Picky Chickens

I have had chickens for a grand total of almost ten years and today I saw something new. Let me back up.

Chickens love to eat. They eat all day long. They are forever scratching around looking for a bug or some crumb they missed the hundred other times they scratched in that spot. When I worked at the hotel I brought them buckets of carrot peels, old bread, cheese ends gone hard, table scraps, slightly wilty lettuce. Whatever the cooks had that would otherwise have gone in the food trash, they put in a five-gallon bucket for me to bring to my chickens. I had the best-fed and happiest chickens ever. I never saw the hens refuse anything that remotely looked green or like protein except what they physically could not manage, like the woody ends of asparagus or broccoli. Those they left. Everything else they devoured.

I went to a lobster fest today. Lobster, mussels, sausage, corn on the cob, salad, watermelon, amazing desserts. While we were making a mess with the lobsters and people were starting to finish up their plates and put them toward the center of the round table, I remembered my chickens. Wouldn’t they love this?

The manager ok’d it, so I went home with three bags full of leftovers. I thought the chickens would pick incessantly at those lobster shells for any remnant of meat left in them – same as they would with a chicken bone (sad but true), a t-bone or a pork chop bone. Some of them did! Good, normal chickens these are.

loving lobster.jpg

But some of them didn’t!

rejecting lobster.jpg

The silkies walked away, the d’uccle walked away, the black copper maran just looked at it.

Who rejects lobster?? Colonial prisoners protested, this we know. No, not lobster again! It’s true. Back in the day, way, way back in the day, when people committed crimes on Cape Cod and were put into prison, they were fed the cheapest, most abundant food, which at that time was lobster. Apparently the waters teemed with the meaty crustaceans. Lobster was like junk. After a while, the prisoners wanted something else – understandable to me because I’m not exactly a lobster fan myself (the salmon today was delicious!), but that’s not the point! These are chickens! They eat anything!

In the meantime, I do think I have some very grateful DEER! At dinnertime, two deer were grazing close to the house on the same side as the watermelon graveyard!

deer in yard.jpg

Do you see them? I watched, tried to take decent photos from inside so as not to scare them (but failed, I know, on account of the screen and the window between us) and then my heart jumped as the young buck on the right headed straight for the graveyard!

deer4 trotting.jpg

He must have smelled the rinds I pitched there earlier. (Sandy wanted to take a picture of me doing this, and did, well before the deer came along, meaning I did not expect to be glad for this picture!)


I’ll see what’s left of the lobster when I go check the chickens tomorrow. Maybe the ones who rejected it just had to warm to the idea. Maybe just before I arrived with my gift to them, they had just found a massive stash of fresh bugs and were full. We’re full and watching out waistlines. Maybe later we’ll pick at the lobster… Maybe they don’t see what the fuss is all about. Lobster, so what? Maybe they realized instantly that it’s soooo decadent they have to eat it in private. No one’s looking, right? I can eat my lobster now??

I wonder what I’ll find…

3 thoughts on “Picky Chickens

  1. The nice thing about chickens, lobsters, and muscles (wait that’s not right🤨) mussels, is watching cottage guests exploring the chicken pen, and seeing their reactions. “Geez these chickens eat better than I do. I know the eggs were great. Now I know why😳).” I’m tempted to save the shells, and put them back, for the next unsuspecting guests to wonder…


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