As I mentioned in the last post, for the rest of December I’m simply posting the five most viewed Ranch Pen blog posts of the year.
#4, A Charming Young Chicken Farmer In Southwest Oklahoma, was one of my very favorites, too, so I’m definitely not surprised that it came in the top five. Blondie’s teeth are growing back in now and her brother is nearly three-and-three-quarters-years-old, but this post comes at the handiest of times because our charming young chicken farmer turns seven-years-old this week. Happy, happy birthday, Blondie!
Enjoy this post from September again.
Blondie, with her best chicken, Sage
Today, we here at The Ranch Pen are excited to host a special friend and delightful young chicken farmer who also happens to be Gramps’ and my oldest granddaughter, Blondie.
Blondie is the daughter of Son #2. She has a brother, Git’R’Done, who–according to her–is three-and-one-quarter years old. Blondie is six-and-a-half years old and is homeschooled by her mother. She is in second grade and claims her favorite subject is recess break–wait. No. Literature, she meant. One of her favorite things she has done in school so far is catch butterflies in her net and study them in her insect book. She is also learning to play the piano. To demonstrate, she hopped onto the piano stool and ripped out A Birthday Song, I believe it was called. In spite of some annoying interference by her brother’s toes on the keyboard, she persevered and the song turned out beautifully.
Danni: To begin…When did you first become interested in chickens?
Blondie: (speaking in her charming southern drawl) Well…when you got a batch of your chicks when I was little, Nana.
Danni: Where did you get your chickens?
Blondie: We ordered them from a hatchery catalog then picked them up at the post office.
Danni: You have several chicken breeds here. What are they?
Blondie: (she consults with her mom) New Hampshires, Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds…what are those kind you have, Nana?
Blondie: Yeah. Also, Golden Laced Wyandottes and Delawares.
Danni: Do you prefer the chicks or do you like these, now that they are hens?
Blondie: The hens, I guess, because I can see Sage’s feathers, now.
Danni: What are some of your other chickens’ names?
Blondie: (This takes a while as she shuffles through the hens clustered around her, pointing to each one) Well, there’s Sage, Speckles, Wild Eagle, Lady Salt, Lady Pepper, Croissant, Golden Lace, Big Momma.
Danni: Which of the hens are your favorites, and why?
Blondie: Golden Lace because she lays pinkish-brown eggs. Sage because she has a sweet look and is calm. She lets me give her kisses.
Danni: (flinches. Ew.)
Blondie: (doesn’t notice) Wild Eagle lays green eggs. Croissant has some pretty, twisty deals to the back of her neck.
Danni: Which of the hens is your least favorite?
Blondie: Well…I don’t really have any. I like them all.
Danni: How do you care for your chickens?
Blondie: Every morning we dump their poopy water and give them fresh. They poop in the water and dip their toes in it, too. We give ’em food in their feeder and collect the eggs every day, too. We clean their coop once a month. No. Maybe a week. I don’t know.
Danni: How many eggs do you gather each day?
Blondie: Maybe fifteen? Sixteen? Maybe twenty.
Danni: So, what part of chicken keeping do you enjoy most?
Blondie: Collecting the eggs and picking up the chickens to love on them.
Danni: (flinches again. Ew.) Except for the Brahmas, my chickens aren’t nice like yours. They fly all over the place and don’t lay many eggs. Why do you think that is?
Blondie: Well, we picked ours up lots as chicks. I think ours are so sweet because I cradle them in my arms like babies. (her eyes flash) And I don’t like boys catching them by their tail feathers!
(She launched into a tirade against a boy named Lucas which was hilarious, but for the sake of brevity, best not included here.)
Git’R’Done, who would never pull a chicken’s tail feathers
Danni: Do you think my chickens should go in the stewpot?
Danni: So you’re not interested in helping me with that project?
Blondie: No, because I don’t like to see blood, and chickens scared and dying with their heads cut off.
Danni: I see. When do you think would be an appropriate time for people to butcher chickens for food?
Blondie: Well, we could butcher chickens that were already dead from sickness. Or if they walked out in the road.
Danni: What are some of the other dangers chickens face out here in the country? (aside from her Nana stalking them with a hatchet, illness, and speeding cars, that is)
Blondie: Well, Trace, our dog grabs them. And racoons. Disease. Maybe cats. Our rooster Little Guy died from something.
Danni: A person has to be pretty tough to raise animals out here in the country. What are some of the dangers you face?
Blondie: Dogs can jump on you. You have to see chickens die sometimes. Once, a chicken pecked my back and left a red mark.
Danni: I hate it when that happens. Do you know any chicken jokes?
Blondie: Yes. Why did the chicken cross its feather lines?
Danni: (feather lines?) Um…
Blondie: Because it had to go to the bathroom!
Danni: (laughing) Did you make that up?
Blondie: (with a big, gap-toothed smile) Uh-huh.
Well, thank you SO much, Blondie, for the awesome interview. I’m so proud of how you take care of your chickens I could just bust my buttons. God bless you all the days of your life and enjoy this Tom T Hall song I used to listen to when I was your age, The Song About A One Legged Chicken. (I didn’t include the song this time so I could post a Christmas song, but you can listen to it on Youtube.)
Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it, and God bless all y’all, too. I’ve chosen Jackie Evancho singing Silent Night because Blondie is a little girl who likes to sing, too.