Tag Archives: chickens

The Rescue Chicken

She’s a rescue chicken
no rest for her
half her feathers missing
she’s one tough bird

Small, brown, determined
she plans to sneak back in
wirecutters in beak
to cut free the other chickens

Who says a rescue chicken
needs tender care?
This one’s for the liberation
of battery hens everywhere

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem sprung into my head upon reading Jim Feeneys wonderful poem Oprah Among the Chickens, where he asks:

Is a rescue chicken
a chicken that has been rescued by people
or is it a chicken that rescues people?

Well, I had a different idea………

The photo comes from the excellent British Hens Welfare Trust.

Husbandry

He talks to chickens
Sometimes with their own sounds
Otherwise in English
Discussing the state of the hen house
The undesirability of chickens entering the house
And pooping on our elderly carpet

They themselves have their own opinions
Apparently
The availability of fresh greens in their diet
The joy of scratching about on the shingle path
The delightful crunchiness of dried meal worms
When I suggest that the girls take part in family decisions
In order to address the gender imbalance
I am rejected
They have their own forum
Talking with my husband each day
True husbandry

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

 

The girls

They comment as they watch me weed
and as I go, they start to plead
for freedom from their boring pen
restrictive to a busy hen.

Now free, they root, scratch and dig
As efficient as any pig
Rustling through every flower
I watch to while away the hours

Later, the washing that I carry
Commands attention, so they tarry
Weaving about by my feet
Hoping it’s something they can eat

Finally it is time to end their roam
I need to get these chickens home
A line of treats upon the grass
Leads them back to the pen at last.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

P1200804

Husbandry

He talks to chickens
Sometimes with their own sounds
Otherwise in English
Discussing the state of the hen house
The undesirability of chickens entering the house
And pooping on our elderly carpet

They themselves have their own opinions
Apparently
The availability of fresh greens in their diet
The joy of scratching about on the shingle path
The delightful crunchiness of dried meal worms
When I suggest that the girls take part in family decisions
In order to address the gender imbalance
I am rejected
They have their own forum
Talking with my husband each day
True husbandry

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Tony….

Scrabbling

I am scrabbling for a word
To describe the noise of chickens
Scrabbling in the garden

It isn’t rustling
The leaves above are doing that
Rustle is a high pitched word
I need a lower pitich
Mustle, grustle
Tustle is what one hen is doing with a worm

Now there’s a sudden outbreak of snail football
The snail always loses

It’s life

On this sunny late October afternoon
Maybe its scrabbling after all

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Robin in the fig tree

Robin in the fig tree

What are the words?
Bright, cheery red, bob-bob-bobbing?
My Robin has read Ted Hughes
He pulls worms fighting from the stiff soil
Terrorises chickens, birds a hundred times his size
Fights to the death for territory
He is now lurking in our small unproductive Fig tree
That leans awkwardly out of a fake ceramic tub
The pigeons by the pond look uneasy

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond