Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Wives Tales~Raising Chickens

Raising chickens in the mountains can be a bit iffy. One has to worry about disease and most of all, varmits that are always looking for a tasty chicken meal. Then, there are other problems, such as getting a good hatch out of a batch of eggs. Through the years, Ozark and Ouachita mountain folks have found several ways of dealing with all of these problems.

Never raise chickens next to a potato patch. The smell of the potato plants will make hens quit laying eggs and start setting.
If you collect eggs and put them in a woman's bonnet to transfer them to be hatched, they will mostly hatch out pullets (hens). But, if you put the eggs in a man's hat, they will mostly hatch out to be roosters.

Any eggs that are elongated or sort of 'rough' on one end, are thought to be 'rooster' eggs and should be avoided putting in a clutch to hatch.

A sure trick to protect your chickens from varmits is to pull one feather from each chicken in the flock and bury the feathers deep in the dirt under the hen house. As long as they stay buried, the chickens will remain safe.

And most important~never give away a chick or you may be giving away your 'luck' with it. Any payment will prevent this curse, even just a trade of something, like a bucket of berries or garden produce for the chicks.

I've been trying to remember if we've given away any chicks, LOL!


  1. Varmits are the biggest thing, I don't remember how many we lost over the years, but they are still worth the fuss! Intersting tales.

  2. I've never heard those before either. I can remember seeing my dad outside with his gun, darting behind trees, running from tree to tree, trying to shoot a fox that was eating his chickens. It was like he was in some kind of war movie. LOL

  3. see now I havent heard any of those, but I love chickens, before we moved to this town we are living in now, we had chickens, the first pen we put them in, something, got one of the chickens...ate everything of that poor chicken, except the feet. We raised a batch from peeps that we got at a bird farm and we would sit for hours watching them in the brooder box, we called it watching chick tv....ROFL

  4. I've enjoyed your wives tales. I would like to try my hand at raising some chicks. We had them while I was growing up. But dh says the coyotes would get'em.

  5. Very interesting! I would love to raise chickens, but we haven't tried it yet. This post reminds me of one of my favorite recipes. Its in my Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook and is called Ernest T. Bass's Chicken Thief Stew. :o)

  6. I learned something today, because I've never heard of any of these wives tales.

  7. Great post Mary-I love these old wives tales. I've never heard any of these about the chickens-so I've learned something new : )

  8. I just discovered your blog and found it very entertaining and interesting. I look forward to reading more.

    Take Care,

  9. I enjoyed every tale! Make me smile and chuckle every time I read them!
    Have a wonderful weekend, RoseMary!
    Blessings from the Cabin!
    Claudia O.