RG Meets the Chickens

July 7, 2008

Next, the Friendly Neighbors introduced Random Granddaughter to the chickens. Not that long ago, both the ducks and the chickens were babies, and now they are young adults.

Some of the chickens have just started laying eggs. One chicken was sitting under a bush, clucking disconsolately. The Friendly Neighbors explained she is probably “egg bound” (an egg is stuck inside her). Although I am a mere male—maybe because I am a mere male—I felt great sympathy for the poor chicken.The Friendly Neighbors had called the Chicken Lady, who had taught the class on raising chickens we all took. Chicken Lady told the Friendly Neighbors there is no quick fix and advised letting the hen try to work through the problem. (Perhaps I should state it as letting the problem work through the hen.) Although if the problem seems desperate, one can reach inside and try to pull the egg out, but one runs a considerable risk of breaking the egg inside the hen. This is generally not a good result. I can imagine.


The Friendly Neighbors have several breeds of chickens. My wife is particularly taken with the Dominiques, as they are one of the friendliest breeds of chickens. They like to be picked up and petted.
Mrs. Friendly Neighbor asked RG if she wanted to feed candy to the hens. Hen candy is brown rice. Brown rice is good for chickens. However, they love it and consider it to be chicken candy, so they get only a little bit at a time.

At that moment, a Dominique hen came down to the area where we were chatting, and Mrs. FN shook the can of brown rice to let the hen know she had some hen candy for it. Usually it rushes forward for a brown rice treat, but on that day the Dominique was just not in the mood and merely stayed in the bushes clucking in an indifferent manner. Even friendly hens have moody days.

Mrs. FN took RG over to feed some other hens. When they returned, Mrs. FN said they had good results with the other hens. In fact, a rather stand-offish hen who had never taken brown rice from Mrs. FN accepted some from Random Granddaughter.

Later the Friendly Neighbors commented on how well RG interacted with the ducks and chickens. She approached them in a quiet, confident, and respectful manner.

I take this as a combination of her introvert nature—after all, she like to be approached in a quiet, confident, and respectful manner—and her experience in growing up with a couple of cats. Cats for the most part are introverted animals. The late Sebastian had certainly been an introvert, and very slow to warm to RG.

On the other hand, Sylvie is the most extroverted cat I have ever met. She is clearly a cat (and not a dog in a cat’s body), but she clearly and instantly loves any human she meets. It is a sign of how perceptive my daughter is that she chose Sylvie from the shelter.

Nevertheless, it took RG a while to learn to approach Sylvie (clearly a pet with training wheels) in a sensible manner. By the time she visited the Friendly Neighbors’ flocks, RG demonstrated considerable poultry sensitivity, a sign of her growing maturity.





7 Responses to “RG Meets the Chickens”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Friendly neighbors sound divine! It’s a virtual Disneyland for RG. That she likes chickens shows her boundless compassion for the lesser species. Chickens are the dumbest animals on the planet. However, even though they are mentally challenged, I had one for a pet. They do have their positive characteristics.

  2. modestypress Says:


    I hate to disillusion you, but one summer I had to help raise a flock of turkeys on my uncle’s ranch in the high desert of California.

    Turkeys are so dumb they do not even have an animal IQ test to measure their witlessness.

    Compared to turkeys, chickens are the Einsteins of birds.

    On my uncle’s ranch, the turkeys were endangered by coyotes. The turkeys would fly up on a roost about 7 feet off the ground so they could sit there all night safely away from the fangs of the ravening coyotes.

    Each morning it was twelve-year-old Random’s job to go to the turkey roost with a big stick. Why?

    The same turkeys who flew up to the top of the roost would in the morning look at the ground and think My turkey god, that’s a long way down! I will break my neck trying to fly down! No siree, I am not getting off this perch!

    I would pound the turkey’s legs with the stick until they gobbled and squawked and toppled off the perch and landed safely.

    By the next morning, they forgot they had made it down safely, and we had to go through the same exercise again.

    The other how stupid are turkeys compared to chickens…try herding chickens. They don’t herd.

    You can herd turkeys.

    Turkeys (domestic that is) are dumb, dumb, dumb!

  3. spectrum2 Says:

    poor chicken-the joys of motherhood 😦

  4. Pete Says:

    I would have to agree with the turkey assessment. They are more fun than chickens though. They have more personality (Not to be confused with intellilgence). When it is hot they like to be misted with the sprinkler. And they are much more tame then chickens. Hey Random, I have a juke for you to tell RG… How do you catch a unique rabbit?… Unique up on it!! How do you catch a tame rabbit??? The tame way as the unique one!

    I’d better leave before I am banned…

  5. Oh, the poor chicken. I wonder if that’s the poultry equivalent of PMS.

  6. modestypress Says:

    We haven’t talked with the Friendly neighbors since the weekend. We’re still waiting to hear the chicken’s fate. When I learn, I will update my faithful readers.

  7. I was reading someone else’s blog about this same topic, and the dire crisis that resulted from trying to coax the stuck egg out of the hen’s ovipositor (is that the right word? If it isn’t, it sure should be). I had no idea that being a hen was so fraught with drama and peril.

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