The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 24, 2012

Angie, Henny hit the road

By Angie Bicker
Lifestyle Editor

CLINTON — One of my lucky hens and I embarked on a journey last week.

I picked one of my prettiest and whitest looking little hens to accompany me to the Sarah Harding Home here in Clinton to give a program on you guessed it — chickens.

Getting a little chicken ready to travel takes a lot of time and preparation. Unfortunately, more than I initially thought. I had to prepare somewhat of a diaper bag of supplies for my little hen including some dixie cups to hold feed and water, water for her to drink, extra food in a sandwich bag and a bath towel just in case she had an accident. I also had to clean out a rabbit cage for her to travel in. If she had been free to fly around the cab, I definitely would have had a chicken roosting on my steering wheel or sitting on top of my head. Take your pick, neither one is a very good scenario.

I can’t tell you how surprised I was with my little hen as I put her inside the rabbit cage inside the cab of the truck. She took it remarkably well. She laid right down in the pine wood shavings like this was her time to bond with me. She nestled herself right up to the cage door so she could be as near to me as she could. I guess I really did a good job raising my girls.

As we backed out of the driveway, she continued to sit still unlike anything I had ever seen in my life. A squirmy 2-year-old had nothing on this hen. I rubbed her chest and kept assuring her that she would be OK and that she was a good girl. And most importantly, she was going to represent all of the girls at Klucker Farms during our program.

As we traveled down the road, my little hen stood up occasionally to look out the window. She was very interested in the new world around her and surprisingly kept tilting her head to the side like some dog’s do. And people say chickens aren’t smart — fiddlesticks.

When my hen and I arrived at Sarah Harding, a flurry of people came to greet us and take her picture. Again, my little hen did really well and I could not have been happier. I have a feeling she was the first hen to ever visit residents there. In my opinion, they could not have gotten a nicer little hen than her.

This was the fourth chicken program I’ve given since I started raising chickens. For someone who hated speech class back in high school, I’ve grown to really enjoy talking to groups about my favorite pastime. I’m proud to be the Clinton Herald’s chicken lady.

I never really prepare a speech, but find it better to talk from my heart. I love my girls so much that I never have a problem talking about them.

After my talk, I opened the floor up to questions and I received a lot of them. I also was happy to hear about their experiences growing up on the farm raising chickens too. I have a feeling this program was one they will never forget.

Before I left, several residents bid us farewell by petting my little hen. I think my chicken enjoyed it as much as they did.

I hope this adventure is only the beginning. I look forward to sharing my love of chickens with more and more people.