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Chicken Chat

There are many bird references and phrases we use in our everyday conversations, but I never knew just how many, until I had pet chickens…I have had countless “Ah Ha!” moments.

Here is a little list of just a few of the most commonly used chicken references, and what they actually mean in the world of chickens.

  • “Feather Your Nest” ~ Hens will literally feather their nest…meaning they will pull their breast feathers out and place them in the nest when they are sitting on eggs to hatch chicks. They want to make a nice, soft, cozy nest for those little fluffy babies. Just another example of the crazy things moms do for their kids, right?!?!
  • “Pecking Order” ~ Chickens have a definite social hierarchy, and sometimes it takes a few squabbles and disagreements for them to work things out…just like kids! There will always be a hen at the top of the pecking order, (unless there is a rooster involved) meaning that she’s in charge, she gets first choice of treats, food, roost bars…everything. Sometimes this little social order looks a bit like a scene out of “Mean Girls”, but everyone eventually finds their place and the playground remains quite peaceful.
  • “Rule The Roost” ~ This comes from the pecking order…the hen at the top rules the roost…meaning she gets the prime real estate. She gets to choose where she roosts for the night, and typically, she will choose the highest roost bar so she can look down upon her minions…ok, it’s not that bad, but the queen does usually sit at the top.
  • “Flew The Coop” ~ If you leave the coop door open, your chickens will fly out…pretty basic logic here folks!
  • “Hatch An Idea” ~ This phrase is commonly used to explain when someone suddenly has a great new idea…it just pops out! Kind of like “Birth an idea”, but that just doesn’t sound as cute.
  • “Chicken Scratches” ~ Chickens have claws, or talons I guess, and they can leave lots of little messy scratches in the dirt, or on you, if you decide to hold them and they aren’t happy about it. So, chicken scratches usually refers to messy writing, which can look like a bunch of random scratches on the paper. Chicken scratches are much better on the paper than on your arm for sure, Ouch!
  • “Running Around Like A Chicken With…” OK, let’s not go there…my chickens are PETS and they are for EGGS ONLY!
  • “Counting Chicks Before They Hatch” ~ Kind of self-explanatory, but you don’t ever really know how many eggs will hatch, until they do, so counting them before hand wouldn’t be wise now, would it??? You don’t want to make assumptions based on chance.
  • “Hen House” ~ Again, kind of simple, but it’s the house the hens live in…meaning an all female homestead, which apparently can get somewhat crazy at times…just ask my husband who lives in our house with all girls…including the female hens, and female cat!
  • “Ruffle Your Feathers” ~ Chickens ruffle their feathers for a few reasons, but this is referring to when they ruffle their feathers to assert dominance, or show they are standing their ground. It’s an act of power used to gloat, or annoy other chickens…kind of like showing off.

So, there you have it…everyday chicken lingo explained. I know there are many more, but these are some of the most commonly used phrases.

I will leave you with this fun little question..”What Did Come First…The Chicken Or The Egg?”

At my house, it was the chickens, and then the eggs…then more chickens and then…well, you get the idea!

September 14, 2016
October 17, 2016

Denise Downs

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