Chickens freak me out

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

I can’t express how happy I am to be living in the country, far away (at least 20 minutes) from civilization and the nearest Tim Hortons. The air is clean, the water is pure and the people who live nearby are kind and industrious.

However, now that we live in the wilds, I’m finding there are certain requirements.

From what I can tell so far, there are at least three.

Number One: If you have a dog, it should be larger than a beaver and it should have significantly sharp teeth so it can fight off any and all eagle attacks. In fact, adopt a raccoon instead. Then, set it free.

Number Two: If you see a coyote, you must kill it and place it at the end of your driveway and position it so it looks relaxed, or drugged. I’m not sure if this gesture is meant to attract more coyotes, or if the intent is to scare away additional coyotes. Either way, I need a gun. And a morphine drip.

Number Three: You must “keep” chickens. And by keep chickens I mean, you must like them.

Here’s the thing. I don’t like chickens. I might even hate them. I think my vile feelings stem from the fact that once, as a kid, I was chased by a chicken. A big-ass chicken.  Maybe it just wanted to be friends. Maybe it was just a dream. Maybe it was a dog and not a chicken. I don’t know, but the fact remains… I don’t like chickens. I even stopped eating them for two solid years. In protest. Then, I thought about it.

Chickens remind me of the mean girls in school. It’s the way they parade around, moving their heads like they are “all that”. Chickens write love letters, pretending to be the boy you like. Chickens cackle like witches when you (after finding the letter in your locker) walk over to talk to the boy you like. Chickens snort with delight when the boy you like looks at you like you’re a zit with a unibrow and says, “As if I would write you a love letter. Ha, ha, ha.”

Yeah, chickens are bitches.

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My daughter on the other hand, loves chickens and so, was overjoyed at the chance to get up close to a cluster (gaggle?) of them at our delightful neighbors’ house (not the ones with the coyote lawn ornament). Our neighbor was kind enough to talk to my 3 year old about the chickens and he even showed her how to feed them. He explained that chickens are a lot like dogs in that they need time to get used to new people and that they can be a little skittish around strangers. 

When I asked him if his chickens ever smeared red lipstick over some girl’s butt when she was in grade nine and told everyone she had her period, he just looked at me like I was crazy.

I think he’s hiding something.

When I told my friend Sharon that chickens freak me out, she said, As they should.  Cut their head off and they still run around!?  What kind of demon animal is this?”

This is why I like Sharon. She understands me. And, it would appear that she knows how to kill a chicken, which will come in handy when and if I decide to “keep” some.

No, really.


  1. I'm a rural NB'er with a over-loved family and painting canvases cluttering the house too. I share your repulsion of chickens, even though my kids keep about 60 of them. I love the poultry, the eggs, as well as the income for the kids, so just avoid THAT part of the yard where they reside. I work out my pent up disgust for them on "processing" day :)

  2. "AN" over-loved family...sorry...I have a little grammar fixation :)

  3. Sixty of them? In one place?! You are one brave mama!

  4. In what universe is a chicken like a dog? Also, I know those 9th grade girls. Still plotting my may never come to pass in this life time, but maybe, just maybe reincarnation is real and they'll come back as chickens. That'll learn 'em.

  5. I like your reincarnation theory. I'll hold out for that one. It's all I've got ;)


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