Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Crazy Chicken

This is “Crazy Chicken.” We have been calling this black and brown hen “Crazy Chicken” for at least five years now. We don’t know what breed she is – perhaps one of the chicken people reading my blog do know and can let us all know….. She came amongst one of the “assorted rare breed variety packs” I ordered from Murray MacMurray Hatchery several years ago.

Crazy Chicken – with two Capital C’s as Julia says – has been living in our mudroom for several years now. She sleeps in the darkest corner every night - behind the door where it is dry and safe. I don’t particularly care much for her – nor does The Farmer nor Julia. But we do look out for her everyday. We look to see where she is when we are leaving our house in the morning run to school. We look to see if she is in the mudroom at night in her little spot, safe and sound after a day outside working the yard.

All day long, every day and in every season, Crazy Chicken wanders around the yard – snow, sleet, rain, ice, fog, or sun. It seems it is her sole duty -- to patrol the perimeters of the yard and farm, making sure everything is in its place and that no bugs are left uneaten.

Every once in a while, I decide I’m sick of Crazy Chicken Poop in the mudroom. I catch her at night and put her in the henhouse with the rest of the hens. There she paces the inside perimeter of the coop, always looking for a way out. She doesn't stop, not for a minute. Up one side, turn the corner, down the next side, turn the corner.... all day long, and the next day too. She is never content to be a chicken amongst the rest of the flock. I watch her, The Farmer watches her, Julia watches her. We talk about Crazy Chicken, how she is doing assimilating with the rest of the chickens. We decide she just looks too unhappy in there amongst her own kind. We let her out and she finds her way back to “her mudroom.” This has happened too many times to count.

I don’t particularly like that Crazy Chicken is living in my mudroom making it a chicken coop vs. a Martha Stewart type mudroom where our boots should be neatly placed, washed of any mud before entering, tidily lined up next to each other making their own little patterns of heels next to heels below the coats that are neatly hung on the hooks above. Believe me, our mudroom has never been like that, except for maybe when it was first added on to our kitchen about ten years ago. Since then, our mudroom has gone down a slippery slope --- chicken and pig grain, recycling containers, dog pillows that smell like wet farm dogs, mud, and Crazy Chicken. You get the picture.

“Crazy Chicken” has become a dependable character amongst our farmstead. There she is - looking out for everyone else while avoiding passing cars, rambunctious Border Collies, hungry bottle lambs, wild animals, and Fedex and UPS delivery vehicles. The cats know her and don’t love her. Before they rush out the door, they look around, trying to see if she is there. You see -- Crazy Chicken loves to chase all our cats. She torments them. They dive out the screen door as fast as they can, trying to avoid her furious attack. It’s all a bit of a game amongst the species – seeing who can torment the other.

Once in a while, Crazy Chicken leaves us an egg. It’s not often. Mostly she keeps an eye on things – patrolling our lives. Keeping things in place. Making this old farmhouse a real and living farm full of quirky creatures – animal and human.


Sojourner Design said...

Wonderful post!
But I must admit, I have chickens and I don't even want them congregating on the doorstep!


Harpa J said...

Crazy Chicken looks cool!

Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

You just have to love an animal with that much personality!

Rane said...

you have a farm matron!
Every farm needs a
grandmother... keeping
an eye on all and keeping
the young and wild in check
with a watchful eye! We
don't always get along
but in the end she is
family and we cant really
get rid of the "old biddy."
Hehehehe! I think with
every post like this I
love your farm all the
Do you raise pigs? Why
have we not heard about
them here of late?
Pigs are just as quirky...
right?? How many different
animals do you have right
now on your farm??
Take care of them Crazy
Rane and kids

marlaine said...

I love the posts about your farm and all of its inhabitants and I especially loved this one.

I know that I've mentioned this before in the comments in reference to a sheep adventure, but I think Crazy Chicken would make a great children's book. I could just see your wonderful artistic renderings of her! Have you ever thought about writing a children's storybook?

Thanks again for letting so many of us have a peek into your life.


Bonnie said...

What a great bog lost. I think Flannery O'Connor would have loved Crazy Chicken. In fact, maybe she IS Flannery O'Connor reincarnated!

I am glad you let her peck to the beat of her own drummer.

Deborah said...

I like Crazy Chicken...I'll bet she colors outside the lines and runs with scissors!

Leslie said...

She may be Crazy but she's beautiful. Life is quirky and she must fit right in :)

By the way, have you ever heard from that Verizon man who replied in your blog?

Diane H K in Greenfield said...

I would guess that Crazy Chicken is a human reincarnated into chicken form. Maybe she's a curmudgeonly ancestor from your or Mark's family, and she's decided to come back to keep an eye on things.

Anonymous said...

from Shell ~
I loVE CrazyChicken.
She could definetly be a childrens' book SuperStarChicken ~~ Each book could come with a pattern to knit a CrazyChicken. Add buttons on one side and put it around a brick to be a doorstop. perfect !
is really: happy APRIL FOOL'S DAY !
happy day CrazyChicken, perhaps she'll leave you a colored egg today ?
Her colors look to be indigo and browns, very elegant for a FarmYardGirl.

Kate G. said...

Every one needs a curmudgeonly guardian angel. Yours just happens to be a bit peckish.

Kathleen C. said...

Ha! Great chicken story! And she may be Crazy with a capital C, but she is lovely too....

And I wouldn't bother comparing your mudroom to the magazine mudrooms... your's is clearly doing it's job. It's a MUDroom after all...

Lyn said...

Crazy Chicken has ATTITUDE!
I like Crazy Chicken.

KSedlak said...

I think she's simply adorable and I'm so glad your looking out for her.

SusanR said...

Kristin - Your posts are so wonderful and evocative of your family's life on the farm. This one is such a terrific piece - it deserves to be published somewhere, somehow! Keep on writing - I love meeting all of the humans and farm inhabitants you introduce us to. Crazy Chicken sounds like she is a border collie reborn as a chicken.
- SusanR

Nanci said...

I am laughing very funny. CC is far more intelligent than you think. There she is content in her OWN HOUSE aka mud room and nothing else to bother her. She must be super chicken too to have avoided the stew pot, but periodically laying an egg.
Too funny. I remember a chicken who used to chase me when I was quite little...he became stew.. A great story...keeps you safe at night too I'll bet.

thecrazysheeplady said...

This story is exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks.

Renna said...

You say you guys don't care much for her, but I have a hunch you'd miss her if she were gone.

Harmany Quilting said...

Her feather marking are like that of the Barnevelder here's the wiki link

I love reading your blog with the sheeep and THE SNOW

Aredhel said...

Hi! I love to read your blog since it's about farming and knitting. My parents and I raise goats and a few chickens also, so it's really interesting reading about your farm:) Your story about Crazy Chicken is great! I looked at the handy-dandy chicken breed chart, and it looks like Crazy Chicken- with two Capitol C's- could be a Dark Cornish hen. Here is the link to a website with some pictures of them:
Hope that helps:) You've got a great blog! Aredhel

Vermont Designs said...

Your CC story is a perfect gem. I keep a very old Murray McMurray catalog, from when I raised chickens, just to look through every spring. Cheers, Shelagh.

Laura Timmerman said...

Hey Kristin,

One of my Dark Cornish roosters from last year turned out to be a hen and she looks just like Crazy Chicken. Is she extra tall in the leg and have especially sturdy looking legs? Are her feathers sort of close to her body?

Murray McMurray says the hens "are wonderfully hardy. This variety will come as close as any to rustling for themselves under rough conditions.."

(My own mud room is currently a chicken coop with about 30 young chickens. very dusty. I am maxing out.)