Who'S Chicken? - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 201509

Home on the Range

Who's Chicken? 
Oct. 22, 2010 8:25 am 
Updated: Oct. 27, 2010 8:03 pm

Years ago, while living on the family ranch, there was a very large, very old turkey. We had about 30 laying hens, but this big turkey ran loose all over the ranch.

On more than one occasion he would not allow people out of their vehicles. On a daily basis, my 4-year-old son would exit the house wielding a large stick to fend the turkey off while he gathered the eggs. I was somewhat impressed that he would go, considering they stood eye to eye. My ex husband always thought it was funny, to watch the turkey chasing me and/or the kids around.

When I was still a teenager, I camped out on the downstairs of a ‘house’ (using the term loosely) built on the side of a hill, using lumber taken off the roof of a century old farmhouse, which had a rock and whatever else was handy on the corners to level it up. It shook when you walked thru. There was a rooster that hung around, and, being summer, I was clad in shorts and a bathing suit top, on a particular day. The rooster ‘crowed’ at me, and I good-naturedly crowed back at him. Apparently, I had crowed something highly offensive, because the next thing I knew, that rooster had his spurs hooked into my waist and was beating me with his wings and pecking at me.

The ‘house’ I was sleeping in, had no doors or windows, as nothing was square. I just climbed in a sleeping bag and was grateful to be up off the ground and away from the bugs. Next morning, there was a calf, a lamb, and a few chickens that had joined me…and at the foot of my bag, there was that darned rooster! Although he thought he had me effectively pinned, I managed to suck myself down and roll towards the door, effectively dislodging him and foiling his evil plan for the morning.

The guy and his wife, who lived in the ‘upstairs’ of the house, which consisted of a narrow stairway ending at a claw-leg, cast iron bathtub at the top, which had been placed by throwing a rope thru the upstairs window and me dallying up with my horse to pull it and that’s as far as it got, owned the rooster. Their upstairs chamber was pretty much the same as my downstairs, except they had a bathtub, and I had a doorway. I was working’ for them for the summer, and in turn, I got 3 meals a day of fried zucchini, and some kind of heavy material, that she called bread, but I think she used Portland cement dust for flour. We almost never got any meat. I remember one morning the fellow saying the rooster had done something offensive to him and that night, we had a wholesome dinner of some tough, rubbery chicken for dinner. I don’t know what that bird did, but I bet it had something to do with crowing.

One day, my ex-husband bet me $2 that he could hypnotize a chicken. He had learned it from some nice Oakie folk, who made the worlds best biscuits and gravy, and was gonna prove to me that a chicken had enough concentration to be hypnotized. He told me you just take their beak and draw 2 lines in the ground with it, or some such nonsense. He captured himself a hen, and proceeded to bend over and show me how it worked. Just about that time, a utility crew truck was driving by, just in time to witness that turkey go into action, as he apparently decided that my ex was now looking more his size. He leaped onto his back and started flapping, and pecking, and scratching. I never saw such an angry bird, such highly amused utility technicians, nor such a silly looking man, bent over with a chicken in his hands and a turkey on his back.

Later that day, my son Matt, and I were down around the hen house, when we saw his dad sneak behind a building with the 12 ga. shotgun. The turkey was clueless-ly poking around the other side of the building, when suddenly, with a large BOOM! The hapless bird was dispatched. I think back in amazement, that this same turkey hunter, who hid behind a building, later made the S.W.A.T. team…but then, I guess that is one of the methods they use, so I suppose he was a natural.

Oct. 22, 2010 9:29 am
I love that photo! My grandparents and my parents both raised chickens so I learned early on about hens, eggs, and roosters. Later on in life someone gave us some cute fluffy chicks, which, of course grew up..and the rooster was really mean. We let it go out in the woods, maybe that wasn't the best thing to do, but mean as he was I just couldn't kill him.
Oct. 22, 2010 9:43 am
I enjoyed your blog. I have some similar memories growing up on a farm myself. Accept it was a pig that always chased me from my tree house to the gate. I guess the pig pen was the only good tree for a tree house?
Oct. 22, 2010 11:21 am
My ranch included two turkeys both were the chasing and pecking type. I also carried a stick!
Oct. 22, 2010 12:44 pm
he he, fowl birds they are, every one of them:D When we moved out here, the previous owners had Chinese Geese-meanest buggers to ever live on the planet. You never walked to the back without a 2X4 in your hand or a crow bar. They are like cougars-they pick on the small, or bent over target
Oct. 23, 2010 5:12 am
I don't have a lot of experience with chickens. When I was six, visiting relatives in Arkansas, my younger brother was startled by one sitting on a fence as he walked by. He punched it square in the chest and sent it flapping. I do remember my mother talking about the chickens that ran loose in the yard when she and her 7 siblings were kids. For whatever reason, one rooster repeatedly went after my mother. She kept telling my grandpa, but he brushed it off. Then one day the beast attached himself to Pap's back and flogged him - pecking, flapping - the works. They had a chicken dinner the next day. :) As for the turkey? Barnyard bully, I say. ;)
Oct. 23, 2010 5:38 am
Funny blog but, ouch! I once happened upon a small street gang of turkeys in a subdivision. They seemed to take offense to me wanting to come down "their" road and as I patiently and cautiously eased forward they starting trying to attack the car an then the short chase ensued. However, I did have one mean as heck parakeet that attacked me every time I tried to stick my hand in the cage.
Oct. 23, 2010 5:57 am
City girl all my life here - so the farm stories are so very entertaining! Thanks..
Oct. 23, 2010 8:35 am
They are such birdbrains! Really!
Oct. 24, 2010 8:31 am
Reading your blog, sure brought back some memories for me! When I was a kid, we had a couple roosters, that were meaner than heck. Everytime I went out to ride my horse, I had to carry a stick to keep that rooster away. My parents told me to dont pay attention to him, he will leave you alone. Yeah whatever! He never did. Years later, my mom moved in with me and brought her chickens. I had a nice chicken coop that the chickens could stay in. But no, mom had to let them out, to peck around out in the horse pastures. So one day, I am standing there watering the horses, looking out across the pasture at the horses in la la land and WHAM! Here is her dang rooster spurring the heck out of the back of my leg. About that time, my mom comes walking around the barn, I said get me a stick, this rooster is gonna get an attitude adjustment! She brings it out, he goes after her. She smacks him good, he falls over, I'm thinking she killed him...seconds later he gets up staggers back to the coop. The whole time we are laughing so hard, tears running down our faces. I told her, let him out again, I will shoot him. My home now, MY Rules! Well, two days later, same ordeal, water the horses and wham he gets me again. I quietly walk back into the house, get my old pellet gun. Go back outside, the rooster is under the cherry tree. I lean over the fender of the truck, and shot him right behind the eye. I didnt butcher him, I knew he would be tougher than heck. But the next year, we had the best cherries for pie, I buried him right there under the tree. What a great fertilizer for my cherry tree! My mom knew then, she lived by my rules in my house. :o)
Oct. 24, 2010 8:46 am
LOL! ya don't think it's the "Y" chromosome that makes em that way??
Oct. 25, 2010 7:30 am
No doubt about it! Dang yard walkers, struttin thier stuff, HA!
Oct. 25, 2010 4:12 pm
Oct. 27, 2010 3:42 pm
ROFL! I, too, have been on the receiving end of the wrath of an angry rooster, but thankfully never that of an angry turkey. I'm having a grand time picturing the mushroom cloud of feathers that must have been what was left of that turkey after being shot at close range with a 12-gauge shotgun ROFL!!!
Oct. 27, 2010 8:03 pm
He was a little heavier, thanks to the little lead balls. Haha! Yes, it was a tom LOL
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Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden. forpeteysake.blogspot.com http://throughthedarkestvalleys.blogspot.com/
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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