Common Chicken Idioms

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Foghorn Leghorn Cocky

Foghorn Leghorn is a classic example of being "Cocky"

Keeping chickens has been an endeavor of great rewards for our family.  From the cute chirping hatch-lings up to our laying hens, who are fully of personality, we have learned so much.  Surprisingly, one of the things we have enjoyed learning the most are all the sayings people use so commonly that are directly related to keeping chickens.  I had been using many of these chicken idioms for years in other contexts off the farm; only to find myself chuckling at 6:30am when letting the ladies out of the coop.  The first one that really hit me was the saying “cooped up”. Here I only thought that applied to the feeling I got after spending several days trapped in the house being “mother hen” during a snowstorm with 2 little boys. 

Think about it for a minute and you may realize how many sayings people use every day that have their origins in chicken life.  The hens give great insight into many fun ways I refer to my fellow “chicks” and all our “Hen parties” entail.  While my husband says these gatherings resemble a “cluck-fest”, he really just may be feeling a bit “hen pecked”.   After all it isn’t just the hens that provide fodder for common colloquialisms; those “cocky” roosters are in on it too.  Each morning ours “struts around” trying to keep his ladies together.  

Each night they do all “come home to roost” and have taught us “not to count our chicks before they hatch”.  However, a “broody” hen will make you “walk on egg shells” around the coop when she has a “clutch” of eggs to keep warm.  Even when the girls are no longer “spring chickens", our “spent hens” will provide humor to us and knowledge to the newer members of the flock. I just try and keep them all close to home and hope each night that we don’t have a "fox in the hen house.”

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