The longer we have chickens, the more we are learning the origins of many tales and sayings that involve them, and it keeps things interesting around here!
Luke and I often get our workouts in just by running outside many times a day, when we hear squawking and carrying on from the chickens, to see if everything is OK. Most times it is. Cricket is a bit smarter, or lazier, than us, and doesn’t always get up from her nap to help. There was the time recently when we had a visit from the fox, so we must continue to be diligent. There was no doubt something was going on that time, as chickens were running, flying up, and making a total racket when the fox came near (everyone was fine and we scared it off). We are starting to wonder if we really needed to get the guinea hens for flock protection and early predator warning or not!
The chickens are pretty darn good at creating their own drama, that’s for sure. I now see the origin of the children’s tale of Chicken Little. If I remember correctly, that chicken went from here to there trying to convince everyone that the sky was falling when an acorn dropped on its head. Our feathery crew creates a commotion several times a day, and most times we never figure out what it’s about. We get lots of drills in though, for when something really happens. I think perhaps that other story should have been “The Chicken Who Cried Wolf”, not “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”!
Not only do the chickens seem to have their own early warning system, they also seem rather adept at keeping pests out of the yard. I’ve seen some rather grizzly scenes involving mice, moles, and even frogs. I heard them creating a racket one day, all gathered around the porch, and for the life of me I could not figure out what was going on. They finally calmed down, and next thing I knew I saw a chipmunk come running out from under the porch! I don’t think they’d kill anything that big, but they sure like to put up a fuss when one is around! I think they are afraid of it, and that there is a reason we’d call anyone who is afraid of something a “big chicken”.
Have you ever heard of “playing chicken”? That’s when someone has a stand-off to see who backs off first. I’ve seen the chickens do this – running at each other with chests stuck out, feathers on their heads fluffed out, and rising on their toes to get in each other’s faces. One of them always backs down, and that’s the end of that!
Then there is the drama around laying an egg. They carry on squawking before, during, and after! People call it the “egg song” but it’s more just a lot of cackling. I’ve also made many trips out to the coop checking for eggs all for nothing….it can go on for a while before an egg actually appears! The video below will show you a sample of that. (As you are listening, you can also hear the guinea hens in the background.)
We have possibly solved “Why did the chicken cross the road?”, even though there’s really no need of it. That one might tie in with “Curiosity Killed the Cat (Chicken?)”, because chickens are very nosy and they probably just need to know what’s over there. Ours have tried it a couple times, but it’s highly discouraged and there’s really no reason for them to cross the street, with all the land we have available to them.
One of our friends commented on one of my posts that we did solve “Which came first – the chicken or the egg?”, since we had chickens long before we had eggs! We have more hens laying now though – we’re up to five eggs/day (each chicken normally only lays one egg per day), and more of them are starting to show the signs that they are getting ready as well.
By the way, we hope to be letting the guinea keets out of the coop soon, and I can’t wait to see how much that raises the drama quotient around here! We thought the dogs were drama queens, but they are starting to be put to shame lately. On the other hand, when the chickens get noisy, the dogs sometimes react, so I think all the drama queens are just playing off each other at this point. Everyone gets some exercise, it’s all part of the fun, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Jodi Stone says
I love figuring out where and how old sayings came about. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. Hubby said no to chickens so I’m living vicariously through you. LOL
We’re happy to help! 🙂 My hubby said no for years too, but I think he just didn’t feel we had room at the old house. He’s pretty much “free range or nothing” when it comes to them! I can see how happy they are roaming around the yard, so I think I’m sold on the idea now too (even though it’s a little more worrisome with predators).
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Your chickens are so entertaining. Guinea’s look great!
They are fun, and I can only imagine how much more fun the guineas will be! They are starting to get some freedom now, but are taking it very slowly.
These chickens never fail to amuse me! It sounds like there’s never a dull moment around your house. I can only imagine what my girls would think if they had chicken drama to deal with.
Since we’re all homebodies, we need more things to keep us entertained. LOL. The funny thing is when Cricket chases after a chicken along the fence and runs with it!
Your girls are entertaining! And the guinea hens are getting big. They all look super healthy.
Thank you! My hubby thinks I’m overly obsessive about keeping cages and water clean, etc., but I think it’s worth the extra work to have them healthy.
Lynn LaChance says
Great post, so entertaining-like the chickens are for you!! They are really just SO pretty, I never thought of them that way before frankly! Right now, the guinea fowl have just like a light pretty songbird sound, don’t they, that’s what I heard in the background-hard to see them making much noise, and on the other hand, those chickens sound like, like, I don’t even know! Baby elephants, anything but chickens, ha-ha!
I know, I never really thought them being pretty either! The chickens certainly do come up with some interesting noises. The guineas little song is sweet, but they are starting to make some harsher noises now too. When they’re out in the coop and get separated they do some serious squawking until everyone is back together. It’s too funny!
Ellen Pilch says
I have always wanted chickens, but there are coyotes close by and I know it would be too hard to keep them safe.
So far all we’ve seen is the fox, we don’t know of any coyotes close. But we still have to be diligent, and we’ve done some different things to try to keep the predators away (bears are another and we know they’re around because we’ve seen them!).
Miss Harper Lee says
Those chickens are quite the little drama queens! I knew chickens were good for eating bugs and snails and slugs in the garden, but I had no idea they would eat mice, moles and frogs! I did, though, know that they can be quite vocal. We here them at two different houses on our daily walks. 😉
We were pretty surprised by what they would kill too! We had planned to get some barn cats to help with that, but we’re not sure we need them now. We will still get them though, but now we can wait a bit. The birds have been enough for work for now; I’ve said no new critters until next spring! 🙂
As drama filled as it is. Those chickens are absolutely adorable. I haven’t actually even gotten to seen one in real life before :$
You know what – I’m not sure I had ever “met” any personally before we got our own either! 🙂
The Daily Pip says
LOL. I really enjoyed this post. I had no idea chickens were so dramatic. You better be care as they soon may demand their own blog.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did! LOL
Roby Sweet says
I love reading about your chickens! Never knew that “playing chicken” was something chickens actually did. 🙂
I know, me either! I never thought about how someone might have originally come up with that expression!
Melissa K. Clinton says
That is so funny and now all of those sayings make much more sense to me. Do your chickens have names and can you tell them apart?
There are some differences in their combs, etc., but it is not easy to tell them apart. We have a few names for each different breed, and just use them randomly, but we haven’t really come up with anything specific yet! You made me wonder if we could get leg bands for them, different colors, to tell them apart that way.
Monika & Sam says
There are several ‘urban farmers’ in the city and whenever we walk by houses with chickens, they are cackling or making some kind of noise. Nothing like the roosters, but still noisy. They make the dogs ears perk up as if to say, “what the heck is that?!”
I never imagined they would be so noisy, and make so many different sounds either. They even have one that sounds kind of like purring, believe it or not!
Brian Frum says
We do love hearing about your chickens and I hope that crazy fox goes completely away!
Everyone told us the fox would keep coming back, but we’ve only seen him twice so far. He may think better of it with the crazy dogs barking, and the crazy lady yelling! 🙂
caren gittleman says
this was sooo much fun! Your chickens are so pretty they look like they are straight from a children’s book! As for making a squawking fuss before, during and after laying an egg? I can totally relate, that is what I do when I pass a kidney stone, so imagine an EGG coming out! lol!! xoxo
Oh, OW, I feel for you, Caren!! xxoo
I love how your observations tie into those old stories and sayings! You gave me a good morning chuckle with the chicken meeting about the frightening chipmunk LOL. 🙂
I’m glad we could pass on the smiles that they are bringing to us! 🙂
I I had the chance I would get the guinea fowl… they are super funny and I love their noises (I’m probably the only one who likes them LOL)
I also dreamed about to have two peacocks as we started with the chicken… but after all they are probably the weimaraners of the berd-world, so this adventure will stay as a dream ;O)
Phenny probably wouldn’t appreciate the competition! 🙂 Our guineas are starting to get noisier. When we let them loose in the coop and they get separated, they put up some serious squawking – it IS super funny!