And before I get into the chicken coup adventure, I reflect back to the use of the word chicken. It is amazing the power of that single word. I will bet that most of you remember when you were growing up and someone would use the word chicken to make you do some pretty crazy things. In grade school you were a chicken if you were afraid to do something that was requested by your friends. Even mom and dad would ask you if you are chicken or afraid when you went to the school to get your shots. And as you went into your teens the word chicken really had some weight. Your friends and your adversaries all use the word chicken to get you to do what they wanted. I know that I started diving off the 10 meter platform because the swimming coach asked me if I wanted to compete at that height or was I chicken? Well, when someone use the word chicken I normally would respond by performing whatever act or deed that was requested. The word chicken was used to get me to kiss a girl. My friend asked if I was chicken if I did not kiss a girl. Me, chicken, I don’t think so. That was the first time I was slapped and call weird. Later in my teens I would do some crazy things while driving my car including the game called chicken on the road. You know, two cars head towards each other in the same lane and the first one to pull out of the lane rather than collide with the other vehicle, was chicken. Unfortunately that same word is used to get young people to: smoke, drink alcohol and used drugs. Especially when you were 18 years old or older and on a college campus, the word chicken was powerful enough to get you to do almost anything. Even in your adult years, as you went on to experience new things, someone somewhere would use the word chicken to get you to do something you may regret later. I do not know what the history is that made the word chicken so powerful. All I know is that in my life I have done some pretty stupid things in response to being called a chicken. Maybe the word chicken became a standard word when people went to a farm or to a petting zoo or in some neighborhoods a backyard, and watch the chickens to respond when they walked towards the chicken. They scatter and they ran away. It is rare to find a chicken that will stand his/ her ground and fight. Although if you were around the chickens very long you would run into the rooster and he would be the first time you may have run away – chicken. I imagine that the word chicken still receives a strong response when used today.
As you got older chicken represented a meal. And the older you were and the in the fatter you became the word chicken started representing most of your meals. You might get chicken fingers or chicken nuggets. When you use the word chicken it now represented something to eat. And if you live in a city all you had to do is go to the store to get chicken. Of course in the store the chickens have already been prepared so that you could take them home, cook them up and eat them. The word chicken no longer had the effect it did as a child or teenager. Now the biggest decision about chicken is how to cook it. And as I got older I found that chicken usually was cooked on my barbecue. So much so that when you go to a county fair or a food cook-off, chicken is one of the categories that is judged for prizes. If you are an investor in the stock market companies like, Popeye’s, Col. Sanders and Churches are possible chicken companies to be invested in. Even hamburger places began to serve chicken.
After moving from the city to the country I found myself living in an area that produces a lot of chickens. Pilgrim’s Pride is a local company and so the word chicken around here is a positive word for the economy. Because of the chicken there are jobs and with the jobs there is money to spend on all kinds of items. My brother-in-law who lives in California has a cousin who lives a few miles from me in the countryside of Texas. My wife and I call his cousins our cousins, even though they’re not directly related to us. These Texas cousins made a good living and a great lifestyle at raising thousands of chickens for the local chicken company. That brings me to the last few days.
I have not written any blogs because I received a visit from my oldest son and his family. The reason for their visit was because of a phone call about a few days earlier. My wife has decided that she wants chickens on the land so that we can mean more eggs. Due to some health issues, eggs seem to be a good source of food for us now. So about a week ago, she called my son and his wife to ask about raising chickens. Like most things, both she and I went on to the Internet to find out what we could about raising chickens. Well after a short time we both realized we need to talk to somebody who has raised chickens. We thought of our Texas cousins, but we only wanted to raise a few chickens for their eggs. So we called my son and his wife. As soon as they heard that we were thinking about building a chicken coop and raising chickens, they became as excited as my wife and decided to make the four-hour trip to our house to discuss how to build a chicken coup and raised chickens. Once they arrived we visited and watch some NFL playoff football on the first day. On the second day a list was compiled of things that we needed to build a chicken group. My son, my grandson and I headed off to Home Depot for the building materials. This was one of the first projects that my wife did not require me to stay within a certain budget. She was so excited about it she said, “Just get what we need”. So I had great fun at Home Depot going from aisle to aisle picking out the material needed as my son and grandson loaded up the materials on the cart. Although I was nervous when I got to the register to check out I became a little relieved when I got the total cost. It was not as much as I thought it would be. I will have to go back for some items to finish the project. Another benefit of having my son and grandson with me was that they loaded the material into the back of the truck and when we got home and they unloaded the material from the back of the truck.
The next big decision was exactly where we were going to put the chicken coop. And after some discussion among all the family members, the small storage shed seem to be the logical choice. So with the help of the family, the storage shed was cleared out and then the decision was made to use one side of the shed for the chicken coop area. By this time it was getting late and so all we completed, on that day, was framing inside the shed for the coop. But the excitement of building the chicken coop did not diminish with my wife or my daughter-in-law. They were busy looking at all the different breeds of chicken and where the chicks might be purchased. The next morning, my son and his family started the four hour trip back to their house. I continued working on the chicken coup. It took most of the day for me to complete 15 nesting areas in the coop for the chickens. My wife was concerned about the design and the height of the coop and so once again we contacted my son and his wife and had a long conversation about how I should redesign or rethink the design for the coop.
Who would’ve thought that there would be so much excitement about chickens? Now the word chicken meant, spending money, spending time on construction and beginning the process of selecting the chickens. So now the word chicken means a completely different thing to me than it did as a child or teenager. So I begin this adventure in my life of; building a chicken coop, buying chickens and hopefully collecting eggs.
So the thought of this blog is the word “chicken”. What it mean to you and what did it mean to you? I think you’ll find it interesting to review the word chicken on how played a part in your life.