Backyard Chicken Mishap


Kellsey TrimbleSome of my best memories from growing up on a farm had to do with backyard chickens – or rather barnyard chickens. I remember when the chicks would arrive at the post office, and my father and I would head into town (population around 1,000) to pick up a small cardboard box alive with the shrill chirps from a few dozen little fluff balls that I would come to adore. My father even recalls a time that I had crawled into the brooder and fell asleep with the chicks – you’ll never see that on the Grit brooder cam. I don't remember such a silly story, but a young child's memory is often questionable.

We raised chickens for both meat and egg purposes, and as a child I sold eggs to the neighbors, making a few bucks here and there. I'm not ashamed to admit it now, they also made decent playmates for a couple of country kids like me and my brother. That is until they don't want to play anymore. The story I'm going to recount is by far my most vivid memory dealing with chickens.

So there I was wandering about the barnyard one lazy summer afternoon, as per my usual activities at the green age of 11. I was continually swatting at a haze of whining gnats hanging about my head, but with little effect on their congregation. I remember listening to the orchestra of pond critters that lived just down the hill from the house tuning themselves for their nightly symphony: frogs, bob whites, and whippoorwills – always my favorite. I was making my rounds, checking in on my poultry posse, as I thought of my barnyard friends.

You might say I was a bored child, what with all my "animal friends." And at that age, I would have agreed with you. But now I can see how my imagination has benefited from keeping such friends as farm animals.

Moving on with the story, there I was, out in the barnyard, discussing at length great matters with these chickens. Now, I had noticed a few of these guys had been getting a little aggressive. Or rather, the roosters were getting aggressive. My father suggested carrying around a stick should I feel the need to employ harsher means of defense.

The details are a bit fuzzy from this point on, but the way Dad tells it, my stick of choice was roughly the diameter of a twig. I couldn't tell you if that was true or not, because upon turning to face the flock, I locked eyes with this heathen rooster at a dead sprint in my direction. It was clear that this innocent childhood alliance had been broken, and all bets were off. One swift swing of my twig-stick and … nothing. He was still running.

10/16/2019 7:43:20 PM

Wow that reminds me of the time when I was in agriculture in middle school and we incubated chicken eggs and when they hatched we got to take a chick home if we wanted one and I took two home. My mother told me that we would only use them as laying hens and if they weren't hens then we would have to get rid of them because we weren't aloud to have roosters... well it turned out one was a hen and one was a rooster! lets just say that didn't go well... eventually we had to give him to another farm and we got to keep the hen.

4/19/2014 7:19:16 PM

NebraskaDave - "freezer camp"....that's hilarious!

4/19/2014 7:41:45 AM

Kellsey, welcome to the GRIT blogging community. You will find many folks here have chicken stories as well. I was never all that fond of chickens except when they appeared on my plated fried for Sunday dinner. Those old bitty hens would peck at my hands when trying to gather eggs. It seemed to always fall to me to clean out the chicken coop in July when the chickens had gone to freezer camp. Just as you have stated character traits were being formed that have followed me throughout my life. Farm life is the best way to grow up, in my humble opinion. Have a great chicken memory day.

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