Saturday, September 24, 2011

Here Chick, Chick. Here Chicky, Chick.

  I grew up on a farm in rural Missouri and one of my chores was to get the chickens put away for the night. Most times they would go in the coop all by themselves, but sometimes I had to call them and round them up. Here chick-chick, her chicky-chick , was kind of the call, I would use. I also had to gather the eggs. Some times the eggs were, well, kinda dirty, so another job I had, was to wash them off ,before I took them in the house. Most kids of my generation growing up on a farm, spent many a day bare foot. I was no exception, hardly ever wore shoes. Do you know what it is like to gather eggs barefoot? Think about it. Chicken do and bare toes. Not a very nice picture. We also raised chickens to eat. Each spring a box would come in the US Mail with about 100 baby chickens. Most of them were hens, a few were roasters. Some got to live to an older age and were used as laying hens. Of course those were replacements for the old ladies that became chicken and dumplings on cold winter nights. It is hard to believe that I raised, fed, watered and looked after these sweet baby chicks and then a few weeks latter, watched as my mother, rang there necks and we had them for supper. Hasn't bothered me a lot as, fried chicken is still my favorite food. I just pretend I do not know where it comes from. To quote my little 4 year old great niece, where  do chickens come from - Kroger, where do you think they come from. No need to let her know any difference.
    The history of chickens is a bit of a puzzle. They were first domesticated from a wild form called red jungle fowl, a bird that still runs wild in Asia. Recent research suggests there may have been multiple origins, including China, Thailand and India. The new breads of chickens are geared  to gain weight, egg production starts earlier and more frequent and they produce larger eggs. Studies show multiple origins of domestication. The evidence dates to China in 5400 BC.
    It is believed that chickens were brought to the Polynesian Islands from Asia. And it is assumed that they had been brought to America from the Spanish.
   People really like to keep chickens because they are cheap to get started and cheap to maintain, as they can be left to run free and almost live on the land. Early settlers feed the chickens left over bread and food scraps. Chicken has always been a good food source. Once a chicken has been killed the whole thing can be eaten in one day, without worry of it going bad. This was really an advantage in early times before there was refrigeration.
    The dictionary defines a chicken as a domesticated fowl. Chickens are one of the most common domestic animals and with a population of more than 24 billion, makes more chickens in the  world than any other fowl.
     Humans keep chickens primarily as a source of food., consuming both there eggs and meat. Eggs have often been called-"The perfect food." The first chickens domesticated in Asia were mostly used for cock fighting. This still goes on today. Chickens have been recorded as early as the 18th Dynasty in Egypt.






   Chickens have been used in art for thousands of years. In China they were  copied in ivory, lead, bronze, gold and jade. Chickens have been painted in art for centuries. Usually as a back ground subject. More recent, they have become the subject. In the 1900's  chickens became the subject for many ceramic and porcelain figure. They have been mass produced ever since. Often found on French Toile wall  paper and fabric. Chickens as art, are widely loved and collected today. If you look on 100 blogs, you would probably find at least 80 of them ,would do at least one post about chickens. Recently there was a chicken party on the blogs. I never think ahead,so I am running a little behind.
   I have always loved chicken statues and paintings. I have always had them in my kitchens. I used to collect dozens of them, they were piled every where. In my old age, I  have pared down ,only only have 5 statues. They are all fine Italian ceramic ones and all larger than life size. A white pair live on my kitchen island. My rooster and Miss Hen, are used to hold tea towels and often my glasses, are place on Mr. Roosters comb. The brightly colored pair live on the ice box, as we can not  have the two roosters fighting. The single hen lives on the side board. She has no mate and often causes fights with the others.
    I hope you enjoy my chickens, as much as I do. I just love them and can not imagine having a kitchen with out them. Please come by some time for a tour. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss. I will never promise to make fried chicken, but my favorite restaurant , right up the road, makes the best, so I would be glad to take us for a platter full.And don't forget the gravy and mashed potatoes.Got to go, fried chicken and lunch are calling my name. Have a wonderful weekend.







Today on the Mississippi River in from of, My Old Historic House.

31 comments:

Riet said...

O my goodness , you have lots of everything in your beautiful old house. This time it is chickens. MOst of them are beautiful. I love chicken and also their eggs
Have a nice weekend

Babs said...

Your chickens remind me of the old Phil Harris song.."There ain't no body here but us chickens." Now, there's a blast from the past. Your single hen with golden feathers and black tail looks like she's related to my Bordallo nesting hen. She has the same coloring and strange look in her eye. LOL
Fun post.

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Well dear Richard...you can't have one of anything! Your chick and roos collection is too gorgeous, such beautiful colors! Everything you have is fabulous! Thank you for the lesson on them too dear Richard. Have a fun weekend. Hugs, FABBY

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi Richard.
You do have a collection of Chickens and Rossters all are so sweet. I have one Rossster but no Chickens for my Tablescapes.. I would like to thank you so much for your comments on my new post!! Also becoming my new Follower!!but it did not take, I don't know way!!!
Richard I hope you have a great weekend.
Diane

Victorian1885 said...

Hello Richard.. I loved reading your childhood memories about your chickens! I have a childhood memory too.. being a city slicker I remember being mortified as a child when we visited my uncles farm one summer. My parents had gone out one weekend to help slaughter the chickens and as bad as that was to see.. my aunt then served canned chicken from the year before for lunch. I remember going hungry the whole day! Your ceramic chicken collection is wonderful..so colourful and bright! Have a great weekend.

Wanda

Stacy Leigh said...

Hi Richard! Great stories! We had chickens but a lot of times the roosters were mean and would chase us. We also had ducks, they were really fun too. They would lay thier eggs in the yard and we would have to look for them like an Easter egg hunt. :)

Ivy and Elephants said...

Hi Richard,
You have a really gorgeous "brood" there! A kitchen isn't a kitchen without a chick or two. Enjoyed the lesson and glimpse of family life. I grew up on a farm,too, but was afraid of everything!!! Even the chickens.Always a pleasure visiting your old historic house.
Patti

lvroftiques said...

Lovin' the hot chicks Richard??? *winks* I sure am! Lol! I really enjoyed the lesson on the chickens too. Vanna

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

It was a beautiful day today. Loving all your chicks!

Pearl said...

Now that's a lot of chicks, I knew you probably had some chicks hanging out with you because your so cute! Love that river boat, it would be so cool to see that going by your house. Have a nice Sunday Kid, Pearl

xinex said...

Thanks for the great info about chickens, Richard. I love your chickens and roosters, so pretty, both white and the colorful ones...Christine

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Wonderful post, Richard.

When I was about 4 years old, I was out in the yard as Granddad was mowing. He noticed a small gate was open and asked me to close it.

A few months before that day, we were at an MFA convention (Granddad worked for MFA for many years). There was entertainment in the form of a magician at the convention. My cousin was called up to the stage to assist the magician as he magically turned cake ingredients into a pan of baby chicks. My cousin was given those chicks and brought them to our grandparents' to care for. Well! They were Banty chicks with one particularly ornery rooster.

That day when I shut the gate for Grandad, that rooster jumped on my 4 year old head and flogged me all the way to the front porch where Granny plucked him from my head. I didn't see what happened after that, however, I remember a delicious pot of chicken and dumplings was served next day and I NEVER saw that ornery little Banty again.:-) Ahhhh, rural childhood memories.LOL

mississippi artist said...

I love all your chickens and roosters. I think all kitchens should have at least one. Of course you are like me-too many is never too many!LOL! Where I live here in central MS. is the chicken capitol-if you drive outside of town there are chicken farms everywhere and processing plants. I try not to think about it, as chicken breast is mostly what I eat!

Gary said...

Richard,

What a striking flock you have bestowed upon our viewing enjoyment. As always, I so much look forward to your introductory creativeness which sets the topic you post, excellent. And you do not know just how timely this post is. I have been wanting a Rooster and Hen for the kitchen for some time but could not decide on a pair of all white (to compliment the platters) or a pair of deep, rich jeweled toned ones (to contrast with the platters). After seeing the great photography you posted I can safely say that I want to go with jeweled toned fowls. Now the hunt begins… Hope you are having a glorious weekend. – gary

Deborah March said...

HEY...first visit to your blog...LOVIN' all those chickens...and how great that your love of chickens comes from a childhood memory...you're a LUCKY fella!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

OH GOOD HEAVENS! Those yard birds of yours are gorgeous! A collection like that is only something I DREAM of! And here I am, all attwitter over finding my rooster lamp! They are wonderful, Richard!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

This post made me think of my mother. She loved chickens, hens, and roosters. I remember them sitting here and there. You just made me smile.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Richard, You have a beautiful collection of Italian chicks. I had to laugh at your childhood memories with the chickens. My grandparents had a farm and I loved helping them gather the eggs. I do remember the poo between the toes! Richard, Thank you so much for your kind comment about the nasty remarks I received. I truly appreciate it!
Hugs,
Sherry

Sarah said...

What a fine collection! Cluck, cluck ~ thanks for sharing. This is a fun post!

Marcia said...

Great chicken memories, Richard, and I like your chicken collection, too! My favorites when we raised chickens were Rhode Island Reds. Such a beautiful color of reddish-brown. And they lay brown eggs as I remember, another big plus to me. Thank you for another blog full of memories!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Hi Richard, what a grand collection you have. Thanks for the story as well.. have to tell you I cannot imagine gathering eggs barefoot... just don't think I could do it.. hugs ~lynne~

LaPouyette said...

Oh no! Can't believe this! Just amazing and absolutely wonderful, Richard! LOve chickens! Alive ones and others....

Have to go through all again in a few days time when things calming down here.....
Sorry for not commenting for quite a while but....so much to do here...
and not really enough time to read posts properly and not just 'overflying' them.
A tres bientôt,
karin

LaPouyette said...

me again...just to let you know that I really appreciate your comment on my recent post! I answered and if you like have another visit/look to read what I said. k

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

WHAT A COLLECTION! And what great info. I always enjoy reading your posts as they are entertaining and informative! You know what, you'll never be hungry knowing how to raise chickens. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

An Historical Lady said...

Great post, charming chickens, and mmm, mmm, that dinner down the road sounds so good my tongue's about to slap my brains out---as a Southern friend would say!!!
Mary
http://anhistoricallady.blogspot.com

Bohemian said...

That one Rooster with the mass of colorful tailfeathers is my fav!

And I'm just envisioning your Tree now, with 3000 Satin hand-made Roses!!! OMG, it is going to be a Vision, can't wait for you to share it during the Holidays... I wish I could get more ambitious about Creating, right now I'm in a rather dark place emotionally, rather raw right now... and its just not condusive to creativity, so I'll wait 'til the cloud lifts. *winks* We've had three serious Family Emergencies in rapid succession so I am feeling a little drained physically & emotionally... so the escape to the Land Of Blog has bouyed my Spirits and delighted my eyes... it's like a good medicine! *LOL*

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

What a great collection I love chickens too and yours are so colorful.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Ok..I have to ask..Richard, can you really see a Riverboat pass on the Mississippi River? If I read this is really true..SOMEONE is going to have to pick me up off the floor!
You DO know, don't you, that husband nearly had to pick me up off the floor when I saw your chick chicks. :)
I just looked at them again...
and they just plain make me grin!
Mona

debchester said...

The comment about being flogged by a Banty takes me back ... my cousins' Easter chicks grew up into the meanest little Banties. One rooster chased us all the way to the yard gate. I could outrun anything, so I was the first to reach safety. My youngest cousin ran out of her flipflops and fell behind. Trouble was, we shut the yard gate and held it against her and the Banty rooster. I don't remember if she actually got flogged, but my grandmother spanked the rest of us for not letting Lynnie inside.

So, yes, I enjoy EATING chickens. Revenge sure tastes good.

Deb

Curtains In My Tree said...

oh my gosh i love them there chickens

Butterbean Row said...

I love chickens,too and would love to have a few in my backyard but we live on just an acre and the law is that to have chickens you must have at least 2 acres.
love your chicken collection!