The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 11, 2012

BICKER: Hang’n with the girls

CLINTON — My girls are very popular. If I had to take a guess, I'd say they're about the most popular chickens on the planet.

Since I started raising chickens three years ago, I've had a lot of visitors. People have traveled from near and far just to take a peek at the infamous hens at Klucker Farms.

The girls have hobnobbed with people from Ohio, Kentucky, California and Chicago as well as area residents. It's pretty amazing if you think about it. When these little girls first arrived they had about 30 visitors by the time they were a week old.

I get a big kick out of kids when they visit. Brody Hemingway, a first-grade student at Prince of Peace, and his grandmother, Barb Hagenson of Clinton, recently stopped by Klucker Farms. Barb wanted Brody to see first-hand where his scrambled eggs came from.

My chickens are very rambunctious. When they hear my voice, they bolt out of the chicken house like a pack of hounds ready to go on a hunt. My girls love me — what can I say — or the grass that I feed them. I have a feeling that the latter is probably more true. But anyway, the girls were thrilled to take an afternoon snack from Brody.

My girls go absolutely nuts over grass. They practically trample over each other to grab a beak-watering piece of green grass. I've never seen anything like it. I don't think Brody and his grandmother had either. Even though Brody is in first grade, he was a real chick magnet. When the girls saw him standing by their pen with a handful of grass they were off. They were running as fast as their little legs would take them.  

My girls do need to work on their table manners because they rip pieces of grass right out of another's beak.

Brody thought it was hilarious when one hen took off running with a long piece in her beak followed by about five more who wanted to take it away from her. My girls are very entertaining to the point they should have their own show on Animal Planet.

After feeding some grass to the girls, Brody wanted to see where they laid their eggs. So, I went into the house and grabbed some plastic grocery bags and slid them over his shoes as make-shift chore boots. Unfortunately, they weren't very stylish.

After we entered the coop, he was very observant. He pointed at the hanging feeders dangling from the ceiling and said, “That must be breakfast, lunch and dinner.” I had to chuckle a little bit and said, “You're absolutely right.” He is a very smart kid.

I then showed Brody the nest boxes where the girls lay their eggs. He was a little disappointed that I had already gathered all of the eggs for the day.

Before heading out, he wanted to pet one of the girls. So, I managed to grab one of my them for him. My chicken looked a little bewildered, but I think, for the most part, she liked it. I will occasionally pet some of my hens who are laying in the nest boxes keeping their eggs nice and warm. After a few strokes, he said she felt nice and soft.

While I was still holding my hen, I made a comment about how ugly their feet are. He touched her toes and long toenails and said, “If you washed her feet, they would probably look good.” That cracked me up. Now that's really looking for the silver lining. I think she might even need a pedicure.

Before Brody left, I gave him a souvenir to take home — a Klucker Farms pin, which I managed to clip to the zipper of his jacket.

I hope he will remember his visit to Klucker Farms for years to come.

I have a feeling that when he returns school after spring break, he will have a lot to tell his classmates.

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