because I am allergic to feathers so I really don’t know.
    I don’t know whether chicken eggs were seasonal because the breeds are different, or because it’s now possible to keep the lighting right. Or because we can afford to feed them grain in the winter …

    Reply
  66. Let us assume they went to a chicken rescue organization and were re-homed to good families.
    I would like to know what makes somebody pro-chick and the next guy chicken-neutral and another fellow violently anti-chick.
    I can make a guess as to who’s gonna like dogs as opposed to cats. I’d get very slightly better than random results.
    Chickens? No clue.

    Reply
  67. Let us assume they went to a chicken rescue organization and were re-homed to good families.
    I would like to know what makes somebody pro-chick and the next guy chicken-neutral and another fellow violently anti-chick.
    I can make a guess as to who’s gonna like dogs as opposed to cats. I’d get very slightly better than random results.
    Chickens? No clue.

    Reply
  68. Let us assume they went to a chicken rescue organization and were re-homed to good families.
    I would like to know what makes somebody pro-chick and the next guy chicken-neutral and another fellow violently anti-chick.
    I can make a guess as to who’s gonna like dogs as opposed to cats. I’d get very slightly better than random results.
    Chickens? No clue.

    Reply
  69. Let us assume they went to a chicken rescue organization and were re-homed to good families.
    I would like to know what makes somebody pro-chick and the next guy chicken-neutral and another fellow violently anti-chick.
    I can make a guess as to who’s gonna like dogs as opposed to cats. I’d get very slightly better than random results.
    Chickens? No clue.

    Reply
  70. Let us assume they went to a chicken rescue organization and were re-homed to good families.
    I would like to know what makes somebody pro-chick and the next guy chicken-neutral and another fellow violently anti-chick.
    I can make a guess as to who’s gonna like dogs as opposed to cats. I’d get very slightly better than random results.
    Chickens? No clue.

    Reply
  71. I have heard of this before, that Australian have ordinary local birds as pets but can’t leave the country with them because, protected.
    Where I live, we’re not allowed to keep animals that occur naturally in the local environment as pets. So I could keep a big old turtle native to Florida, but not one of the Virginia turtles.
    Necessary and good, I suppose, but it does seem odd.

    Reply
  72. I have heard of this before, that Australian have ordinary local birds as pets but can’t leave the country with them because, protected.
    Where I live, we’re not allowed to keep animals that occur naturally in the local environment as pets. So I could keep a big old turtle native to Florida, but not one of the Virginia turtles.
    Necessary and good, I suppose, but it does seem odd.

    Reply
  73. I have heard of this before, that Australian have ordinary local birds as pets but can’t leave the country with them because, protected.
    Where I live, we’re not allowed to keep animals that occur naturally in the local environment as pets. So I could keep a big old turtle native to Florida, but not one of the Virginia turtles.
    Necessary and good, I suppose, but it does seem odd.

    Reply
  74. I have heard of this before, that Australian have ordinary local birds as pets but can’t leave the country with them because, protected.
    Where I live, we’re not allowed to keep animals that occur naturally in the local environment as pets. So I could keep a big old turtle native to Florida, but not one of the Virginia turtles.
    Necessary and good, I suppose, but it does seem odd.

    Reply
  75. I have heard of this before, that Australian have ordinary local birds as pets but can’t leave the country with them because, protected.
    Where I live, we’re not allowed to keep animals that occur naturally in the local environment as pets. So I could keep a big old turtle native to Florida, but not one of the Virginia turtles.
    Necessary and good, I suppose, but it does seem odd.

    Reply
  76. Roosters are there, among other things, to protect the hens and chicks.
    Get everybody into the coop at night. Kill those snakes! Chase away that rat! Give warning of the evil fox!
    They are Serious Birds, with a job to do.
    It is not all beer and skittles being a rooster.

    Reply
  77. Roosters are there, among other things, to protect the hens and chicks.
    Get everybody into the coop at night. Kill those snakes! Chase away that rat! Give warning of the evil fox!
    They are Serious Birds, with a job to do.
    It is not all beer and skittles being a rooster.

    Reply
  78. Roosters are there, among other things, to protect the hens and chicks.
    Get everybody into the coop at night. Kill those snakes! Chase away that rat! Give warning of the evil fox!
    They are Serious Birds, with a job to do.
    It is not all beer and skittles being a rooster.

    Reply
  79. Roosters are there, among other things, to protect the hens and chicks.
    Get everybody into the coop at night. Kill those snakes! Chase away that rat! Give warning of the evil fox!
    They are Serious Birds, with a job to do.
    It is not all beer and skittles being a rooster.

    Reply
  80. Roosters are there, among other things, to protect the hens and chicks.
    Get everybody into the coop at night. Kill those snakes! Chase away that rat! Give warning of the evil fox!
    They are Serious Birds, with a job to do.
    It is not all beer and skittles being a rooster.

    Reply
  81. I would agree with you, in terms of chickens not being good pet material.
    But then, I have had several friends who found them fascinating and affectionate and gave them names and told stories about them.
    I don’t know whether this means the world is full of wonderful chickens or I am blessed with odd friends.

    Reply
  82. I would agree with you, in terms of chickens not being good pet material.
    But then, I have had several friends who found them fascinating and affectionate and gave them names and told stories about them.
    I don’t know whether this means the world is full of wonderful chickens or I am blessed with odd friends.

    Reply
  83. I would agree with you, in terms of chickens not being good pet material.
    But then, I have had several friends who found them fascinating and affectionate and gave them names and told stories about them.
    I don’t know whether this means the world is full of wonderful chickens or I am blessed with odd friends.

    Reply
  84. I would agree with you, in terms of chickens not being good pet material.
    But then, I have had several friends who found them fascinating and affectionate and gave them names and told stories about them.
    I don’t know whether this means the world is full of wonderful chickens or I am blessed with odd friends.

    Reply
  85. I would agree with you, in terms of chickens not being good pet material.
    But then, I have had several friends who found them fascinating and affectionate and gave them names and told stories about them.
    I don’t know whether this means the world is full of wonderful chickens or I am blessed with odd friends.

    Reply
  86. I just visited a friend in upstate New York who keeps chickens and ducks and guinea hens. Since I’ve never spent time around farm animals, it was all a novelty to me. I don’t know what kind of chickens they are, but the eggs came in a variety of colors, brownish and greenish and blueish. I am still enjoying them. I also brought home a dozen duck eggs, great for baking, like for flans and quiches. The guinea hens are useless for eggs or eating and extremely stupid, but she keeps them because apparently they eat a lot of ticks.

    Reply
  87. I just visited a friend in upstate New York who keeps chickens and ducks and guinea hens. Since I’ve never spent time around farm animals, it was all a novelty to me. I don’t know what kind of chickens they are, but the eggs came in a variety of colors, brownish and greenish and blueish. I am still enjoying them. I also brought home a dozen duck eggs, great for baking, like for flans and quiches. The guinea hens are useless for eggs or eating and extremely stupid, but she keeps them because apparently they eat a lot of ticks.

    Reply
  88. I just visited a friend in upstate New York who keeps chickens and ducks and guinea hens. Since I’ve never spent time around farm animals, it was all a novelty to me. I don’t know what kind of chickens they are, but the eggs came in a variety of colors, brownish and greenish and blueish. I am still enjoying them. I also brought home a dozen duck eggs, great for baking, like for flans and quiches. The guinea hens are useless for eggs or eating and extremely stupid, but she keeps them because apparently they eat a lot of ticks.

    Reply
  89. I just visited a friend in upstate New York who keeps chickens and ducks and guinea hens. Since I’ve never spent time around farm animals, it was all a novelty to me. I don’t know what kind of chickens they are, but the eggs came in a variety of colors, brownish and greenish and blueish. I am still enjoying them. I also brought home a dozen duck eggs, great for baking, like for flans and quiches. The guinea hens are useless for eggs or eating and extremely stupid, but she keeps them because apparently they eat a lot of ticks.

    Reply
  90. I just visited a friend in upstate New York who keeps chickens and ducks and guinea hens. Since I’ve never spent time around farm animals, it was all a novelty to me. I don’t know what kind of chickens they are, but the eggs came in a variety of colors, brownish and greenish and blueish. I am still enjoying them. I also brought home a dozen duck eggs, great for baking, like for flans and quiches. The guinea hens are useless for eggs or eating and extremely stupid, but she keeps them because apparently they eat a lot of ticks.

    Reply
  91. Enjoyed the blog. We have kept chickens off and on over the years. Currently we have Buff Orpingtons and Black Jersey Giants both of whom are brown eggs layers and handle Michigan winters easily. We keep a light on during the winter and they continue to lay eggs. During this summer, we have allowed them to range and unless they happen to get caught unexpectedly by the dusk, always make it back to the coop before dark. As our summer shortens, they are roosting earlier and earlier 🙁 For fun, although they are good layers and some make excellent brooders, we have a group of bantsie called the “flowers of the chicken world”. They are colorful, cheerful and energetic. Unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for banties, I take what I get in a mixed batch. That normally means more roosters than hens and that means trouble, but they are so pretty that I am reluctant to part with any. We balance it out by only ordering hens in the larger chickens. We presently have one bantan Silky rooster named Woodstock (Peanuts character) and one Buff Orpington hen variously called Blondie, Princess, or Beatrice. She likes the cat food and is the only one who will come into the barn, scare the cats away and eat their food – wet or dry. If the big slider doors are closed, she’ll come in through the outside stall door and wander around the feet of the mule and mammoth donkeys. She hunkers right down when I try to chase her out of the barn and so can be picked up and petted. As a side note, and nothing that I have ever learned to do, one can tell which hens have stopped laying by checking the bones of their behind. Another note, it is tricky to make a capon out of a rooster. Another thing I have never learned to do. I read about the process once and decided cutting into a live chicken was not my thing. I give the earlier centuries folks a lot of credit for figuring out how to do that. And finally, there is a South Carolina artist named Michael Hann who goes by “Roo” (Hann being rooster in German apparently) who has a FB page where he sells water colors of roosters, chicks and a dumpy little blue French hen with snappy sayings written on them. I own several because I like chickens and his work. LOL

    Reply
  92. Enjoyed the blog. We have kept chickens off and on over the years. Currently we have Buff Orpingtons and Black Jersey Giants both of whom are brown eggs layers and handle Michigan winters easily. We keep a light on during the winter and they continue to lay eggs. During this summer, we have allowed them to range and unless they happen to get caught unexpectedly by the dusk, always make it back to the coop before dark. As our summer shortens, they are roosting earlier and earlier 🙁 For fun, although they are good layers and some make excellent brooders, we have a group of bantsie called the “flowers of the chicken world”. They are colorful, cheerful and energetic. Unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for banties, I take what I get in a mixed batch. That normally means more roosters than hens and that means trouble, but they are so pretty that I am reluctant to part with any. We balance it out by only ordering hens in the larger chickens. We presently have one bantan Silky rooster named Woodstock (Peanuts character) and one Buff Orpington hen variously called Blondie, Princess, or Beatrice. She likes the cat food and is the only one who will come into the barn, scare the cats away and eat their food – wet or dry. If the big slider doors are closed, she’ll come in through the outside stall door and wander around the feet of the mule and mammoth donkeys. She hunkers right down when I try to chase her out of the barn and so can be picked up and petted. As a side note, and nothing that I have ever learned to do, one can tell which hens have stopped laying by checking the bones of their behind. Another note, it is tricky to make a capon out of a rooster. Another thing I have never learned to do. I read about the process once and decided cutting into a live chicken was not my thing. I give the earlier centuries folks a lot of credit for figuring out how to do that. And finally, there is a South Carolina artist named Michael Hann who goes by “Roo” (Hann being rooster in German apparently) who has a FB page where he sells water colors of roosters, chicks and a dumpy little blue French hen with snappy sayings written on them. I own several because I like chickens and his work. LOL

    Reply
  93. Enjoyed the blog. We have kept chickens off and on over the years. Currently we have Buff Orpingtons and Black Jersey Giants both of whom are brown eggs layers and handle Michigan winters easily. We keep a light on during the winter and they continue to lay eggs. During this summer, we have allowed them to range and unless they happen to get caught unexpectedly by the dusk, always make it back to the coop before dark. As our summer shortens, they are roosting earlier and earlier 🙁 For fun, although they are good layers and some make excellent brooders, we have a group of bantsie called the “flowers of the chicken world”. They are colorful, cheerful and energetic. Unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for banties, I take what I get in a mixed batch. That normally means more roosters than hens and that means trouble, but they are so pretty that I am reluctant to part with any. We balance it out by only ordering hens in the larger chickens. We presently have one bantan Silky rooster named Woodstock (Peanuts character) and one Buff Orpington hen variously called Blondie, Princess, or Beatrice. She likes the cat food and is the only one who will come into the barn, scare the cats away and eat their food – wet or dry. If the big slider doors are closed, she’ll come in through the outside stall door and wander around the feet of the mule and mammoth donkeys. She hunkers right down when I try to chase her out of the barn and so can be picked up and petted. As a side note, and nothing that I have ever learned to do, one can tell which hens have stopped laying by checking the bones of their behind. Another note, it is tricky to make a capon out of a rooster. Another thing I have never learned to do. I read about the process once and decided cutting into a live chicken was not my thing. I give the earlier centuries folks a lot of credit for figuring out how to do that. And finally, there is a South Carolina artist named Michael Hann who goes by “Roo” (Hann being rooster in German apparently) who has a FB page where he sells water colors of roosters, chicks and a dumpy little blue French hen with snappy sayings written on them. I own several because I like chickens and his work. LOL

    Reply
  94. Enjoyed the blog. We have kept chickens off and on over the years. Currently we have Buff Orpingtons and Black Jersey Giants both of whom are brown eggs layers and handle Michigan winters easily. We keep a light on during the winter and they continue to lay eggs. During this summer, we have allowed them to range and unless they happen to get caught unexpectedly by the dusk, always make it back to the coop before dark. As our summer shortens, they are roosting earlier and earlier 🙁 For fun, although they are good layers and some make excellent brooders, we have a group of bantsie called the “flowers of the chicken world”. They are colorful, cheerful and energetic. Unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for banties, I take what I get in a mixed batch. That normally means more roosters than hens and that means trouble, but they are so pretty that I am reluctant to part with any. We balance it out by only ordering hens in the larger chickens. We presently have one bantan Silky rooster named Woodstock (Peanuts character) and one Buff Orpington hen variously called Blondie, Princess, or Beatrice. She likes the cat food and is the only one who will come into the barn, scare the cats away and eat their food – wet or dry. If the big slider doors are closed, she’ll come in through the outside stall door and wander around the feet of the mule and mammoth donkeys. She hunkers right down when I try to chase her out of the barn and so can be picked up and petted. As a side note, and nothing that I have ever learned to do, one can tell which hens have stopped laying by checking the bones of their behind. Another note, it is tricky to make a capon out of a rooster. Another thing I have never learned to do. I read about the process once and decided cutting into a live chicken was not my thing. I give the earlier centuries folks a lot of credit for figuring out how to do that. And finally, there is a South Carolina artist named Michael Hann who goes by “Roo” (Hann being rooster in German apparently) who has a FB page where he sells water colors of roosters, chicks and a dumpy little blue French hen with snappy sayings written on them. I own several because I like chickens and his work. LOL

    Reply
  95. Enjoyed the blog. We have kept chickens off and on over the years. Currently we have Buff Orpingtons and Black Jersey Giants both of whom are brown eggs layers and handle Michigan winters easily. We keep a light on during the winter and they continue to lay eggs. During this summer, we have allowed them to range and unless they happen to get caught unexpectedly by the dusk, always make it back to the coop before dark. As our summer shortens, they are roosting earlier and earlier 🙁 For fun, although they are good layers and some make excellent brooders, we have a group of bantsie called the “flowers of the chicken world”. They are colorful, cheerful and energetic. Unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for banties, I take what I get in a mixed batch. That normally means more roosters than hens and that means trouble, but they are so pretty that I am reluctant to part with any. We balance it out by only ordering hens in the larger chickens. We presently have one bantan Silky rooster named Woodstock (Peanuts character) and one Buff Orpington hen variously called Blondie, Princess, or Beatrice. She likes the cat food and is the only one who will come into the barn, scare the cats away and eat their food – wet or dry. If the big slider doors are closed, she’ll come in through the outside stall door and wander around the feet of the mule and mammoth donkeys. She hunkers right down when I try to chase her out of the barn and so can be picked up and petted. As a side note, and nothing that I have ever learned to do, one can tell which hens have stopped laying by checking the bones of their behind. Another note, it is tricky to make a capon out of a rooster. Another thing I have never learned to do. I read about the process once and decided cutting into a live chicken was not my thing. I give the earlier centuries folks a lot of credit for figuring out how to do that. And finally, there is a South Carolina artist named Michael Hann who goes by “Roo” (Hann being rooster in German apparently) who has a FB page where he sells water colors of roosters, chicks and a dumpy little blue French hen with snappy sayings written on them. I own several because I like chickens and his work. LOL

    Reply
  96. I never had chickens to care for as pets or other. I have several friends who do keep a flock of varied breeds of chickens and sell the eggs. My neighbor behind me has a flock and one rooster who loves to crow. He does it right and it sounds perfect at times. The chickens are all different. Just this past week I met with some old friends and one brought several dozen eggs from a farm. The sizes and colors of the eggs were lovely to see. Subtle shades of blue, brown, green and cream. The farmer wanted us to return the shells which he would feed to his chickens and he said it helped them strengthen the shells. The eggs had very hard shells so I guess it works.

    Reply
  97. I never had chickens to care for as pets or other. I have several friends who do keep a flock of varied breeds of chickens and sell the eggs. My neighbor behind me has a flock and one rooster who loves to crow. He does it right and it sounds perfect at times. The chickens are all different. Just this past week I met with some old friends and one brought several dozen eggs from a farm. The sizes and colors of the eggs were lovely to see. Subtle shades of blue, brown, green and cream. The farmer wanted us to return the shells which he would feed to his chickens and he said it helped them strengthen the shells. The eggs had very hard shells so I guess it works.

    Reply
  98. I never had chickens to care for as pets or other. I have several friends who do keep a flock of varied breeds of chickens and sell the eggs. My neighbor behind me has a flock and one rooster who loves to crow. He does it right and it sounds perfect at times. The chickens are all different. Just this past week I met with some old friends and one brought several dozen eggs from a farm. The sizes and colors of the eggs were lovely to see. Subtle shades of blue, brown, green and cream. The farmer wanted us to return the shells which he would feed to his chickens and he said it helped them strengthen the shells. The eggs had very hard shells so I guess it works.

    Reply
  99. I never had chickens to care for as pets or other. I have several friends who do keep a flock of varied breeds of chickens and sell the eggs. My neighbor behind me has a flock and one rooster who loves to crow. He does it right and it sounds perfect at times. The chickens are all different. Just this past week I met with some old friends and one brought several dozen eggs from a farm. The sizes and colors of the eggs were lovely to see. Subtle shades of blue, brown, green and cream. The farmer wanted us to return the shells which he would feed to his chickens and he said it helped them strengthen the shells. The eggs had very hard shells so I guess it works.

    Reply
  100. I never had chickens to care for as pets or other. I have several friends who do keep a flock of varied breeds of chickens and sell the eggs. My neighbor behind me has a flock and one rooster who loves to crow. He does it right and it sounds perfect at times. The chickens are all different. Just this past week I met with some old friends and one brought several dozen eggs from a farm. The sizes and colors of the eggs were lovely to see. Subtle shades of blue, brown, green and cream. The farmer wanted us to return the shells which he would feed to his chickens and he said it helped them strengthen the shells. The eggs had very hard shells so I guess it works.

    Reply
  101. I understand Silkys are very beautiful but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.
    It occurs to me that caponing chickens maybe might be one of those lost country arts. There might have been a guy who came around all the farms and fixed everybody’s young cocks ..,
    the way there was a specialized pig slaughterer and specialized thatchers and so on.

    Reply
  102. I understand Silkys are very beautiful but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.
    It occurs to me that caponing chickens maybe might be one of those lost country arts. There might have been a guy who came around all the farms and fixed everybody’s young cocks ..,
    the way there was a specialized pig slaughterer and specialized thatchers and so on.

    Reply
  103. I understand Silkys are very beautiful but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.
    It occurs to me that caponing chickens maybe might be one of those lost country arts. There might have been a guy who came around all the farms and fixed everybody’s young cocks ..,
    the way there was a specialized pig slaughterer and specialized thatchers and so on.

    Reply
  104. I understand Silkys are very beautiful but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.
    It occurs to me that caponing chickens maybe might be one of those lost country arts. There might have been a guy who came around all the farms and fixed everybody’s young cocks ..,
    the way there was a specialized pig slaughterer and specialized thatchers and so on.

    Reply
  105. I understand Silkys are very beautiful but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.
    It occurs to me that caponing chickens maybe might be one of those lost country arts. There might have been a guy who came around all the farms and fixed everybody’s young cocks ..,
    the way there was a specialized pig slaughterer and specialized thatchers and so on.

    Reply

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