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'Twas the Night Before Chick-mas

T'was the night before Christmas ... and all through the coop
Not a chicken was stirring, not even to .......
The feeders were hung by the nestbox with care
In hopes that St. Chickolas soon would be there

The henlets were nesting, all snug on their eggs
with visions of earthworms 'round all their legs.
The chicks under mama, the roos on the roost,
(They managed to get there without e'en a boost!)

When out in the pen there arose such a squawk!
Louder than even an owl or a hawk!
Away to the henhouse I flew like the quail,
With broom in hand as to protect some tail!

The moon on the breast of the new-laying hens
gave a shine on the eggshells to be shared among friends.
A basket on runners showed up in the night
pulled by eight pullets, a marvelous sight!

With a big rumpless rooster in that unlikely sleigh
Proclaiming his presence by just crowing away!
As quickly as cockerels who've just spied a worm,
He chuckled and cackled and called names in turn ...

"Now Henny! now Penny, Now Fluffer and Puff!
On Brownie! on Sweepy! on Buckbuck and Duff!
To the top of the coop! To the top of the netting!
None faster than you, on that I am betting!"

As feathers that fly in the wintery breeze,
Aloft they did go, landing with ease!
Up to the coop-top, the cluckers they flew,
with baskets of chick-treats, and St. Chickolas too!

Then, with an inkling of how they would go
I heard pecking, and scratching from each little toe.
As I held up the broom to click open the lock,
in through the chick-door he came with a "BAWK."

He was adorned like a Silkie, from his top to his tail,
The comb on his head left no doubt he was male!
A bag full of scratch he held in his beak,
Which he shared with the girls when they ventured to peek!

His cape how it glittered, his head held so merry!
His tail shone like snow, how proud it did carry!
His wattles hung down like a beard bright and red,
and his comb stood up straight from the top of his head!

The wisp of some hay he held tight in his beak,
and it waved in the air when his head gave a tweak!
He had a broad chest, and a round little crop,
Which he filled all the way till one thought it might pop!

He was proud and high steppin', a fabulous roo!
Clearly he'd never end up in a stew!
A dance to the side and the drop of a wing,
had hens a'swoonin', the cocky old thing!

He plucked not a feather from the sleeping hens,
just sprinkled some scratch as if making amends.
He cooed to them all, to assure all was well,
The message he left, not a human could tell

He leapt into his basket-sleigh, to his pullets he clucked!
And up they did flap, as their load had been chucked.
But his head he did raise, crowing bright as a match


Merry Christmas!


Much Love to All!


Lexicon of Chicken Terms

cockerel a young domestic rooster, not older than one year

crop a pouchlike enlargement of a bird's gullet in which food is partially digested or stored for regurgitation to nestlings

pullet a young domestic hen, usually one that is less than one year old

roo nickname for rooster

Silkie one of the oldest of the rare breeds of poultry. It is said that Marco Polo wrote about seeing Silkies in he Orient in 1200 A.D. Very unusual looking chickens, their feathers appear to look like hair, they also have black skin, bones, five toes and feathers on their feet.

scratch poultry feed, usually a combination of cracked corn with other whole grains. It's been said that scratch is like candy, for chickens.

wattle a fleshy, wrinkled, often brightly colored fold of skin hanging from the neck or throat, characteristic of chickens or turkeys

Poem adapted from "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"
This version written by "chickchair" Cynthia Wise
by way of backyardchickens.yuku.com

Big Thanks for this wonderful inspiration!!

Bunny Hollow