The Reason Chickens Get Into Trouble

Fake Listening By Svetlana

It isn’t because they insist on crossing without looking both ways.   Far from it.  I’m here to tell you that the reason chickens get into trouble is because THEY DO NOT LISTEN!  No matter how many times they are told, no matter in how loud a tone, or how they appear to be paying attention — do not be fooled.  Chickens are the worst listeners ever.

Take our Russian Orloff, Svetlana,  for instance.  (Otherwise known as Slutvana or the Russian Slut, especially among the cocky local rooster crowd.)  She has decided to go broody.  Not that there are any guys in the coop or even in Oysterville right now.  Not as far as I know.  Where was that silly girl when I gave all the young pullets the Sex 101 talk?

“Don’t be getting yourself in a family way,” I told them.  “Unless there are guys around, your eggs will not result in chicks.  So don’t be going broody and just sitting in your nest all day.  Nothing will happen.  The eggs won’t hatch.  That’s all there is to it.”

Did Svetlana listen?  Apparently not.  It’s hard to tell with chickens.  Their ears aren’t obvious like a cat’s or dog’s ears.  They don’t perk up when they hear something interesting or flop forward when they are disappointed.  Oh no. But chickens do have ears and they are located on the sides of their heads like most people’s.  The reason they are hard to see is that they are usually covered by feathers.  And earlobes.

Broody Svetlana

And here’s a trick not many people know:  the color of the lobe is a great indicator of the color of the eggs the hen will lay.  White lobe — white eggs.  Brown lobe — brown eggs, although they could be any shade of brown from the lightest tan to a deep, rich chocolate color.

Of course, I know that Svetlana can hear.  She is not the least bit deaf.  She just picks and chooses what to pay attention to.  The whole sex talk just wasn’t interesting to her.  She had made up her mind eons ago that motherhood was for her.  She practiced mightily when we had those two randy roosters but, for reasons probably outside her control, she didn’t go broody until months after the boys had had their way with her.

And that brings us to the here and now.  Ms. Svelana has been in one of the nest boxes for two full days.  When I’ve gone to check on her, she just looks at me… broodingly.  Today I felt four eggs under her.  She may have chosen a nest that already had eggs in it or she may have begun working on her clutch before I noticed her broodiness.  When she has laid “enough” eggs — usually six or eight, she will not leave the nest for 21 days except to eat a little and drink some water.

Svetlana Feeling Frisky, August 2018 —

According to the chicken gurus, “There is no exact science to exactly what makes a hen go broody- it’s a combination of their hormones, instinct and maturity.”  And even if there were a scientific reason, you can bet Ms. Svetlana wouldn’t care even if we explained it to her.  That’s the way it is with chickens. They do not listen and that is the reason they get into trouble.  Period.

One Response to “The Reason Chickens Get Into Trouble”

  1. Beloved Cuz, I’ve just returned from a 4-day meditation retreat and over coffee and in recovery mode (meditation retreats are a real work out unlike the popular conception) I just read your Always Edifying Blog and laughed out loud (LOL) even LMAO several times! Thanks so much for re-entry to our work-a-day world!!! Love Forever!!! Please send me my green earrings!!! Always, KK

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