Cluck Old Hen

Papa and I went out to the garden last night, and picked many cucumbers and zucchini. We also cut a lot of lettuce, and pulled a few carrots and beets. I picked one cabbage to eat, I enjoy slaw this time of year.

I was able to give some cucumbers away, but we are overrun with zucchini. I’m taking it, and the lettuce to a charity this morning. Years ago, we would feed the extra produce to our chickens. One year, we had pigs, and they loved that type of thing. Although I’d love to have chickens, we live in the suburbs now.

Interestingly, one city near here allows residents to keep hens. I read that the limit is 4, and wondered where one would get 4 hens; they came in 100’s when we had them. They were delivered by UPS or mail, I remember sticking their little beaks into some water to get them drinking, and keeping them under a light till they were big enough to keep themselves warm. You couldn’t tell the hens from the roosters for a few months. I guess, if you can obtain permission from your neighbors to keep the hens, then you have to go somewhere and buy grown hens. It seems crazy to me, since the main reason we had chickens was to eat them. By the time the hens were egg laying size, we’d had many chicken dinners, and filled the freezer with many little roosters. I remember keeping about 20 or so hens, and thinning them down nearer winter. You have to buy feed, and I’d bet eggs are cheaper.

All this makes me think of an old song, “Cluck Old Hen”. Here it is:

I’m not sure how old Sierra Hull is in this video, but it really doesn’t matter. You can hear the hens clucking, for sure. This song has lyrics, although I never heard anyone singing it:

My old hen’s a good old hen
She lays eggs for the railroad men
Sometimes 8 and sometimes ten
That’s enough for the railroad men

Cluck old hen cluck and sing
You ain’t laid an egg since late last spring
Cluck old hen cluck and squall
Ain’t laid an egg since late last fall

Cluck old hen cluck when I tell you
Cluck old hen or I’m gonna sell you
Last time she cackled cackled in the lot
Next time she cackles cackle in the pot

My old hen she’s a good old hen
She lays eggs for the railroad men
Sometimes 1 sometimes two
Sometimes enough for the whole damn crew

I notice that my banjo tag is decreasing in size again. So, I want to let you know this is a banjo tune, usually heard on a banjo, played to feature a banjo player, by a banjo player. The banjo player in the video is Ron Block; he’s the one playing the banjo. There, that should help!

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