How Chickens Kill Time

Sitting out in the sun and ‘Doing Nothing’ is a bit like yoga, filing a tax return, or defrosting a freezer, because you have to commit time, and stick at it. Don’t bring your list of things to do, because you might forget you are forcing yourself to do nothing and start doing the things. Slow down, maybe read a bit, watch clouds and notice whatever is around. Here it might be swallows skimming the sky for flies, the cat stalking a moth, or the chickens chasing a butterfly. Those chickens. What do they actually do all day?

Chickens in dandelions

Hear movement in the house. Rush to the back door to make breakfast noises.  Person comes out and needs escort across the garden. Get stepped on because Person is half asleep and can’t work out how to step over their escort.

Lay egg and scream at the top of your voice to make sure everybody knows you are doing it. 

Chicken hiding in Seedum

If you are broody, do this from inside a bush, where you are hiding eggs to make chicks. Remember to stop screaming the minute Person approaches. If they find your eggs they will take them, presumably to make their own chicks.

Coffee Time

Dog arrives with visiting person. Lengthen necks and gather. Use lengthened neck to make deep, suspicious warning noises. Get bored and run past dog to see if it might chase. It does. 

Stumpy the dog

Retreat for more dark noises in the corner, increase volume until dog is tied up.


People bring sandwiches out, an absolute treat after weeks of corn and mash. Gather quickly around the table and practice flying up. Miss, due to clipped wings so leap onto chairs instead. Snatch sandwich from low flying hand, dodge feet if they try to kick you out the way. Run off with the sandwich.

All food is gone. Return quietly and listen to soothing voices in the warm sun.

Chicken and cat

Don’t look the cat in the eye. The only way to understand the cat is to pretend it is not there.

Post Lunch Rest Time

Time for a bath. Head over to the flowerbed, and discover new flowers. What a pain.  Spend precious time moving them to the path.

chickens digging up flowers

Get back to flowerbed to dig dust bath. Prepare to settle in the sun to enjoy.  Hold your ground when Person arrives, with an angry stick, until it becomes impossible to stay. Person starts digging, so feel sorry for them and return to help.

Chickens digging

Get worms out of the way, avoid stick, fill in holes as quickly as they get dug. Person lifts a stone, go in for a collection of wood lice before they escape, enjoy sensation of flying through the air when Person decides to lift you up and throw you into the grass for no reason.

Person talks about getting a puppy. Act like a puppy. Get stepped on and make a sweet squawk noise.


Nobody about. Plan escape because this garden is too small.

Chickens escaping over the gate

Head over the gate for a better garden with more plants to move.

Drag plants around and find a slow worm Realise you have no idea how to swallow a slow worm and make noise to get help. Gather around worm but none of us knows what to do. 

Do the slow worm chant together. Curved neck, deep growling noise.

Person arrives to see what is going on. Grab the giant worm and run for your life. Person follows shouting, everybody runs, drop slow worm because it is bloody heavy. Colleague takes up worm and runs faster than Person. Person runs into low lying tree and gets scratched but does not stop. Shouting increases.  Continue running, and passing the slow worm baton, until Person grabs your tail. Drop worm for good. 

Person takes worm away to eat it alone.

Chickens sunbathing

Take a rest

Notice cherries in the tree.

Chickens stealing cherries

Stop rest and collect cherries.

Move on to raspberries

Chickens stealing Raspberries

Start feeling too full. Person comes along shouting again.

Chickens on a table

Gather on the table because it is there.

Go to pond for a drink, get diverted by large butterfly so chase it at top speed.  Ignore the cat who was stalking the same butterfly.


Head for bed. Discover stinging nettle has fallen across the entrance so it is impossible to get into the pen.  Settle by back door and wait.

Person comes out with wine to look at stars and has to carry us back to bed, one by one. Person trips over wheelbarrow in the dark and makes more noise.

Chicken in No Mow May

Dream about no-mow may. When the garden was full of long grass, interesting paths, and delicious insects.


Person walked 1,000 steps today, lost one sandwich, paid 50p for food, got 4 eggs and lots of chicken droppings. Person is indoors googling what to do with the chicken droppings.

Person goes to sleep. And dreams about No Mow May.

Buttercups in sunshine

It looked like this. I wrote to the paper about it and shot the cat to fame. You can read what I said on this link

6 thoughts on “How Chickens Kill Time”

  1. This is so funny Jo. It almost makes me want to get chickens (apart from eating the raspberries which are my pride and joy). I so enjoy reading about your crazy house-do keep it goingxx

  2. Hilarious, Jo! You inhabit those chickens…had me believing it was really them talking! Thanks for making the longest ever airport queue bearable! 😂❤🥰

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