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A tale of two chickens.

Posted by Big John on August 23, 2007

Her name was Daisy and she was very young when she fell into the water and nearly drowned. She was rescued by my father, who resuscitated her and cared for her until she recovered from her ordeal …

Daisy was a chicken ! …  a ‘Rhode Island Red’ hen to be precise, and she went on to be a ‘champion’ layer of large brown eggs, and avoided the fate of the other birds in my dad’s back yard chicken run.

During World War II and the years of rationing that followed, many people throughout the country tended vegetable patches and raised chickens and rabbits in their gardens to help feed their families, as did my parents and many of our neighbours.

As our neighbours were all a bit squeamish when it came to spilling their chickens’ blood, my dad became to the poultry of our street what Sanson had been to the French aristocracy; but he could never bring himself to dispatch old Daisy to that great ‘free range’ in the sky.

I was reminded of Daisy when I read about a one legged Rhode Island Red named Lily who suffered from ‘depression’ because she was left alone all day when her owners were at work… No ! I’m not making this up. 

Lily’s only problem now seems to be that she falls over when she tries to scratch herself, but at least with birdbrained owners like hers, she will never get ‘depressed’ worrying about having  …

…  sage and onions stuffed up her arse.


5 Responses to “A tale of two chickens.”

  1. Ginnie said

    My mother had a pet chicken, too. I am very sure that she (either my mother or the chicken) never suffered from “depression”…it was a different world then !

  2. Betty said

    When I was a child, my grandfather chopped a chicken’s head off and my grandmother cooked it. I couldn’t eat a bite. I still don’t like chicken.

  3. Maria said

    Your father may have been the Chicken Executor during the Second World War, but my dad was the Champion Soap Maker. (Soap at the time was hard to come by here in the States.) He had a large tub in the basement where he mixed the lard and the lye and whatever else went into soap. The neighborhood women swore by it and said it was the best laundry soap around. Knowing my dad, he never sold the soap. He just gave it away like a good neighbor. Those were the days!!!

  4. Oscarandre said

    This brought back memories, John – what ever happened to the ancient art of plucking? My Dad remembers catching the train in South Australia (his father was a railway guard), getting off in the hills (with his rifle!), spending the day shooting rabbits, then catching the train back home in the afternoon with several nights’ dinner.

  5. gawilli said

    My experience with chickens was not real good as I was relegated to grabbing the eggs from underneath them. I didn’t like them and they didn’t like me. I was constantly getting pecked. As for plucking, I have very vivid memories of my dad cleaning pheasants in the laundry trays in the basement. What a mess. Feathers everywhere.

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