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Learning About Life From Chickens: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on October 1, 2013

Maybe I Have, Finally, Lost My Mind

Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn't hiss or boo me.

James Dean

Where else will you find a quote by James Dean about chickens?

I am in complete agreement with James Dean. We have six chickens and not once in the six months we have had them have they booed me or my writing. For that I am very grateful.

They are eating machines. They are drinking machines and yes, they are pooping machines. They are also fascinating creatures who have unselfishly taught me some very important lessons about life and seriously, who woulda thunk it possible?

We began with nine, all purchased from a local farmer, a Vietnam vet who bought a few acres after the war ended and has been raising chickens, ducks and geese ever since. In the city where we live, we are only allowed to have six hens, but we had to buy nine originally because it is impossible to look at a chick and know whether you have a male or female. You literally have to wait until they are old enough to crow to find out how many roosters you have. Turned out we had five males, so we headed back to the farm to trade two in for confirmed females.

So now we have six. Bev insisted that we name them, so their official names are Minerva, Regalia, Butch, Zorro, Penelope and Butterball. I know, I know, Butch and Zorro should be males but they aren’t, and Butterball should be a turkey, but she isn’t.

As I sit in my writer’s studio, the chickens are twenty feet outside my door in their own enclosed area of the backyard. We basically put up a fence dividing our backyard into a chicken yard and a people yard, and then we stretched netting over their section so they don’t fly into a neighbor’s yard and become dinner for a German Shepherd or a raccoon.

Because they are so close to where I write, I have had ample opportunity to observe them this summer, and those observations have led to some interesting lessons learned. Would you like to meet our girls through some vignettes? Of course you would!

Some of the original group
Some of the original group | Source

MINERVA

Minerva looks more like a hawk than a chicken. She has a sleek body and a beautiful golden color that glows in the sunshine….and….she likes to roam. Show her a fence and you show her a challenge. Designate an area as “people only” and she will designate you as a fool.

She is our wanderer, the wanderlust junkie who has never seen a mountain she can’t climb nor faced a restriction she can’t beat. Crawl under, fly over, fly through and fly around, this bird sees unlimited possibilities in life and I don’t have the heart to tell her she is wrong. She not only looks like a hawk but I am convinced she believes she is a hawk, and one day it would not shock me to see her soaring up high with her soul mates. “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” Minerva would have liked Tennyson.

REGALIA

Regalia may be her name but we often will call her Bullet, or the White Bullet. When Bev brings out the food you can bet your bottom dollar that Regalia will be first in line, streaking across the yard in this weird running style that reminds me of Jesse Owens with short legs.

She was born with a cross-beak and we didn’t know for sure if she would live this long because it is so difficult for her to grab food with that crooked beak, but she has not only lived but she has thrived. She and Minerva are our two blue egg layers, and I admit to a certain amount of pride in knowing that a chicken that should have died lays beautiful, pale-blue eggs.

I guess nobody bothered to tell her that she had a disability. It’s just as well that nobody did because she wouldn’t have believed it anyway. J

Getting bigger....Regalia and Minerva
Getting bigger....Regalia and Minerva | Source

BUTCH

Slow and steady wins the race. If a chicken could be a turtle it would be named Butch. Butch is our over-sized resident, a plodder and an independent lover of all that is on the ground. Poking and prodding, scratching and exploring, Butch never lacks for things to do and is quite content being a chicken. While Minerva dreams of floating on thermals hundreds of feet above the ground, Butch is quite happy being a member of the flat-landers community.

Despite her over-ripe size, Butch is no bully. She patiently waits her turn for the nesting box and the roost. She never pushes, never shoves and never demands. She seems to understand that the community is only as strong as its weakest link. Butch will never win a beauty contest and she is fine with that knowledge. Self-confidence and self-love are her strengths, and if I had to pick which of our six will live the longest it would be Butch because of her laid-back disposition. Stress will never kill this chicken.

ZORRO

Have you ever known a beautiful woman who did not realize how beautiful she was? That’s Zorro! Zorro is our show chicken, a stunning black with green highlights that are spectacular in the sunlight. She has perfect form and even has really cool tufts on her feet that give her a regal appearance.

Everyone can see her beauty except Zorro. She is always by herself, easily bullied and quite shy, the only one of the six who will not let you close enough to pick her up. She is easily frightened and appears to approach life with a “duck and cover” mentality, sensing that the world is a dangerous place and she will be harmed if anyone gets close to her.

If only she could see how truly beautiful she really is.

Bev and the girls
Bev and the girls | Source
Butch
Butch | Source

PENELOPE

Say hello to the loudmouth. There is one in every group, is there not? Penelope announces to the world what she is doing at all times. The city planners zoned out roosters because they are too loud; they obviously never met Penelope before they established that zoning law.

Penelope tells everyone when she has laid an egg. Penelope tells everyone when she is leaving the coop. Penelope tells everyone when she is hungry. Blessed may be the poor in spirit but Penelope is having none of that nonsense. In her opinion good things happen to those who step up and demand attention, and I have to tell you that she is right. Once she starts squawking I waste no time bringing her a little treat to shut her up before the neighbors start protesting. As I write this I can hear her holding court with the rest of her coop cousins, telling them just what will and will not be happening in the near future…and her cousins listen.

BUTTERBALL

We call her the Protector. We also call her Butter Bitch, but only when she isn’t listening. If she heard us say that she would probably attack and believe me, her peck is worse than her squawk.

It is my own personal opinion that Butterball secretly wishes she were a rooster. She has some serious sex issues and I’m not sure if those issues will ever be properly dealt with….so she is frustrated, and the frustration manifests itself in attempting to peck anyone who dares to enter the chicken yard.

Frustration leads to anger leads to violence….sound familiar? Funny thing is that she will protect the other chickens. Butterball is fearless, and heaven help the intruder who mistakenly walks into her kingdom and ruffles the feathers of her adopted brothers and sisters. Bev has the scars to substantiate that claim.

How to raise chickens in case you are interested

What do you think? Would you raise chickens?

See results

And That’s Our Group

While cats can be infuriating, little old women in fur coats, they make me laugh. Of course, dogs, horses and my highly social chickens are dear to me, too.

Rita Mae Brown

How are they any different from any group of people you observe? There are the dreamers, the explorers, the ones who will to take a risk. There are the shy ones, the bullies and the ones who seem to work well in conjunction with all others. There are the demanders and the submitters and those who will never recognize their own gifts and talents.

Six chickens….six sets of dreams, needs, desire and personalities.

Seven billion people…seven billion sets of dreams, needs, desires and personalities.

Will we ever learn? Embrace the commonalities and work through the differences. If chickens can do it, there is a good chance we can as well.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, if they are not a flock then I do not know what they are. I guess I should have looked that up before being so free with that label. As for your kind words...thank you sincerely.

      bill

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      From James Dean to a microcosm of society within a flock of six hens! (Is it correct to call a group of chickens a "flock?") You've become the Chicken Whisperer, Bill. The "girls" obviously speak to you as you watch them from your studio window. Perhaps it's ESP....

      This one earns a thumbs-up vote and a five-star rating because it has a bit of everything...just like our society. Great read, Bill!

      Jaye

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer no, chickens are not for everyone. Bev and I get a kick out of animals and we find the chicks fascinating. As soon as we get out farm we'll have goats, too. :)

      Thank you once again.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Chickens are not for me, except eating them, but I found your article fascinating. It's fun to see the different personalities in all animals. Love the pic of Bev covered in chickens.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Nell!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Happy Birthday Billy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I'm sure I would miss it too if we ever got rid of ours. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful Sunday.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      A fun and interesting read, Bill. Having reared chickens for so long I'm aware that each one is unique in itself just as each one of us is. I do miss their early morning cackling now.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, if they only could. We would be much better off for sure. Thanks and enjoy your weekend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      May your wonderful chickens teach the minions...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mama....a co-housing chicken co-op??? I have never heard of that, but why not? What a great idea. Thanks for sharing that with us in your comment. I love it!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 3 years ago from New England

      My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed this hub, Bill, starting with the great quote from James Dean.

      Our co-housing community has a chicken co-op and we are blessed with fresh eggs every week. Most of our girls are very talkative...especially when they are laying eggs. It's so fun taking care of them when it is our turn to (very 6 to 8 weeks or so).

      Love the way you described your girls' personalities, very heartwarming. ~:0)

      My September WordPress blog was about raising chickens, and I may offer up a hub about the same subject soon...from the angle of an organic gardener. :0)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Rasma. I will send your best wishes on to the girls. I have to go get them up right now to begin their day.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. You have lovely chicken beauties. I love all of their names and you've made me want to have chickens. Will consider I don't know if I'm the type to run after a determined chicken like Minerva. My Sid was interested in the photo and sends his sincerest meows to the girls. Wishing you, Bev, Minerva, Regalia, Butch, Zorro, Penelope, and Butterball all the very best. I am passing this on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, unique is a good way to describe this one. :) Thanks!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for this unique advise.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you would Audrey. :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      And I would so appreciate them!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, if you were here you could place your name on our egg list. We give away more than we eat and love it.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I try hard to see lessons from all of life. They are there for all of us to learn from; we just have to open our minds and hearts and let them in. Thank you for your kind words and I agree....my wife is beautiful. :)

      blessings to you dear lady

      bill

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      I have never raised chickens but my niece does--and I benefit from the eggs!!

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 3 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      You are something!!! This was such a juicy lecture. How much to take from it. I would recommend this to be read at any level and environment. You are a true observer and writer.

      I love animals and they all have lessons for us. Greg wants chickens...but he will be fighting with our dogs. But after reading I will think it over, not sure though.

      I have to grow and watch chickens, because my neighbor is like Penelope. Lol. Regalia is sure better without being labeled by what she does not need to know.

      Thanks for the lesson Bill. I love this hub! our wife looks beautiful in blue.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, drbj, everybody knows that buffalo wings aren't really chicken, so go ahead and gorge. LOL

      Thanks for the laugh this morning...have a great day!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Because of your charming, personalized introduction to your talented, multi-personality brood, Bill, I may never be able to look at a chicken in the same way again.

      Except for Buffalo wings, of course!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, I like your attitude. Enjoy them as pets, eat their eggs, and let them live. You can always find chickens at the supermarket. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeannie.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you so much. One day in the near future we will move to a small farm and increase our animals tenfold. Until that day, this is our city farm and we love it.

      love,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, it's hard not to like Regalia...she is one tough old bird. :) Butterball is real lucky she isn't a turkey with Thanksgiving coming up. LOL Thank you so much for stopping by this morning. Be well my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I will never understand HP and it saddens me when those things happen to friends. Carry on yourself my friend and thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, we just couldn't kill them. They will live out their lives in our backyard. Thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed this.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      My boyfriend and I are considering raising chickens, but he wants to raise them to eat them and I want to raise them as pets. I told him I would rather starve than eat my own pets that I am going to name. So for now, we do not have chickens. :-)

      Your chickens look really cute. They seem so friendly. My grandmother used to keep chickens and ducks. They are rewarding to have as pets. Voted up!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Oh Billy what do I say!!!!

      What a wonderful introduction to your extended family members. I love the pic of Bev with the lucky chicks..as you know I grew up spending a lot of time with my Mamgu on the farm and the love of the land has never left me !!This one I vote up and across. Absolutely wonderful. Here's wishing you a wonderful day with many fresh eggs .

      lots of love from wales.

      Eddy.

    • profile image

      audra 3 years ago

      I like REGALIA...she has a disability, but doesn't believe it or even care. She is a surviver. Even with a crooked beak, she goes on to be like everyone else. Thanks for giving me something pleasurable to read this morning. ps...Butterball's name...lol!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Your ability to make an article from nowhere never ceases to amaze me. Excellent as usual. I am unhappy at present, my recent article on making a difference, the one you put on the Facebook page, as did Eddy, has not been featured. Carry on from the front Bill.

      Graham.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I loved this hub, Bill! As I was reading the interesting descriptions, I was wondering what you and Bev would do with the chickens as they aged and their egg production went down. I was so happy to read your comment saying that the chickens will be kept and not slaughtered! They sound like lovely girls.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Faith! I know, Jackie needs to entertain us with her brood. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

      I'm glad you enjoyed my trip on the whimsical side. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, a writer needs good subjects to write about, and I've got a great group here. I don't want to be known as the chicken writer or I'd write more about them. LOL Thank you and have a Happy Wednesday.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Aw, now, how cute! Thank you for introducing us to your babies here, who have grown much! Delightful hub. I keep telling our sweet southern friend, Jackie, to write a hub about her babies too, and you went ahead and did one! I see she has shared some about her babies here already.

      Love their names, so clever and I know they match their personalities perfectly. Zorro will realize and come around, especially with you and Bev there to give her all the love she needs.

      Up and more and sharing

      Hugs to you and Bev and all the chicks,

      Faith Reaper

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bill,

      Voted up and across. You are so good at describing each of the chicken's character! I enjoyed your stories, and laughed a few times. It sounds like a wonderful little group.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a great night! Tomorrow is Wednesday :)

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, it comes as no surprise that Regalia is your favorite.....and if you were a chicken you would be my favorite. :) I'm sure that sounded weird but I meant well. LOL Thanks Suzie!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      How lovely for you to introduce us to your wee family! Love al your descriptive personalities and see a bit of all the gang in me but particularly drawn to Regalia. Even with the disfigurement in her beak it doesn't prevent her from eating or carrying on as normal. She does not see it as a problem. It is the way I have lived with Epilepsy,not allowed it to dominate my life. Thanks Bill for introductions, love how they are all different in appearance and personalities. All the good votes and shared!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rochelle, I dread the day that happens to us. We keep ours pretty well penned up but I have no doubt some ingenious raccoon will find his way into the pen sooner or later. Sorry about yours; it would be quite hard on Bev if that happened to us. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Abby, Bev and I love animals. If we lived in the country we would have all sorts of animals roaming around. There is great peace in having animals nearby...or at least there is for me. :) Thank you my friend; I appreciate you stopping by.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      How fun, Bill! I like your girls! I don't know if I will ever raise chickens, but I have thought about it. My husband refuses to try right now as he thinks I wouldn't enjoy them. But, I swear I could be a farmer's wife if I'm allowed. LOL.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      We have had chickens for about 10 years , between two and six at a time. You are right, they all have different personalities (chickenalities?) and they can be quite entertaining.

      Alas, last week our three hens were murdered by a predator-- I'm thinking raccoons. I don't even like to walk down to the garden, past the empty chicken yard. My husband is eager to get replacements. I would rather wait until after the snowy season, and perhaps after the raccoons have decided there's nothing to see here any more.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. When you said going to great extent I related quite well. We are always making improvements to their living arrangements. I swear they live better than I do. LOL

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill. This all sounds very familiar. My sister started with 12 chickens, now down to 9. They all have names, and personalities, and she has gone to great extents to protect and shelter them. They produce a steady supply of eggs, which are wonderful. Really enjoyed meeting your folk, or whatever a group of chickens is called. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I hope you are doing well, buddy, and that your family is healthy and happy. Thanks for the kind words...I'm just trying to improve my craft by trying different approaches. :) Blessings to you and yours my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel...poor taste or great tasting chicken? It could go either way. LOL Thanks for the laugh and the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Valleypoet, I'm just trying to see things that are not so obvious around me.....not always easy but I'm trying. Thank you my friend; you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, it is always a pleasure my friend. Thank you for the visit and blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I was one of those who thought chickens were just plain stupid. How wrong I can be? Turns out they are smarter than some people I know. :) Thanks for stopping by during your busy day.

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      Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

      Voted up and across the board! Absolutely charming and enjoyabe, this read. And how like you to mold it into a life lesson for us all.

      Great job by a gifted writer, who does this so easily and leads us to the promised land of writing.

      Thank you Bill for another blessing in my life. Blessings returned to you and Bev. Take care my good friend.

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      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      So that's why you're always up with the chickens. When is the chicken dinner for all of your hub pages followers? I know, that joke is in poor taste and you would need more chickens than the Colonel to feed your sizable flock. Great read!

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      Valleypoet 3 years ago

      Good to meet and read about the extended family Bill...knowing how chickens each have their own little personalities makes you feel sad for all the ones that don't get to run free, but nonetheless I really enjoyed this hub...and I liked the way you made it into a vehicle for a deeper message:-))

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      What great inspiration lessons you teach from observing your chickens. Another great push to embrace the talents we have and move forward. thank you, Bill.

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Animals have so much to teach us, even what some perceive as personality-less, such as chickens. Love the pictures!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Sheila! They are great teachers if we are willing to learn. :) Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They are cute, Liz; I can't imagine not having pets. When we move in two years to the country we will be surrounded by animals.

      Thank you as always!

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Great hub! I love animals of kinds. It's so interesting watching the way they interact with their own species, other animals, and people. I think we can learn so much by watching them.

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      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Ah- I love this one, Bill. Not only was it perfectly written, but it was highly entertaining as well. I helped raise chickens from baby chicks in elementary school and then had baby birds growing up, but haven't been around any since. They are too cute.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dahlia, if I gave you a smile then I am a happy writer. Thank you dear lady.

      blessings and a hug or two coming your way

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, Bev and I have already marveled over the warm eggs....very neat. Oh yes, rich and pasta....they love it. :)

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      livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Beautiful hub Bill. I smiled all the way through while reading this hub. Thank you for sharing this with us.

      Have a blessed day. Sending you smiles :-)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      A cat got one of mine when very small and it was only one not hid so am thinking maybe the rooster I was suppose to get. I have not tried rice or pasta, thanks! I read don't give them onion but they sure liked it in a beef stew. I bet our chickens eat better than a lot of ppl bill. Can't wait to gether warm eggs...(a memory from childhood) in about a month or so I think.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, we have already decided that there is no way we can slaughter our little babies. We'll just collect eggs until they die and then get more chicks....there will be no eating of Minerva! LOL

      Thanks my dear; I mentioned you on my blog today.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, I have come to realize that I have a great amount to learn and I'd best listen to every source that I can...except for FOX News of course. :) Thanks lil' one!

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      It's so funny how even those little chickens of yours have their own individual personalities. It's even funnier that they have so much to teach us!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Loving animals is so easy as you've pointed out so well. Each has their own personality and charm.

      We had chickens when I was very young. My father thought it would be good for us and we'd get eggs. We had about a dozen, in Queens! When the neighbors complained my father tried to get rid of them but nobody would take them. So my father and grandfather slaughtered some...we watched in horror as the headless chickens ran around the yard. They were plucked and cooked and we all sat and looked at the large roast chicken saying there was no way we could eat Rosy and Posy! He wound up finding a farmer to take the rest.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brandi, I'm glad we don't have roosters because they are very mean. I'd love to have a pig; maybe in a couple years when we move we will have the room. Until then, these six little darlings will have to constitute a farm for me. :) Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, you would greatly enjoy watching them. They really are fascinating creatures. Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ,. it was bound to happen, wasn't it? I spend far too much time alone in my writing den...what do you expect with someone who has a fertile imagination and who talks to himself constantly? LOL

      You crack me up my friend. I'm glad I amuse you. :)

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, as we speak our little darlings are hiding. They really are fun to raise and they are cheap entertainment for sure. Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed our family.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      I wish we could have chickens here. I could, we are allowed, I just don't feel safe with them. When I was growing up here on my grandfather's farm, he had something terrorize the chicken coop.

      So I have a pig now, but that's as farm like as it will get for me.

      I used to have to get the eggs out of the coop. The rooster was very mean, but otherwise, it was a fun thing to do and I learned a whole lot about responsibility.

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A very interesting hub about the chickens, I am not the one who would raise them but would enjoy watching them great idea for a hub chickens are very different creatures to cope with.

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      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Well, well, well. It has come down to this.

      Are you off your medications? You know what the doctor said.

      He said you would start seeing chickens, and blue eggs.

      He even told you that you would see one of your chickens as having a sexual identity crisis.

      Just think a minute, Bill. Think about what you are saying!

      Chickens with personalities...dreams...desires.......Really Bill, Really?

      All of these are fractures of your own personality.

      Now, go take the white pill. NOT the BLUE pill, the white pill.

      Then, relax outside. Maybe, watch planes overhead.

      When Bev comes home, you should share your wonderful write

      about the "chickens". She will know what to do for those blue 'eggs'.

      Good Luck, Bev.

      (It is worse than I thought; chickens with aspirations! tsk, tsk!)

      DJ.

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      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      What a lovely chicken family you have. I enjoyed reading about their cute little personalities. Butch... she's my girl! The video was fascinating. It was interesting to learn that chickens need a dark place to hide.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeff, it is not easy at all as I have found out over the summer. LOL I should have had someone film me trying.

      Thanks buddy and blessings always

      bill

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      JThomp42 3 years ago

      Great read as usual Bill. When I was a young boy we would play a game to see who could catch a chicken. Needless to say, It is not easy. Have a great day my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, that could be said for this writer...interesting and different. LOL Nobody ever accused me of being boring and I'm happy for that. :) Thank you my friend.

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      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Great metaphor Bill. You can feel the affection in your words for those individual, enigmatic creatures.

      Interesting and different.

      Anna :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...have a great time, Ann! Ride them cowgirl!

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      My Tuesday is going fine thanks, bill. One lesson to do for a dyslexic student, then off to a country & western evening - yee-ha!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, that is very sweet for sure. Bev would read to them if she was sure nobody would see her. LOL

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You bet they are, Jackie....and sometimes more enjoyable than people.

      Ours love rich and pasta. LOL That is their favorite meal. They really do have marvelous personalities and they are so entertaining.

      Thanks for sharing about yours; we had a Rhode Island Red but he turned out to be male. :)

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      Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Hi Bill,

      A friend of mine raised one chicken. In her back yard. Fed the chicken very well and read stories to her, so she would not be lonely. She also, got eggs from the chicken. It was sweet.

      Voted up.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Sha! Most mature chickens will lay daily except they take winter off. LOL Out of the six we are getting four eggs daily right now but that will end soon and return in April.

      And yes, I do sit here and laugh at them. Pretty cheap entertainment.

      love,

      bill

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow I only have three and I don't know them apart! But then they are the same kind, Rhode Island Reds. One is a clucker though and she has stolen my heart, for when I bring a treat she loves she gives me a thank you with that low cluck satisfaction. Guess you know what I mean about chickens eating something wet how they wipe that bill and it doesn't seem quite natural, well I happened to find out a few days ago their favorite food may be mashed potatoes and they don't even stop to wipe their mouths until they are done in fear of missing a bite! Thanks for the story, they really are something else. I mean, chicken are people too, right?

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, thanks for sharing your story about Rambo! Darn coral snakes! Why do they have to do that? :)

      Our chickens provide us with endless fun. We could never kill them for meat but we gladly steal their eggs for breakfast.

      Thank you my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, it is either the teacher in me or a very strange imagination that should be locked up permanently. LOL If we had more chickens I am sure we could start a very good bartering system with neighbors.

      Thanks buddy!

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      This was fun getting to know your brood. I'll bet you sit in your studio and laugh out loud all by yourself, huh? I've never heard of blue chicken eggs. How cool! Those could come in handy at Easter! The video was very interesting. I knew nothing about raising chickens before now.

      How often to chickens lay eggs, Bill? That's one expense you've eliminated. Organic eggs are expensive.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, don't tell the other chickens, but Minerva is my favorite as well. You have to love her heart, don't you?

      Thanks buddy. I hope you are well, busy, successful and happy.

      Aloha

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thank you for the grin that you gave me. Prehistoric faces? LOL I had never thought of that but I see why you say it. I will never look at them the same again.

      Thank you my friend and I hope your Tuesday is progressing nicely.

      bill

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      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi Mr. Farmer Bill,

      I loved this hub. Remember, I am a farm girl and I had a pet rooster he was big and white. I raised him from a chick and taught him to sing and I loved him so much. His name was Rambo, because he protected me and would not let any other animal near me.

      A coral snake killed him---so you watch out for snakes on your farm.

      I was a teenager, but I still have all kinds of pets in my woods.

      Have a great week. You and Bev have fun with your babies.

      Bobbi

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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My chickens through college provided us with all we needed to eat. Swapping fresh eggs can get you anything to eat.

      In tracking we pay attention to personalities gleamed from patterns in the dirt or plant disruption.

      I do believe it is the teacher in you that lets you see and celebrate the diversity in your chickens, and now the chickens help you celebrate the diversity of all creatures great and small.

      Wonderful write here Bill thank you for the lesson.

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I gravitate towards Minerva, Bill, and yet each of the chickens has something familiar and appealing for me. This was a masterful concept to write about, and I love how you buttered this delicious slice of bread with your fresh wit.

      Your hubs read like chapters in a book of flash writing that one hopes will never end. Thanks for benevolently sharing that gift of yours, my friend!

      Aloha until the chickens fly the coop!

      ~Joe

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      We had chickens a couple of times in France and when it was time to leave we just gave them to neighbours who had their own and they've mixed in well. They learn a hierarchy fast, don't they? The ones who get picked on develop amazing avoidance and stealth strategies and the bullies sometimes get their come-upance. Their run makes me laugh but their faces revolt me; they're prehistoric! Great hub and, yes, they're very akin to human behaviour. May your brood live long and give you golden eggs! Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. This was a fun one to write and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Have a great Tuesday my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I would have been disappointed if you didn't read this. LOL Too funny about you having a chicken with that name. :) Thank you my friend.

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      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Truly, I love this too Bill and seriously you are right no two chickens or people are alike int heir looks or personalities. Thanks for the great read this mornign and hoping you are having a great morning now!

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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      I love this, Bill! And one of my chickens is named Penelope, too. : )