Who Knew Chickens Went On Strike?

Photo: By Mindaugas Urbonas from Lithuanian wikipedia

Photo: By Mindaugas Urbonas from Lithuanian wikipedia


Who Knew Chickens Went On Strike?
by Jenny Hansen

I’ve got an eclectic family. We’ve got everyone from investment bankers to government workers, from ranchers to retirees raising chickens. Last time I visited my family in Missouri, I got a first class education in chickens from my uncle over breakfast one morning. (Note: This was serious entertainment for a city gal like me.)

Apparently chickens have a lot more personality than I would have guessed. You’re not gonna believe some of this stuff!

Interesting Chicken Facts

  • Perky, happy hens lay an egg almost every day.

It takes about 24 hours for a hen to make an egg. Who knew, right? I asked if it was like some of our bodily functions where these constipated hens felt a certain compulsion to “get it out” and relief when it’s done. The answer was a look that said, “Crazy City Girl,” followed by “Yeah, I guess so.”

  • Moulting chickens go on strike.

Yep, apparently when the cluckers lose their feathers, they go on strike. As in, they can’t lay any eggs when they’re bald. (I’ve got friends like that.)

When the hens are bald-headed, production goes down by at least 50%. My uncle has 125 hens and usually they lay about 60-70 eggs per day. During moulting time, it’ll be more like 30-40. (I had no idea hens were so prissy about their “hair.”)

  • Chickens are competitive.

If a chicken walks by a box and there’s an egg in it, they want to lay an egg there too. Sort of like dogs trying to be the top peeing pooch on a tree. Note: Except for the dirty, smelly, peck-my-hand part, I was LOVING chickens at this point.

  • Girl chickens can “take care of bidness” without a man.

Hens don’t need a rooster to lay an egg. (See how we’re back to the bodily function comparison?) They only need a rooster if they want to make a chick.

  • Brown eggs don’t live up to the hype

All the health nuts running around in search of brown eggs are just burning up calories. There’s no nutritional difference between brown eggs and white eggs.

It should be noted that the eggs from the Black Copper Maran chickens are very sought after, particularly by French chefs – word is they provide unparalleled texture when baking. (They’re also a favorite of James Bond.) Apparently, those Black Copper Maran hens lay some smooth, smooth eggs. I’m referring to them as the “Barry White of Chickens” from now on.

  • The color of the egg shell depends on the color of the chicken.

The chickens with brown feathers lay brown eggs. Those who lay green eggs (the Americana chickens for example) have some feathers of that shade. The color of their egg’s shell will usually match their lightest feather (sort of like matching their purse and their shoes).

  • Chickens do gang bangs.

Yup, I about died over this one too. Apparently, those roosters are raping and pillaging little pirates. They’ll line up 3-4 deep to hump a hen. The worst part is, they hang on to the poor biddies combs (that’s the red thing on their heads) with their beaks. Basically, those caveman roosters are yanking their chicken’s hair. (How rude.)

My uncle had to get rid of some of the roosters because the hens stopped laying after all that “laying.” After the line of roosters working ‘em over, those hens wouldn’t lay eggs. Who can blame them, I say. After all that abuse, they just need to go sleep it off in a quiet coop.

So, there you have it. The chicken facts of life…exactly as I learned them over my morning coffee. All that education put a different spin on an egg for me, and I surely have more respect for hens at this point.

Happy New Year to you! If you eat eggs, you should save some pennies after reading this post. 🙂




About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2012 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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