Growing up in rural northern California as a kid had so many advantages. Having neighbors with vegetables gardens, fruit trees, sheep, cows and of course, chickens, was a window into a life my children never got to see or experience.

I think every child would benefit from watching food progress from the farm to the table, the labor involved, the difficulties, and sometimes the hardship. My father was raised on a farm and when he was a young boy, maybe 7, he was in charge of feeding the chickens. His father warned him not to name them, but apparently, he did. When Sunday dinner came around with a fine roast chicken on the table, my aunt tells me he spent the time in the woodshed sobbing his heart out.

I’m grateful not to have to endure the visceral reality of farm life. Shopping at the supermarket is fine for me. I often wonder what is lost, though. Maybe a level of daily gratitude and connection to the earth that I can only partially feel as I groom my flower garden.

When I saw some of these beautiful, adorable and even heartwarming photos of chickens, I wanted to share them here today. I love animals of all kinds. This summer, I had three clutches of quail hatch in my yard and it was a rare, unexpected treat. So, today, chickens it is.

  • Our modern day chicken is the descendant of the red junglefowl which was domesticated in Asia 5000 years ago.
  • The Latin name is gallus gallus domesticus, which translated means domesticated cluck-cluck…um, just kidding about the translation. Gallus gallus just struct me as funny.
  • In Egypt, chickens were known as ‘the bird that gives birth every day’.
  • Terminology:
    • Female chicken over a year old – hen
    • Young female chicken – pullet
    • Young chickens – chicks
    • Male chicken – cock or rooster
    • Young males – cockerels
    • Castrated rooster – capon
  • The normal life span of a chicken is 7 years.
  • Chickens are omnivores and will eat insects, small lizards, even small snakes. Here in the desert, some people keep chickens because they’ll eat scorpions.
  • Chickens have a comb or cockscomb on top of their heads and hanging flaps of skin under their beaks called wattles.
  • Chickens aren’t capable of long distance flight.
  • Flocks of chickens have pecking orders based on dominance. The more dominant chicken has better access to food and preferred nesting sites.
  • Roosters crow, a shrill sound generally intended to protect the cock’s territory. Hens cluck loudly after laying an egg. They also cluck to their chicks. If a predator arrives, chickens issue a low warning sound.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Over ***

We have a winner! Congrats, Tamara K.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, September 28, 2017.

September Winners: Malissa P., Denise H. and Betty O.!

August Winners: Kim S., Dianne K. C., Pansy P., Tamara K. and Marie S.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

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*** This Week’s Giveaway is Over ***

We have a winner! Congrats, Tamara K.!!!

September Winners: Denise H. and Betty O.! Congrats!

August Winners: Kim S., Dianne K.C., Pansy P., Tamara K., Marie S.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, September 28, 2017! On Friday, September 29th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This week’s giveaway! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about chickens. Have you ever raised chickens? Special breeds? Had a chicken as a pet? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

32 thoughts on “Chickens

  1. We had chickens at work. The young children loved them but they did not have to clean out the coop.

    We had a roster so that the children would take turns in taking home the eggs.

  2. I have never been around live chicken before. I liked looking at the pictures you posted and like the fence on the best, reminding me of a group of women looking over a fence and gossiping.

  3. I have never owned chickens but they are quite popular in the country. Most have chickens for their eggs, yet a few do it for the novelty. It is always interesting driving home. Watch out for deer, wild turkeys and domesticated chickens.

  4. Ah . . . Chickens. Yes! This farm girl has raised Chickens. Collected the eggs. Cleaned the coop. Assisted with the slaughter, plucking, and processing for the freezer. And Chicken is still in the top five of my favorite foods. Nothing like good fried chicken. Hmmmm!

    Yes, the chickens were my chore. Every morning and night, I got to feed them and check for eggs. One year, we co-oped with a couple of others and had a flock of about 150. We had the farm space, they helped with the financing and thank goodness, the final processing. But, until then, it was my job to feed them. The smell of a chicken coop . . . It is surprising I still like chicken. I much preferred the smaller flocks of less then twenty kept mostly for the eggs with only a few for our freezer.

    I love the sound of the rooster in the morning. It makes me feel at home – even if it is someone else’s rooster. 😀

    Thank you for the memories.

  5. I am a preschool teacher of three year olds. This year we participated in a 4H program and raised our own chicks from the egg. We had the whole set up, incubator, special flashlights to check fertility, thermometers, humidity readers, egg turner machine, etc. we had 26 eggs and after all of the stress of making sure all was exactly right in order to produce chick lol, we actually succeeded in having 18 of the eggs hatch into the cutest baby chicks! The program director said the only reason the others didn’t hatch was because the probably never were successfully fertilized before we got them. She said our hatch number was really good and on the high side lol. The kids were so engaged and it was such a great learning experience for them and myself. Unfortunately, I was in Florida when they hatched and was never able to even hold them…boohoo lol.

    • Melanie,
      I have to say not getting to hold them had to be the biggest bummer! Chicks are so soft and sweet and you’d put in all that work. Boohoo is right!

      Caris from Buckeye Arizona USA

      • Oh yeah I was bummed all right. I begged my boss to wait until I got back to give them away, but I guess they already were promised for that Friday before I returned home. Either way it was wicked cool to raise them.

  6. I’m from the suburb of Chicago and I have never been around chickens. I do watch animal shows and that’s about as close as I can get.

  7. Of course I have seen chickens but never raised them. Love the pictures with Mom and her chicks. My daughter has raised them and gets quite a lot of good eggs. She’s even had ducks, turkeys, but right now just chickens. She has 4 acres of land, so plenty of room for animals.

  8. Never had chickens before. My daughter has always wanted those furry chickens. Like she wanted a horse not a pony and we could keep it in the swimming pool. We didn’t have a swimming pool. I like the close ups of the black and white chicken s.

  9. My favorite is the Fightin’ Blue Hens for my alma mater: University of Delaware. They are a real breed (Blue Hen Chicken) and the university keeps some on the ag farm. The Fightin’ part of the name hearkens to the Revolutionary War and a regiment from Delaware. Back then, game cock fighting was a pastime–yes we know it’s inhumane now–but the regiment from Delaware was know the be great in battle. We learned about this growing up in school. Here’s a nice snippet from the university:

    ***When Sports Illustrated got it wrong, I did write the magazine, but they didn’t acknowledge my letter.

    Only one battle was fought in Delaware at Cooch’s Bridge, not too far from where I grew up. The Cooch family still owns the residence near the bridge.

    Once, the History Channel had a fact of the day and listed the battle in Pennsylvania–which is close by–but, it is a different state. Brandywine Valley is in both states, but please, let us have our one battle. They did apologize. ***

    Grandma always had chickens running loose on her farm in Tennessee. My parents live there now. Dad had chickens for a while and was selling the eggs, but it wasn’t cost effective. He still has Guinea Hens–less upkeep.

    My friend Marsha has chickens locally.

    Denise from Maryland by way of Delaware

    • Denise,
      Thanks for sharing the link. Life does change and things that we find acceptable today, may not be in another 50 years. Who knows!

      Caris from Buckeye Arizona USA

  10. Beautiful pictures! My brother raises laying hens and the eggs are wonderful! Not so wonderful, however, was the day we took out the meat birds – 36 chickens to kill, pluck, clean and chill. A ton of hard work that day.

  11. When I was a little girl in MA, we visited my grandmother who lived in SC. She gave me two bantam hens to take back home. They were beautiful little creatures.
    I named them Henrietta and

    My parents owned 17 acres so they had plenty of room. We built a little coop for them and I locked them in at night to protect them from the night predators.

    When I stepped off the school bus each day they would run across the yard and jump up on my arm and start clucking at a furious rate, telling me all about their day, and I hoped also missing me.

    Watching a chicken run at a full clip would even make a grouch smile.

    I learned to hold out my arm after the first time when Henrietta landed non my head.
    Her claws we’re sharp!

    Some of the kids made fun of me for having chickens greet me, but it didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t care about their opinions.

    I loved those little chickens. They lived for quite a while.

    The rage in my corner here in NC is buying premade coops ($600.00 +) and raising a handful of chickens for the organic eggs.
    Since we are in the country and there aren’t that many houses close together it isn’t a problem.

    There are a lot of county requirements though. Vet care, vaccinations, etc.
    Pretty expensive process.
    All I ever did was buy food from the farm bureau when I was little.
    Times have changed.

    • Sandra,
      That is the sweetest story! I can just picture those chickens so excited to see you. They knew they were loved!

      Caris from Buckeye Arizona USA

  12. its hard to choose which is the best, where I live I cant have chickens, but I would love to have and eggs would be so fresh and healthy

  13. Never raised chickens but my husband did as a kid. Our neighbors ducks love him and spend their days over here ;). Love the photos. I’m in OH.

  14. I grew up on some land in rural northwestern nevada. We had horses, sheep, a cow, a pig and a few other creatures, but never any chickens. That would have been great. We were out getting tacos at this great little place in peoria, az and ran into a couple that the wife had a pet chicken. It was so funny. It snuggled her and sat with her and had it’s own little leash. I have ran into people with these cute little pigs too!. I love all the pictures 😀

  15. Thanks, Everyone, for sharing your stories. I enjoy them so much. We all have different experiences in life and it’s a treasure to read yours.

    Hugs all around,

  16. My grandmother had chickens but I never had much to do with them, at least not live chickens. I have several decorative chickens in my kitchen and dining room. Maybe that came from seeing Grandma’s chickens.

  17. We had chickens briefly when I was growing up. We had too many issues with foxes and coyotes so it didn’t last long. My aunt has a farm out in NJ and I love visiting her and getting fresh eggs for breakfast every morning!

  18. My favorite chicken is the fried chicken. Lol. I do think that birds of all type are so beautiful because no two are the same. The colors of the feathers, their patterns, the pin feathers. Just amazing to behold.

  19. We have 40 chickens & 13 cows on our little farm .My 2 year old granddaughter has been raised with them as they are free range except when they are put up at night. Right now I have more eggs then I know what to do with lol. We give them to friends and family and sale some. They are all brown eggs. A few years ago my oldest daughter made a remark she will never live down. She said these were different than man made eggs you get in the store!!! My husband was in the floor over that one. She still gets aggravated about it.I helped my mother-in-law and mother and sister kill some many years ago but will never do it again. I can eat the eggs but not the hens. My granddaughter can catch with the best of them lol.We have 1 when called crooked toe who will fly up on your arm of you are outside and eating anything.!!!

  20. I’m not crazy about listening to roosters crow, lol. Once, when we were staying at a hotel in Hawaii…the roosters began serenading every morning as the sun rose. NOT what you want to hear when you are on vacation, lol.

  21. I had no idea that chickens could eat small lizards, small snakes and scorpions. I agree that children would benefit from learning about how a farm operates.

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