Saturday, 10 September 2011

Back to Skool

There is excitement in the coop this week as Recharge has started a new term on her distant learning course.  She managed to get a D doing a Food Technology GCSE and ever since then (2 weeks ago) she has wanted to continue her education.  I wasn’t sure a D was that good but she has assured me that she double-checked and definitely thinks the D stood for ‘Damn Good Exam Paper’ (but I am a little D for Dubious although haven’t said anything to her or I’ll probably be D for Dead!) She’s moving into “the humanities” now which is sort of like sociology, you just study Humans I think. 
I myself don’t really believe in education.  I believe in personal development.  Self-education if you will.  I read a great number of novels, all the literary greats really (‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’/’The BFG’/’Where’s Spot’ (from the Spot the Dog Series.)  You don’t learn anything important from school really and they don’t teach you the important stuff.  (Some kids don’t even know what a snozzcumber is!)  No, the only subject I would always be keen to do more on is History.  It would be good to discuss this subject with other chickens who like it.  History is great because we get to hear lots of nice stories from the past.  My particular favourite History books include: ‘Trotsky’ by Richard Service, ‘Great Tales from English History’ by Robert Lacey and ‘the Bible’ by Anonymous.
Below is a picture of what chickens looked like in the past.  It is in colour which might give you the impression it is modern but it isn’t.  They look quite similar to us but as I said to Recharge this morning, “they must have led very different lives.”  She wrote that down on a scrap of paper because she said it was the deepest thing I had said all day.  So here’s to History and what we can learn from those chickens before us...

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Wonderful ManPerson from Oz

The ManPeople went away last week and left us to look after a house guest in their absence.  He was a tall ManPerson with facial hair and a funny accent.  He apparently hails from somewhere called ‘Oz’ where the water in the loo flows backwards and they always put shrimps on barbies.  As you can tell they are a pretty peculiar bunch and we were a little alarmed to be left in charge of him. 
Fortunately however he was well-behaved and we got to know him quite well.  Recharge was able to chatter on about sport as he was well into his footie and of course, what with Man Utd beating Arsenal 8-2, they had plenty to talk about.  He also didn’t really know how often to feed us so we were dining out all weekend on an overflowing feed tray and fresh water on the hour.  He can stay again. 
We heard a little about chickens in his country and they don’t sound too different from us – wings, legs, breasts all in the right place etc.  I’m looking forward to meeting one of our Ozzie friends in the future.  We will all hang out and swap stories about the cultural differences between our two countries of origin.  That would be really fun I think.  Recharge and I have started saving up for the cost of getting us over there and we should be ready to go around 2047.  It will be a great trip.  I think they made a film about a Wizard who lives there so Recharge and I were thinking we could track him down first.      

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Hen Do Schmen Do...

We’re not talking to the ManWoman at all today as this morning she let it slip where she was over the weekend.  You won’t believe this reader but she went to... a hen do.  I know!   Where was our invite you are thinking I imagine?  So are we.

She has gone all sheepish about the whole thing and refuses to go into details about what she did on there.  I know there were loads of other hens on it though so Recharge and I were like, “Hello?” She was looking a bit tired so I imagine they talked a lot and ran about a great deal.  I bet they had some good water and some exciting feed to eat.  No party is ever really complete without grit in your food and she looks like it was some party.

I overheard her on the phone just now squealing away at what fun it all was and Recharge and I both agreed that we won’t be speaking to her for AT LEAST 48 hours.  And we’re going to have our OWN hen do in the coop tonight.  We’re getting in some fresh grass and we’re even considering inviting the rats from next door.  One is called Rambo and he is famous amongst his kind for having a really long tail AND knows all the words to a lot of the Dixie Chicks (a favourite band of ours).
So she’ll soon regret not inviting us once she hears how rockin’ it is in the coop tonight... 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


The ManWoman was complaining that we have been getting a bit feisty of late.  She can be quite loud and obnoxious at times (TripleA used to wear straw in her ears to dampen down the sound and block out some of her worst stories) but she is normally kind to us and finds it funny when we do things like: poo on the ground that she has just swept, lay eggs in unexpected places, make a run for the house everytime she opens the kitchen door.  But the other day she suddenly FLIPPED OUT completely out of the blue – we had simply been pecking on her toes and clawing her ankle to say ‘Hi’ when she told us we were simply too lairy and needed to tone it down.  She’d been reading the newspaper at the time and was reading about (and considering buying) some of the new-fangled American contact lenses they’re using over there on our American cousins. 
They’re red and they supposedly “chill the bird out.”  Apparently we’ll eat less, produce more eggs and won’t fight.  Now I took offence at this.  I am RETIRED from professional egg production and we produce plenty of eggs (the ManPeople ate OMELETTE for dinner the other night – there is clearly no shortage in their household).  And I like my food so don’t WANT to eat less.  Who doesn’t like pellets with grit in?  Answer: only mad chickens.  They’re TASTY, TASTY.  And I HARDLY EVER fight with Recharge.  I’m not even that aggressive.  I’ve shouted a bit on this blog but usually I am chilled, calm.  Like a cucumber (as chickens said - in the 80’s). So I hope she doesn’t get these stupid new lenses.  I'll refuse to wear them.  I would much rather a pair of glasses or, ideally, a monocle (see below - I hate cats but this one looks so wise with the monocle in).
p.s. She also suggested putting a red bulb in our coop.  Recharge raised her eyebrows at that one.  We might have been cooped up in a battery farm but it’s not like we haven’t LIVED!  We all know what the red light normally means and I can assure you we are not those kind of chicks... 

Friday, 12 August 2011

Who Do I Think I Am?

I was watching ‘Who do you think you Are?’ with the delightful June Brown (aka Dot Cotton).  She is 84 by the way which is quite old in ManPeople years but to us chickens that is like being as Old as Time itself.  She is as old as my Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great GrandChicken.  Approximately.  Anyway the show is not as aggressive as it first sounds, it is actually a gentle romp through someone’s life charting their ancestors and finding out what happened to them all (mostly they die).     
I would like to be famous so that the ‘Who do you think you Are?’ production team would contact me.  It would be nice to travel around discovering little bits of information about my relatives.  I am quite an emotional bird so I would be excellent on the television as I would be bound to cry.  So if this blog ever does go global (I’ve already got fans in the States so there is a distinct possibility that this will happen soon) and you are from the production team of ‘Who do you think you Are?’ then I would be happy to join your show. 
TripleA used to bang on about her roots (her ancestors were all Penguin Hens too, the ones that walk and talk like our black and white friends – that’s not racist btw) and some of her relatives came from places as far flung as Norwich!  I would be keen to hear more about my genealogy and discover if I have any kind of exotic blood in me.  I believe my Father fathered many chickens, and certainly he wasn’t around when I was growing up, but I would like to know more about his side of the family, and my 4,796 1st cousins probably do too.  He himself was often busy (as you have heard) but an interesting sort but we were very much a female coop and sometimes I wonder how that has shaped me into the chicken I am today. 
Also I have heard tell that some chickens have all kinds of different blood in them and can look really weird.  Now I’m not judging but I have posted some pictures of some more freaky friends below so you can laugh at them.
p.s. if you are from the production team for ‘Big Brother’ I don’t think I would consider going on your show.  Even if it was the celebrity version.  Unless there is a massive amount of money involved.  Feel free to email me anyway because I suppose, if I get desperate, it could still be a good platform to launch me as an international brand. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

Looters Beware!

Obviously the talk in the coop has been one of concern at the current situation and sympathy for our sisters in London.  We’ve been hearing the reports – looters ransacking businesses, buildings on fire, windows smashed - so have been extra vigilant in the coop over the last couple of days, shoring up our defences and taking turns to look out for anyone who might be after our feed or water.  Recharge thought she saw something sneaking by in the dark last night and whispered, “Looter!”  Unfortunately I heard, “Hooter” and thought she was simply owl-watching again, so failed to respond.  If anyone was staking the place out they might have managed it.  We’re going to be extra watchful tonight.  Recharge has pointed out that this blog might be a good way of warning off potential chicken crims as they’ll know we are WATCHING them when they read this.  They should also know we are prepared to use force to defend ourselves.  See picture of me practicing below.  I am a yellow belt.  Right, I need to get some shut eye, we might be in for another long night... 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Fame - I'm going to live forever

A lot of hens ask me “Duracell why do you blog?  Is it all about the fame for you?”  To them I say this:  I’m not one of those birds who dresses up and does tricks, I’m not some circus animal or that penguin in the zoo who got his mug all over the front covers when they made him a wetsuit and he was like, “Ooh look at me, I’m wearing clothes, aren’t I clever...”  No I’m not like that at all.  I don’t want the attention, the fame.  I’m blogging for ME.  But if fame has to come into it then I say, bring it.  I’m ready for it.  In fact I am particularly ready for fame this week as, due to the very hot weather, I have been wearing shades.  I am below with a sheep I met who always wears shades.  He is called Barry White because he goes ‘Baaa’ and because he is white.  It’s a very clever name.  Laters dudes and dudettes... 

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Stew Who?

Pretty quiet few days recently, just been chillaxing in the coop a lot.  E.g. the other day I moved from the perch to the nesting box and back again but didn’t even bother to go downstairs!  However that all changed last night when we thought the Man People had brought home another hen to join our gang!  Recharge and I both got really excited at the prospect of having another girlfriend round the place.  At about 7pm the Man Woman in the house called out “Chicken Stew’s Ready!” and the Big Man called down, “Great”.  And we were all waiting and waiting for her to emerge.  Stew is a bit of a weird name for a hen but we figured it was like those celebrity hens who call them things like Poppet and Peaches.  So we waited a little while more but no one came out.  There were no real noises inside from another hen, the Man People were just eating their dinner, so we figured maybe Stew would be turning up another night.  That was probably the highlight of our week so, as you can see, it hasn’t been the most exciting!  We hope to meet Stew soon!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Choose... Life.

I know it’s been a while and for that we apologise.  In fact I did question whether this blog should continue or if it should be put to bed so to speak.  Without TripleA it seemed to have lost something fundamental.  But I pondered it some more and realised that this blog cannot die along with TripleA,  we all have to try and go on without her.  And through this blog we can remember her. 
The Man Woman tried to have a conversation with us about TripleA’s passing on.  She was inferring that there might be a Chicken Heaven and described TripleA as just going for a “long sleep”.  Now she’s either mental or a ManWoman of faith so we humoured her as much as we could.  These religious nuts are usually hard to placate so we were relieved it didn’t take long before she was returning inside.  We all know that TripleA has died and there is no coming back from that (we have all seen ‘Chicken Run’ so there is no fooling us).  Still she is well within her rights to try and make herself feel better so there was no need to let her down by being all negative and nihilistic about it in front of her.  Anyway she seems pretty distracted at the moment, really busy recently tapping away on her laptop.  She must have a blog too.
So yes we were the Three Amigos and now we are just Two.  Recharge has been quite philosophical about it all – says when it’s her time to go she’ll be ready – and I myself have been turning to poetry to get myself through the darker moments.  So onwards and upwards we are saying in the coop.  May TripleA not be forgotten and may we all... choose life.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

TripleA - Not to be Forgotten

It has been a very long and sad day.  TripleA took to the nesting box last night complaining of chest problems and a lack of energy.  We could both see that she wasn’t feeling well and we stayed up late last night hoping that she might get better soon.  She has been great fun to have around, always taking our teasing in the way it was intended, and always ready to join in with any activities we’ve laid on.  Sadly this morning she passed away and we were pleased she had felt no pain.  It happened in her sleep.  We will miss her hugely, and know she is walking tall somewhere up there.  Night, night TripleA – we won’t forget you.
A private burial will take place (just family) but if you'd like to make a donation on her behalf we suggest you send it to her favourite charity - the British Hen Welfare Trust - because without them we would never have got to know her.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sickness in the coop

Hey guys Duracell here.  Now I was going to get really angry about yesterday's hacking incident. (when I saw what they'd done I was like "What the Cluck!") but the wind has gone right out of my sails today because TripleA (you remember, our freaky friend who thinks she's a penguin) is really not well.  She has been doing this weird hacking cough for a couple of days and although the vet has given her medicine she is still peaky and lethargic.  We've tried to be really quiet round the coop today, and Recharge has brought her some nice grass from outside and I've tried to rouse a smile by doing my impression of Tweetie Pie (usually CRACKS her up) but she's really low.  So this is a shout out to cheer her up.  Get better soon TripleA. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

It's not just the NOTW that can hack!

Hi guys, it’s Recharge here.  This is Duracell’s blog and she gets really shirty if we try and contribute, she’s well  protective about it.  But we stole her password (‘Ilovecock’ – so obvious) and so now we have free rein.  Ha ha ha.  So we’ve read our descriptions from earlier, (er... hello, where are they?) and we figured you didn’t know a great deal about us two (the coolest two – well actually Triple A will admit herself that she’s the “geeky one”).  Anyway I’m Rechargeable (my friends call me ‘Recharge’ for short, and they do it in a kind of we’re-from-the-ghetto-voice too) and I’m probably the most energetic of the bunch.  I’m good over long distances, never been a sprinter.  I like to work hard and play hard and I’m currently the hen churning out the most eggs (*clicks wings). 
Triple A here, although I’m not really into sports I’m not a total geek either!  I can still have fun!  I’m a big fan of Word Games.  The best day of my life EVER was beating Duracell in a game of Scrabble (it was down to the wire but then I managed to pull out CLUCK and got the ‘K’ on a ‘Triple Letter’ spot, then hit the ‘Double Word’ which meant 30 points already in the bag.  Duracell was open-mouthed but could do nothing and I swept to victory).  And I’m also a big reader, love all the literary novels, historical fiction, anything with a good story really – think McEwan does really with his descriptive passages and thought ‘Atonement’ was fantastic – a really compelling love story.  I have to be honest at this point and admit that I didn’t enjoy ‘Saturday’ (I kept waiting for the book to get going and then realised it was about his Saturday and not even much happened on it- he played squash I think, anyway...)  I've also read a lot of non-fiction, I'm really fascinated in Tudor History - and not just the chicken stuff but the stuff about People too.  And of course I'm also a big fan of the classics, particularly the Austen novels, but then who isn’t hey?!  Ooh, hold on, Duracell is calling for us and we better log out before she works out we’ve been here.  She’s walking over here now...

Friday, 8 July 2011

Is that a marrow in your pocket?

Have to hurry as we are sooooo busy in the coop today.  We’re creating a collage for the walls out of hay, stones, old grass and our own faeces.  It is a sensitive depiction of a larger work TripleA once saw in an article about an art gallery.  She claimed the orginial was by a Man Person called ‘Turner’ and from her description I really think we’ve caught the right kind of mood of the piece. 
On the subject of Man Persons our Man People are in a great mood this week.  They keep returning from somewhere called ‘The Allotment’ carrying different types of vegetables in a silver sieve.  They brought home allsorts yesterday; artichokes, garlic, onions, potatoes and to top it all a really big marrow.  I hadn’t seen a big marrow like that in a long time.  It was impressive. 
Picture of a pretty big courgette that can’t even compete with the one they paraded home:

Monday, 4 July 2011

A short story

So normally the People are pretty busy during the day, we get left alone to wander about the courtyard, dig up stuff, scratch stuff and poo in imaginative new places.  Today however has been a bit different because the Man Woman has been around all day, yappng on about her life.  She’s a talker at the best of times, but today she hit her PB.  She really had us bored to tears about some kind of short story she wrote that NEARLY won £1000 and NEARLY made it into Woman and Home (it’s one of Their mags, I’m personally more into ‘Practical Poultry’ – now there’s a mag that really tackles the issues of the day).  Anyway reading between the lines it was clear that she hadn’t come first, merely in the Top 10, and would only have her story printed on their website (and we all know anyone can write on the web - Man, Woman or Beast eh!) so I’m not sure why she is so keen to bang on about it.  Still she’s pretty happy and was singing while she was sweeping which, although she hasn’t got the greatest voice, was more exciting than listening to TripleA’s attempts to play his drum using just his beak (teeeeedious).  She sung a lot of Adele, who is slightly over-rated in my opinion mostly because not one of her songs ever talk about birds.  The good news is she was in such a daze she fed us twice.  Get in.  Here we all are in the garden together (I’m the one walking off as she tries to tell me the same story for the 18th time...)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wimbledon and the Weather

Really enjoying the sun when it’s out and been catching up on Wimbledon.  Totally intrigued by the women’s tournament at the moment, the Williams sisters are out so the competition is really open.  I’m a big tennis and golf nut so today was super exciting as Rory McIroy spent the day at Centre Court and then him and Murray had an interview on the BBC and it was interesting to hear from the both of them.  I like Murray but my heart will always really be with Tim.  Apparently Murray’s whole family are really good at golf.  I wish I could get my handicap down but my wing to eye co-ordination has never been great so I’m destined to struggle on!  The People we live with here play golf.  I think he might be a bit better than her because when they come back from their round she doesn’t talk about it very much and he is always smiling.  Maybe her wing to eye co-ordination is weak too? 
Aside from watching sport us girls have been working.  We’ve been churning out 2 eggs a day between the 3 of us and the People have been making a lot of pancakes!  It’s good to be appreciated, when we were in the Other Place no one ever commented on our egg production – morale was pretty low so there was no real motivation to make an effort and up the ante so to speak.  Every time we pop one out the People rush out and start announcing it, it makes you feel wanted you know. 
Hoping you are all enjoying the tennis and the heat, catch up with you all again soon! 

p.s. Don't you think Djokovic looks a little bit like a microphone?  A microphone with a steely resolve who could destroy you at tennis, but still....

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Politics Yah

So I was chatting to the other girls today about some global issues.  Politically we’re quite a mix.   I suppose I’m a little bit on the right, quite an old school conservative (‘if the coop aint broke don’t fix it’ kind of outlook) but TripleA is way more to the left, a real champagne socialist, always spouting on about equal rights for all animals (hello, did she never read ‘Animal Farm’?) and the bleeding environment.  She would just let it all hang out.  “That sounds like it would be anarchy” I hear you cry.  Exactly – she’s a real hippy chicky.  Recharge is more on my wave length when it comes to politics, a realist, she certainly nods a lot when I discuss the changes being made at the moment so we had a really good chat this morning over the water bowl. It got quite heated at one point as TripleA overheard us from the nesting box and Recharge managed to change the conversation so we didn’t have a row.  We talked about less controversial topics.  Will Cheryl Cole get back together with Ashley and do we think Kate Middleton is just a “clothes horse” or is she so much more?  You know the kind of convo.  That’s what retirement is, time to talk, to share, to chat.  The People have been pretty quiet this week.  Apparently he’s away doing something called ‘surfing’ but it sounds like nothing to do with the internet.  She’s been letting us out LOADS in the garden and we’ve made sure to eat all the heads of the carrots they were growing for us in gratitude.  They’re ace.  Ooh here she comes now actually with some fresh water.  I’ll just get offline and go and say hello...

Will they, won't they eh?

Monday, 20 June 2011

Retirement - The Reality

Hey guys, so we’re really getting to know the place now.  All getting along OK (there have been some moments where I just think “Man I wish I was back in Row 5 with my buddies”) but overall a good atmosphere in the coop.  And the People are giving us treats.  We’ve had water AND layered pellets to eat.  Tasty as.  So aside from blogging you’re probably wondering what I do with my time.  Well at the moment I am living quite a relaxed life.  Retirement has been new and it’s hard to tell myself sometimes to SLOW DOWN.  There’s no need for all the rushing and the laying of my working life, I am here to lie back and enjoy life.  So I’m going to take a chill pill (not an actual pill, I’m not that kind of hen!) and take a moment or two to think what I want from it all.  I’m also thinking of taking up some hobbies.  Maybe watercolours. 
I’ll keep you guys posted.  And before I go, here is a picture I saw that really inspired me this week.  It’s like, the world or something.  Clever.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Good Life

Sooooo.  We’ve been here nearly a week and things are getting far more normal.  I was chatting to Recharge about the benefits of our new home, and the negatives.  We came up with this list:
Here –
Increased living space.
A varied diet.
Internet access.
More down time.
There –
Always someone to talk to (friends). 
The feeling of being part of a large community.  
The feeling that you were in a cage.
Overall we think we have definitely benefitted from the move.  It has been great to get to know Recharge a little better. Moving Day was weird as we hadn’t actually met before then.  I knew Recharge by reputation (he was pretty popular in Row 3 but our cage tended to hang out more with Row 6 and 7) but I had never met TripleA.  She won’t mind me saying it but she’s quite a freaky looking bird (she thinks she’s a penguin – I know!!)  I’ll post a photo of her below so you get the idea.  She got really cross when I took this – said it was her bad side.  This coming from a bird that can turn her head round like 180 degrees or something.  Whatever!  Anyway we didn’t move in the same circles AT ALL.  She came from Row 17, so was more down the Window End and I was Near-To-The-Barn Door End.  The Window lot are obviously slightly bizarre – Triple A said there were other ones like her but I never saw them.
Here is a photo of her. 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Settling in and setting up!

Wow an exciting first few days!  Despite the rain I’ve been feeling quite chipper really.  Been on the internet a little, getting a feel for it.  I’ve got a profile on Twitter now AND got my first few followers.  I wanted to follow people with ‘similar interests’ so typed in ‘Eggs’ to begin with and got all sorts of people up.  Am planning on following quite an eclectic mix though – I’m not JUST interested in chicken stuff - I’m so much more than that.  And that is the great thing about the internet I think – there are just so many people to connect with.  Oop... that was a bit of a battery gag for you there (old habits die hard!) but you get my meaning.  Oh, the FUNNIEST thing that happened today (this will crack you up... oop there I go again, an egg pun now, I can’t help myself can I?!) is that I followed this ‘hen party’ thinking “Yeah they’ll be tweeting about good times” and then realised they weren’t talking about actual hens you know!!  It was something totally different!!  Anyway that had me chuckling for a while this morning.  Crazy times! 
Catch you all later.  Or laters yeah (that’s like street talk).

Friday, 10 June 2011

Welcome to my Blog!

Hi guys!  Well I suppose I better introduce myself.  “The Chatty Chicken” was my idea for my blog as, well, I suppose I am the talker of the group.  I’ve always been chatty, like to keep things light, so I thought this blog was perfect.  A good place for me to air my views, meet people of a similar mindset and generally communicate.
So here is a photo of me and my homies (they hate it when I call them that!)  We’re ex-battery hens, now living the dream in our retirement.  On the right you’ve got Recharge, on the left there is TripleA and I’m in the middle (the good-looking one), Duracell. *would be waving to you if it wasn't a still photo!*
So we were re-homed on June 8th 2011 (we’ll have to go into that later, it was all pretty traumatic... Triple A is yet to speak) and now we live in a luxury apartment in the nice bit of Royal Berkshire.  “Is there a bad bit?”  I hear you cry, well yes actually, but I don’t want to be negative in the intro.
So the Man People who have taken us in are nice.  He has strong hands and a soothing voice and She is a bit nervy but quite fun to talk to.  He is sort of a normal man person (not dissimilar to the guys who worked in the Other Place) and she looks sort of like the Man Women we used to see on calendars on their walls.  Only she smiles more and wears a few more clothes.  Anyway they seem pretty cool so we should have some fun times.
I’m not going to babble on for hours on my first post, suffice to say they’ll be plenty of time for that later!  Ha, ha.  So welcome one and all, I look forward to making your acquaintance...