Poetry Friday: Emily Dickinson
8 Year Old Mulls Over College

Celebrity Chickens

Look who's on GalleyCat. Ain't she a beauty? The book-publishing blog has been running a series called Dog Days of Summer, and I hoped a chicken would be a nice addition. Thanks for including her, GalleyCat!

Here is a picture of both backyard chickens here at Chicken Spaghetti. They're sharing some corn on the cob. Lovey and her coop-mate, Fuzzy, have taken the summer off from egg-laying duties; it's been too hot and they cannot be bothered to earn their keep. They're more in the mood to look for bugs and worms.


Both chickens need a bath in the biggest way. Lovey sticks her crest of feathers into food, water, and watermelons and other snacks; it is definitely worse for the wear. I've never washed a chicken, so, of course, I turned to a book to tell me how. Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens spells it all out, but I can't imagine doing the following:

"If you're washing a crested bird, hold it upside down by the legs and dip the crest into the soapy water, keeping the bird's beak and eyes above water. Work suds into the topknot...

Readers, I'll keep you posted.

9780399245206L I was happy to read in The United Tweets of America, a new picture book by Hudson Talbott, that two of the fifty state birds are chickens: Delaware's Blue Hen Chicken and the Rhode Island Red. Talbott has taken a dry subject and turned it on its topknot, creating the funniest book I've read in ages. The author-illustrator presents the birds in a sort of Miss America pageant, and I laughed so hard at the Bay State's Black-Capped Chickadees dressed up as Pilgrims that my eight year old began to worry. "Mom, are you okay?" One of the buckle-hatted Pilgrim chickadees is saying, "Let us give thanks for our state dessert, Boston cream pie." As for the Rhode Island Red, Talbott writes that there's even a monument to the chicken. I have to see it.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Bathing a chicken sounds just about as much fun as bathing a cat, in that it is much better to find someone else to do it. Good luck!

Oh, and I've been wondering about United Tweets. I thought it sounded like a good idea but wasn't yet sold on it. Now I am.

Adrienne, United Tweets is so fun and nutty, and what could be boring facts are somehow fascinating. I am ordering a copy from Powell's for home. Tell me what you think when you see it. Talbott gives Oregon the award for the most unique state motto: "She flies with her own wings."

YAY! I *SAW* your fabulous chicken, and got a big laugh out of that! As for bathing -- well, look out for those backspurs if you've got a rooster, but the chicken will probably just be offended and not lay for a day. Wear a slicker and gloves...! Can't wait to hear about THIS!

TadMack, luckily, no roosters and no back spurs. Can you imagine dunking a chicken? The book says they'll settle down "as soon as they get the idea they're in for a soothing bubble bath." To that, I think, ha! We'll see...

Luckily, my chickens lack crests, so I've been spared the need to dunk them. But have you ever had to clean a blocked vent hole with olive oil? That was really special...

Eva, that does sound special. I had to dust mine with sevin powder last fall. They hated it.

What kind of chickens do you have?

Please promise you'll post a video of the chicken bathing. Really...it could go viral. You could be even more famous...you could give it a cool title like "A Connecticut Chicken in Bed, Bath and Beyond." Truly, Ms. CS...your fans need to see this. And your cousins, too.

Cindy, you're egging me on--so to speak. YouTube--I like that idea. We'll see...

Actually, if the chicken is upside down, she will be as still and quite. They sort of go into a trance. You can calm a chicken like that. I don't hold them by the feet though. You might dislocate a joint. After all this build-up, you'll be prepared for anything.

Susan, our resident bird-lover (four-year-old F) must see that book -- thanks for the recommendation!

Our chickens prefer bathing themselves -- in dirt produced by our dogs' digging. Seems to be working for them...

Interesting, Wisteria. Our chickens are very easy to handle at the end of the day, when they're sleepy. They get sort of trance-like around then and will sit and be lap chickens. Otherwise, one of them (Fuzzy) is a big wing-flapper. I saw some baby bathtubs in the Ikea catalogue that look perfect of chicken bathing. Very cheap, too.

Chris, I love that book. Tell me what F. thinks when he reads it. Fuzzy likes dust baths, too, and both like to lie in the sun and spread their wings out.

Hey Sue! Can't say I've ever given any of our chickens a bath, but they do (like yours) enjoy the corn cobs.

Mine aren't laying much either, just going deeper and deeper into debt. With 120 eggs, they've paid for their chicken wire, but they still owe me for food and straw...

Ours are Rhode Island Reds, and very handsome they are. They come and try to sit on my back (if the children aren't already there) when I'm weeding.

Hey, Turner! I think that the watermelon is what did in Lovey's do this time around. It hasn't been the same since.

Charlotte, you have a flock of state birds! I was so happy to see chickens in the book United Tweets...

Some chickens like baths, some don't. If a chicken isn't feeling well, she usually loves it. Check out the photo on my blog from April 9, 2008.(www.hencam.com/blog) Buffy is loving the spa treatment. (She's all better, by the way.) What no one mentions is that although chickens like sitting in warm water, they don't like to be soggy wet afterwards. What you have to do is to blow dry them. Yes! It takes ages. You have to do it on low power so as not to fry them. A wet hen will even lift her wings so that you can get her "wing pits."

Hmm, I'm not sure what breed my hens are, technically speaking; one is yellow, two are greeny-black, and one is speckled black and white.
Chick (I mean check) out my blog later today for a new review of a hen-tastic picture book and a photo of my gals.

Terry, I really enjoy reading and looking at your blog. Thanks for stopping by. I so look forward to your new book for children. A hair-dryer, eh?

Eva, to my (very untrained) eye, your chickens look like a Barred Rock and a Buff Brahma. Very cute!

Thanks! Your eye has more training than mine - that's very good to know! Any guess on what black hens with a green sheen might be? (sorry, no pix of Hope and Angel at the moment)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)