Chick metaphors

Have you ever noticed how many things we say in daily conversation are chicken-related? I had not, until my CHICKS arrived at my house and I said things like, “ruled the roost,” “flew the coop,” “pecking order,” and such. There are a million more. “She’s no spring chicken!” “rarer than hen’s teeth!”

I am pretty sure this is because we all used to have chickens, or at the very least, our neighbors did. We (and by “we,” I mean human Americans, mostly) all used to know the chickens our eggs came from on a fairly up-close and personal basis. And we used to have them so recently that these expressions are still a part of our conversation; they haven’t gone by the wayside like a medieval expression, or even colonial. This expresses to me why it’s so important that we know who our food is. Was it broken that you mostly grew or traded with your neighbors for food for a kajillion years? Was that a BAD system? Yes, I like having oranges and such out of season, but I’ll guarantee that they don’t taste nearly as good as the ones off the tree when I visit Florida.

All this is to say that there are many, many reasons why I am being taught by my chickens more than I’m teaching them! So far the list of what I’ve taught them includes that when I come outside, I’ll probably do something food related or let them out, so they need to jump to the top of the roost and get ready to “fly the coop.” (See, there’s another one!). That’s about it. We’re still working on “don’t poop in your water” and “please come to me so I can put you back in your brooder” (never gonna happen!).

The chicks are fun and all, and we will hopefully get food from them, but they are also a statement. Still figuring out the whole statement, though, day by day.


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