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Bwak, bwak, bwak


The Daddy and The Mama raised chickens in our backyard, as well as a cow, several goats, a couple of pigs, and a whole bunch of pigeons. All for food. We lived in a house on a decent size lot with a big field behind us, about two miles outside of city limits, so they could. The neighbors on either side of us didn't complain. Not that I knew of.

During the summer, my job was to feed the chickens, which lived in a structure with two small rooms that The Daddy built. There was enough for the chickens to roam free. And wild, so I thought. When I opened the door, it seemed like they were waiting to attack me. Cackle, cackle, cackle. Flutter, flutter of wings. Bwak, bwak, bwak.  It freaked me out. I imagined them pecking me to death.

My method of feeding them was to throw a handful of feed into a far away corner, step in, quickly fill their trough with feed, and get out the door as fast as possible. Shudder.

The other evening we were over at the ranch of our good friends Missus and Mister H who raise free-range chickens and turkeys. I headed over to take photos of the turkeys. The chickens ran towards me. I almost turned back. I stopped. The chickens stopped. They looked at me, and they turned aside.  Mister H told me later that they ignored me because they saw I had no food for them.

So, many, many years later, I think of the chickens from my childhood. They were simply hungry. If anything they were most likely ticked off that I waited so long to feed them.

Mister and Missus H's chickens and turkeys.

Comments

  1. You were a walking buffet for those birds! My dad had chickens at their house and his sisters made the mistake of naming them. My grandpa made him kill them for dinner which is better than trying to eat them live I suppose and to this day my aunts hold it against him (and he's been gone for almost five years). "He killed Shirley," they say.

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    1. Between the birds and fleas, with some mosquitoes on the side, summers as a kid were all peck and bite. My problem, I was a scratcher. Your aunts! That's a sad and funny story. Has anyone in your family recorded or written them down, Jeanna?

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    2. That would probably fall to me but I was always afraid of getting sued like Lillian Hellman. The Italian side is just as interesting. They threatened to kidnap my Godfather and his father stole a plane. Some stories about bootlegging and Al Capone but no real specifics. .My mother has some memories about shady business and a mink farm. The local paper did a story about the uncle who took the plane.

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  2. My friend across the street lived on a farm and they had free range chickens which never bothered me. I even helped collecting the eggs but geese?!....that is another story, they chased me for years, even up a tree. Now, as for my brother, who was only 4, when he went to the other neighbours to play with t(sir son, he was scared of the chicken...yup just one.

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you, all geese can take a walk the other way, far, far away from me. Shudder. Collecting egg,s you brave girl. I don't know if I can do that today.

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  3. The fact that they're feathered flying dinosaurs doesn't help. :)

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    Replies
    1. So, dinosaurs must taste like chicken.

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    2. Works for me! ... perhaps only the herbivores though. :)

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  4. My grandmother kept chickens in her yard when I was young and I always found it exciting to go in their coop to look for their eggs. Those eggs were so delicious when cooked.

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    1. I may be chicken in collecting eggs, but I certainly appreciate the taste of freshly collected eggs. Cooked, of course. :-)

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  5. They would have freaked me out, too. Good memories, though, I'm sure.

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    Replies
    1. One day I'll write about the day a chicken pooped on me.

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  6. Lovely to see your photographs.

    All the best Jan

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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