Chicken Lies


I’m blogging angry: You’ve been warned.

I’m going to share what from what I can tell no one else will: Chickens suck. I don’t mean, “Oh, they really get on my nerves and I wish they were sweeter!” No, I mean, they suck and I sometimes wish they’d spontaneously combust into a fine blood mist punctuated with feathers.

“Oh, get chickens! They’re so sweet! They bond with the first human they see! They’ll eat out of your hand and scamper about your feet and play cards with you and be your best buds and give you eggs and when it comes time to decide if you’re going to eat them, you’ll think, ‘I couldn’t POSSIBLY eat my best friend!'”

Bullshit. Vile lies and terrible deception.

Here’s a picture of them from a few months ago. They’re not even worth busting the camera out to take a more recent shot, one that would show they’re much bigger and more slathered in evil than before. They don’t have names anymore. They are Bitchface 1 and Bitchface 2; don’t care which is which.

See, a few months ago, we bought six pullets. We raised them inside for a month or so, then divided the chicken coop into two areas, one for the grown ladies, and one for the pullets (as advised by all the forums and books). We’ve had about a months’-worth of get-to-know-you time, and I’ve been letting everybody out together for supervised yard time and while there’s some pecking, mostly they just run around and ignore each other. Then we got six goslings. We raised them inside for a few weeks, and they just got so big so fast (and are SHIT MACHINES) that it was time for them to go outside into the pullet pen (like they suggest in all the lying forums and bullshit books). They got along great! The geese are actually already bigger than the pullets, run around like happy little idiots, eating bugs and grass and playing in their water pool. The pullets ignore them, and the big ladies couldn’t get to them, one way or another.

Keep in mind we spent three weekends building these birds a secure, deluxe coop with a great big yard. I feed and water them twice a day. I talk to them and try to pet them all and give them treats and scraps. They get let out of their coop first thing in the morning, checked on several times a day, then secured in their coop at night. It’s not as if I threw a bunch of day-old chicks into a thistle yard and yelled, “Good luck, bitches! I’d better find some eggs tomorrow!”

Then about a week ago, I found one of the adult ladies in with the geese; she had flown over the barrier. They all seemed to be doing fine, so I started letting the geese hang with everybody else. Two nights ago, I decided to let them all sleep in the coop as a group. BIG MISTAKE. I got up in the morning yesterday, and there were two dead goslings, their throats pecked out.  I cried and cried and put them in a garbage bag and said things like, “I’m so sorry!” and cried some more. Because I’ve really gotten attached to the geese! The chickens are kind of mechanical, dead-eyed eating and pooping machines. They’d just as soon I was a robot food and water dispenser rather than a human, for all the warmth they’ve shared since day one. The geese, however, are sweet and cuddly and inquisitive and fun-loving.

So last night, we reinforced the gosling/pullet area with chicken wire from top to bottom, and beefed up the joins. This morning, I came in to another dead gosling on the babies’ side, and a dead Cuckoo Maran pullet on the big girl side. The pullets had pecked the gosling to death. The CM had found a break in the fence and got in with the big girls, and got pecked to death.

So the plan now, until we can figure out another solution, is to put the big pecking slut-sacks outside, the murderous asshole pullets on the big girl side (inside the coop), and the geese in their regular spot in the coop. Those jerk-faced grown-up chickens can deal with raccoons or whatever until we can afford to make another run and permanently segregate everybody’s lives into Chicken vs. Goose. Because I am NOT waking up to another dead gosling.

It’s not even like those whores are giving me eggs! Six months old and no eggs. And from what I understand, with the upcoming heat of summer, I can expect few or no eggs until fall. They are looking more and more like dinner, every time I walk out to that yard.


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14 thoughts on “Chicken Lies

  1. I’m so sorry you lost your babies. That’s just plain horrifying. Sincere sentiments of condolence aside, here is a note to self: don’t ever cross this woman. = ) I hope the rest of you day is much better.

    • Ugh, I hate the WordPress “Reply” system. Anyway, I am much nicer than my anger with the chickens would convey…In fact, I am going to continue this chicken experiment up to the bitter end, no matter what. (Caveats being, I won’t abuse them unto death, nor will I hasten their demise in any fashion). That said, there is nothing sadder than a dead baby goose.

  2. Natasha Show says:

    I am so sorry about the goslings! And I’ve heard just enough about how annoying chickens are that I’m hesitant to raise them. On the other hand, I want to raise them for meat and I was worried I’d get too attached. If I had asshole chickens, that wouldn’t be the case!

    Also, while it isn’t funny that you lost your babies (devastating!), it is funny how you refer to the chickens as slut sacks. Maybe I could raise chickens for food after all.

    • Thanks so much for the condolences. I swear to God, I’m much more forgiving to people (in that I just never speak to them again if they turn out to be shit-

  3. OhioYarnFarmer says:

    Hail to thee, gosling AVENGER! Don’t blame you in the slightest for being pissed off about the dead geese. -I actually want to thank you for posting this. We’re getting chickens for the first time in a couple of weeks, and this serves as a very real example of what we’ve been hearing/reading; Chickens love neither man, nor beast, including each other. We’ll literally be watching the feathery little thugs like hawks; we have already agreed that any birds that attack us are going straight into the stew pot.

  4. How sad! I think you might change your mind about the geese when they are older though. Geese can be mean son of a guns. Maybe birds just aren’t your thing 🙂

  5. goudreinet says:

    Sorry about your problems. Some advice (if you are still in the mood for it…); any young (chicken, gosling, duckling) without a mother will be attacked by anything bigger (incl. cats and magpies). That is what mothers are for! I successfully raised a flock of mixed chickens and ducklings (under an experienced hen) in a greenhouse full of other hens with their own flocks and also 3 cats (to keep the rats away). There need to be enough space between the hens or they will fight (to protect their offspring). I currently have a hen outside with 9 chicks (she lost 2) of only 3 weeks old. No-one will go near her and she sleeps unprotected in the same hen house as the other hens and cockerels; with all her chicks safely under her!
    I agree with your observations; ducks (and geese?) are much more intelligent than hens; who are really stupid; I guess you just have to love them for what they are; good egg layers (after 1 year) and colourful company:)

  6. whimgirl says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

  7. Libby Keane says:

    I’m sorry you are having such a hard time of it. No one likes to lose animals to other animals. Wild or domestic. goudreinet is right about the bigger ones just naturally picking on the smaller ones. It sounds like you are doing it right with the “get to know you” cages. That will work great for new baby chickens and older chickens. Probably not for different kinds of birds.
    Regardless, it’s a time thing, until they are all about the same size, they fight. Once they are all together, they will have their little pecking order fight too. But it usually settles down. We have had to give away a a couple of aggressive chickens to keep the peace in the flock.
    My trouble came when we got the ducks. Big white ones. They were fine with the chickens. Hanging out in the garden together, etc. They did have separate sleeping quarters, but other than that, they mixed it up fine. Until they got bigger than the chickens. Then they tried to do exactly what you just described. stepping on the chickens backs, and trying to peck their heads off. bye bye ducks. Seems to me, geese & chickens will fight like ducks & chickens.
    I don’t want anything disturbing the laying hens from laying. That’s what we’ve got them for, after all.
    Don’t be discouraged. You’ll get the hang of it. Try one kind of beast for a year. That will give you time to learn the flock, and they will learn the routine, and it will be easier to add something new in the following year. Are you in a rush?

  8. sew4con says:

    Chickens don’t occur in nature. my husband works in construction and came home one day when it was raining and stated”even chickens are smart enough to get out of the rain so I came home.” I asked him why we had so many wet chickens standing around in the rain if that was true. The won’t walk in snow but they will stand around and get soaked. I love having chickens, but they are stupid creatures that die easy. Currently mine are trying to dig to china. They try different parts of the yard every day.

    • They’re so weird. Some of them like to stand under the hose when I’m spraying the geese, and the others run away like I’m trying to murder them. The find the tiniest breach in the fence and stand there panicked when they can’t get back in. I hope the eggs are worth it!

  9. SaraC says:

    Oh my god, please blog angry whenever you like. That was HILARIOUS! I’m sorry your chickens are evil. Mine aren’t but I have to get more eventually and I worry about this very thing.

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