There is never a dull moment out here on the farm. My girls are growing by leaps and bounds. My little girls also are starting to cluck. I swear, it’s like having a live Cadbury egg commercial right in my own backyard. I couldn’t be prouder. It’s comforting to know, as a parent, that my girls are living up to their full potential.

I get the biggest kick out of taking care of my girls. However, my rooster is another story. He definitely has a mind of his own and likes to be noticed and heard. The person who started the rumor that roosters only crow in the morning obviously was never around one. My fine feathered friend crows morning, noon and night. Once you get him going, he won’t stop gabbing. It’s too bad I’m not well versed in “chicken.” He has to be the blabbiest rooster on the face of this earth. My hens’ charming clucks are hardly noticeable over his incessant crowing. His internal clock is definitely out of whack. He’s like a Timex — takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

My rooster has instilled a little fear in me with his piercing, menacing eyes that seem to glow in the dark. He would have been a great feature in the movie “Twilight” — a vampire rooster. I could have made millions. Maybe I have been out in the coop too long. You think? Anyway, I tremble in my socks a little bit when he looks down at me from the top of the stepladder in the corner of the chicken house. My hens have a tendency of dive bombing like torpedoes off of the ladder at me. I don’t really mind it when they do it, but I don’t care for him to zoom down on my head. I don’t care to have battle scars from my rooster. That’s not something you really want to show the grandkids someday.

I am not alone when it comes to problems in the coop. My uncle Wes has been taking care of his son’s chickens out on his parents’ old farm. It’s nice to have someone around to swap chicken stories with. He has recently become a rooster target. Those pesky roosters are pecking at him when he goes in to fill the feeder. Now, if I’m not mistaken, you really shouldn’t peck the hand that feeds you. It’s nice to know that we are both in this together.

There are some days and nights when I feel like I’m living my life through a Mutual of Omaha “Wild Kingdom” episode. Does anybody remember that show? Well, the other morning around 2 a.m. I heard a lively pack of coyotes outside my bedroom window. I think they were yearning for a little fried chicken and had my girls and rooster in mind. Don’t they know there is a KFC right across the river? I jumped to my feet. Again, my girls needed me and were in danger. I threw open my bedroom window and yelled, “Shut up! Get the heck out of here!” I really didn’t intimidate them that much. How could I? They probably outnumbered me 10 to 1 and plus I was in the house for heaven’s sake. I did however take another strategic move to scare them off that actually worked. I ran out to the garage and turned my backyard light on. Such is the life of a chicken mamma.

My mother produced some proof yesterday that the chicken gene has definitely been passed down to me. When I came home from work there was a certificate on my kitchen counter from MoorMan’s.

It said: “Beat the Experts” Chick-Raising Club.

This certifies that Mrs. Ruth Naftzger “beat the experts” in 1956 by producing each pound of chicken to eight weeks with an average of 2.3 pounds of feed. Since poultry experts say that 2.5 pounds is “outstanding” conversion, congratulations are in order for this superior job of care, management and feeding — MoorMan Manufacturing Company president.

There also is seal on the bottom, which says “National Honor Club of Outstanding Poultry Raisers.” I find it very ironic that my grandma was only two years older than I am now when she received this award. I plan on framing the certificate and hanging it up in my house alongside a picture of my chickens. However, my unruly rooster won’t be in that photo.



Angie Bicker is the lifestyles editor with the Clinton Herald. She has been with the Herald since 2001.

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