"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Magpie 39...Roosters

I am not Chicken Little

My world isn't falling down

I am King of the Backyard

From sun up to sun down

My hens run in front of me

Turning up great bugs to eat

I am such a lucky rooster

Life here is such a treat


Years ago we began to have backyard chickens.

Only hens and just for eggs and garden pest eradication-

plus the bonus of sheer entertainment for us watching them.

At one point we only had two hens as we had "lost"

3 hens due to racoons, neighborhood dogs and hawks.

So Russell fenced the backyard and we got some

fertile eggs from a neighbor and I slipped the eggs under our

broody hens. 21 days later the chicks began to hatch

and as fast as they would hatch the hens would kill them.

What the heck? Fortunately, I rescued one chick and the

two last eggs not hatched. It was early morning and so I

went back to bed with the injured chick and two eggs with a

slightly warm heating pad. By the time I had finished the morning

paper the remaining eggs had hatched. Russell got a small box

and we placed the three chicks under a light bulb for warmth

with their water and chick food.

They thrived and grew and as the days went by we had

to get bigger and bigger boxes to accomodate their growth.

The last box was the largest moving box that we could find.

At that point they resembled popcorn as they attempted to fly.

We figured they were big enough to graduate from living

in a box in Russell's den and it was time to go to the coop.

The hens were a bit perplexed about the teenagers showing

up, but after a bit of adjusting the pecking order all was calm.

Until the chick that had been injured grew up to be a rooster.

HAH! There was a bit of chicken justice doled out to those hens.

Eventually we sent Rocky and his harem to our friends

farm as his crowing was beginning to bother some

of our neighbors. Now we just have hens and we replace missing

hens with young hens. We still love watching our hens scratch

around in the dirt eating up the slug eggs and being so cute in

their chicken social ways. Not to mention the very delicious

eggs that they give us.



  1. I am such a lucky rooster

  2. this all sounds so lovely. what a great life indeed :)

  3. Your hen rendition seems almost romantic. Was Rocky nice at least? The only rooster I ever met was very nasty.

  4. My grandkids have chickens with a rooster named Mr. Friendly. Who knew children were capable of such sarcasm as Friendly certainly was anything but. He has two of the kids completely buffaloed. I personally advised carrying a broom. Love those fresh eggs from the hens.

  5. Sounds like a neat gig for everyone except me! :)

  6. love the confidence in your words.
    lovely tale.

  7. I enjoyed your chicken tales. Nice Magpie

  8. ha cute verse...tis the life i imagine...had a rather nasty rooster move into our backyard a couple years ago...perticularly on saturday mornings...

  9. I love the poem and definitely the tale.

    Funny beings chickens. I had a one eyed chicken in Nigeria! Cook could never understand why I wouldn't let him wring her neck! She was a pet!

  10. They are cute aren't they. Lovely piece. Bigger and bigger boxes - what an image that conjured for me.
    Ole! Did you holiday in Mexico? Spain?

  11. I love your story about your own chickens and how you immortalized Rocky in your poem.
    Saying they looked like "popcorn" in the large moving box, and then referring to them as "teenagers" when introduced to the others just tickled me so much.

  12. Such a fun name for your poem--and yes, a great life for a rooster!

  13. 'My hens run in front of me
    Turning up great bugs to eat'
    Lazy rooster. In most farmyards, the rooster gives gifts to the hens he likes!


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