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Chicken Ranchin'?

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Well-known member
Feb 14, 2005
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Western South Dakota
My friend Rod McQueary wrote this some time back. He's a good fella and after reading Jersey and haymaker on another post , I thought of this poem. Hope you enjoy! :lol:

The Chicken Outfit

It might have been the supper,
Gee, this bachelor cooking's great.
Or, it might have been the quantity,
I knew I overate.

It was just an average evening,
I don't recall now what was said,
But from the warm fire and the darkness
Soon I toddered off to bed.

This evil, gruesome nightmare
Started off polite enough,
I was standing by my mailsack
Just sorting out some stuff...

One letter said I had an extra uncle,
And that my Grandfolks had all lied
This rich and roguish uncle
Longed to see me, 'fore he died.

So I hurried down to see him
But when I got there, he was dead.
But his lawyer soon informed me,
I'd inherited his spread --

About a hundred-Zillion acres,
And I thought, "This dream is great,
There'll be no haying, and no farming,
There's no need to irrigate."

So I asked what breeds were in the stock
Of which I'd now be boss,
Cause I figured Coriente
Or maybe Brahma cross --

Then the lawyer said, "Rhode Island Red,
Banty," and some more...
I was puzzled, cause I had not heard
Of those cow breeds before.

And then he told me they were chickens,
and I knew the dream was bad,
'cause I'd agreed to run the stock
My crazy uncle had.

But I've got some decent horses,
Figured I could ride and rope.
So if I just treated them like two-legged cows
Then maybe I could cope.

It was ten straight days of sweaty work
Before I was content.
I had pastures built, bunches worked
For my Chicken Management.

Soon, I was riding my first-egg pullets
When I heard an awful squawk...
Then I beheld a nasty sight,
My very first "egg-lock."

From all you chicken raisers,
This information I would beg--
How do you keep your chick-chain
From just slipping off the egg.

Well I knew she was in trouble,
So I really gave her Hell.
Was the egg delivered backwards?
God, I really could not tell.

So then I had a stifled "first-egg-pullet,"
That looks like it must surely hurt,
Cause when you sling a chicken by the hips
Her little face goes in the dirt.

I figured I'd better cull some roosters,
They were sleek and round and fat,
But when I tried to measure scrotums...
-- I didn't have much luck with that.

But soon I had some chicken families
And it didn't seem so strange
To bunch them easy in the corner,
And work out pairs to match my range.

Mama hens have lots of babies.
And that's a handy thing, it's true
Cause when you cut them out on horseback
You always stomp a few.

This one poor little bugger,
By Gosh, it sure was weird,
I told my dog to get him,
And "Poof!" he disappeared.

I swear I did my darndest,
I used up all my tricks.
But when I finished cutting chickens,
I had lots of "leppy" chicks.

These few surviving leppies --
(Boy this is hard to tell)
I hauled them to my nurse hen
Back in the home corral.

-- And this one poor little devil
Had been in there for a week
And I knew he wasn't sucking.
There was no foam on his beak.

So stretched out that old nurse hen
And that was sure the pits
God, I fumbled there for hours
To unplug her chicken teats.

So I just threw them in together,
And I'm taking all your bets --
He still follows that old hen around
But I know "Chick-Manna's" all he gets.

Now to doctor these wild range chickens,
I'll share with you this trick...
Start with a strong & healthy chicken,
Cause by the time they're caught, they're sick.

To rope and stretch these chickens
(If by now you haven't retched)
It's a many a team-roped chicken died
From being over-stretched.

Oh, it's many a hapless chicken
At my hands ran out of luck
With my feet on his chicken chest
To get my balling gun unstuck.

It seemed each night at supper,
We'd try some new, fantastic way
To cook and eat the chickens
Who died from doctoring that day.

But then I missed a payment --
And gee, it sure seemed sad,
The Dream-Land Bank foreclosed
Upon the place my uncle had.

The sheriff was a Christian soul
But he gave me quite a shock.
He said just the land was mortgaged
And I had to keep the stock.

So I loaded up my horses,
Coming home I spared no speed.
I was sick of chicken trouble,
And to work for chicken feed.

And here I stand, a wiser man.
But humbled, that is true...
I might be good at other things,
But I was a damn poor


© Rod McQueary, All rights reserved


Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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Coming from a chicken producing state, that was a riot! We laughed and laughed :lol: :lol: :lol:


Well-known member
Feb 14, 2005
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We have the video of Rod reciting this poem. What a kick! My mom and dad were watching it live. Shortly after, our neighbor decided to purchase 100 chicks. They were going to grow them up for fryers, killed about half of them before they got sick of killing them, the rest got to lay eggs. We made a copy of the live "chicken ranch" poem and left it in their mail box. They had NO IDEA who left it in their mailbox until we brought it up 'bout a year later.

That poem was such a hoot! I still laugh just thinking about it!

Very good friend of ours was a neighbor of Rod's growing up in Ruby Valley, this Cowboy Poetry circle seems to get tighter all the time.

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