Stephen Kahn

Undercover wiretap in the chicken house

In Bad news, Humor on April 9, 2011 at 12:20 am

This morning I found perhaps 3 slugs, ranging in size from 3-Yecch! To 5-Yecch! Even though I dumped chicken candy (oat flakes) all over them, and even cut them up in little pieces, the chickens were less than enthusiastic. In fact, instead of increasing their enthusiasm for slugs, my efforts seem to be putting them off their oats.

Chickens do not live long lives. Craig and Sharon have ordered some baby chicks for next year, realizing that some of their chickens will expire. At first my wife resisted, perhaps thinking our loving care will keep them alive forever. There are no chicken vets on Whidbey Island, and after a week or so of thought, my wife decided to order some chicks to begin be replacements for when our three beloved chickens lay their last egg and cluck their last cluck.

However, the secret recorder I stashed in the hen house recorded an illuminating conversation among the three chickens as they engaged in their nightly recap of the day before falling asleep. I have taken the liberty, of course, of translating from hennalise to human.

Little Peep: What is this thing Grandpa has about trying to get us to eat slugs?
Moll: I’ll tell you a secret about humans, Peep. As humans get old they suffer from this condition called dementia. To put it quickly, Pops is 15 fragments short of a complete egg shell.
Big Mama It’s worse than that. I overheard him talking to Grandma. They were talking about getting some new chicks…
LP & M: WHAT! NEW CHICKS? Those ungrateful wretches! We work our ovaries out laying eggs and that’s all the thanks we get!
Big Mama: Cool your comb. Shush. He’s not only demented, he’s a pervert as well. And a chick abuser. He figures the reason we won’t eat slugs is because we weren’t exposed to them at an early age. He said to Grandma, “The next generation of chicks we get I will start feeding them slugs from the time they are tiny chicks, so they get a taste for them right for the start.”
Moll: That giant jerk! I knew I never pecked him hard enough!
Big Mama: It gets worse. He’s talking about seeing if he can get Monsanto to start a genetically modified chick breeding plan where they insert duck genes into fertile chicken eggs.
  However, Grandma was not amused. I don’t think she will let him get away with it. (Clucking slowly diminished as the three hen’s heads drooped)

At that point, all three chickens fell asleep, troubled all night with nightmares of giant slug-eating Duckens! By advanced chicken brain scanning technology I was able to capture an image from their nightmare (from China, naturally)


  1. Well how old are these hens? They’ll stop laying before they die then it’s time to throw em in the stew pot. You’re wise to get replacements now.

    Good job on the translation of the nightly meeting. Slugs? Eeew, yuck.

  2. We’ve been told that chickens have to be very young to be worth stewing (unless we are starving, of course). Anyway, my wife has become very fond of the chickens and if we are starving she will start gnawing on me before the chicks. Trust me on this.

    • I’ve eaten lots of elderly hens. They just have to cook all day long in the stewpot. I completely understand your wife’s feelings. My mother used to butcher my pet chickens then put them in the freezer. I’d get pretty upset when I’d go to get a popsicle and see freezer paper marked “Clucker, June 1974.”

      • When I was a child we kept chickens and ducks. The drake was rule and nasty and atacked us frequently. I helped a neighbor (more used to butchering than us) kill the duck and ate it happily.

        We also had goats. A billy goat was born and as billy goats tend to be mean and nasty (nanny goats are rather like cats and kind of cute and affectionate) we had someone butcher the billy and we ate it. It was OK, as I remember.

  3. Meant to say, “rude and nasty” about the male duck. Anyway, I am not a vegetarian, but I believe people who eat meat should at least once in a while participate in butchering the animals they consume. I have not followed this policy extensively, but I am not a “butchering virgin” so to speak.

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