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Cardboard Chickens

Ruth and Mabel, Cardboard Hens

Today I did some experimenting with printmaking styles. In this picture I combine a cutout hen (the black hen) with a torn cardboard print(the light brown hen).  I'm liking this new direction!

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 April 2010 00:47

Lucy the Outreach Hen

Lucy the Outreach Hen

This week I'm proud to introduce a very special hen named Lucy-- not only does she work two jobs (eating grubs and working with low-income urban kids), but is also quite talented with the chicken scratch.  Below is her story, written in her own words:


"Hi, I’m Lucy. I live the peaceful life that any chicken should at Potrero Nuevo Farm. Most days are spent scratching for grubs, cozying up in the hen house, and inspecting the neighboring alpaca on the other side of the fence. But Wednesdays are a little bit different, and they are my favorite days.


"On Wednesdays, the kids from Vida Verde Nature Education come to visit. Their visit is part of an overnight outdoor education experience that they are having, and they are always happy to see me and my fellow hens. The students come from low income, urban schools and most of them have never seen a chicken up close before (imagine that!)

"My job is easy: I run around, peck the ground, and sometimes let them pick me up so they can pet my feathers and learn more about chickens. They get to look in the coop and hold the eggs my friends and I lay. I think this helps them make the connection between animals and the food they eat, which is so often lost in the supermarket or at the corner store. While they are here at the farm, they also milk goats and make cheese with the milk, and spend time in the organic vegetable garden. They always laugh and smile when they come to visit us hens, and they are always curious to know more about chickens.

"Sometimes they are afraid or nervous, because they have never spent time with an animal like me, but after a while they seem to get more comfortable. Their favorite part is holding me and feeling how soft and warm I am (if I do say so myself). They always bring me some food – lots of times it’s the leftovers from the delicious meals they cook and eat at Vida Verde – and they always wave goodbye when they leave. Wednesdays are very exciting here at the hen house, for me and for those students, too."


Learn more about Vida Verde and their important work with low-income urban youth of the Bay Area.

Below: Students visiting Vida Verde get to hold one of Lucy's flock-mates.

Kids at Vida Verde Nature Education holding a chicken


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 December 2009 20:26

Olive, the Weather HenOlive the Weather Hen

I am very honored to introduce Olive, the Weather Hen of Dog's Plot.  Olive lives in upstate New York with her 16 brothers and sisters and their helmsman, Chicken Dave.  You might know Olive and Dave from TinyTownTimes.com weather reports.  Below, Dave describes Olive's origins and history.  To learn more about Olive and Dave, check out Dog's Plot.  You won't be sorry-- dig down deep and read through the articles, they're fascinating.


Dave writes:

"I have ten roosters and seven hens.  I had originally thought to raise pheasants, which haven't been reproducing around here lately, but then I decided I didn't want to raise birds for other people to shoot, so I settled on birds there was no open season on.  Chickens.

"I had ordered thrity day old chicks of various breeds which were supposed to be all-around  hardy, and self- sufficiet  breeds.  I hoped that  I could get a breeding community going which, while feeding themselves, would weed my garden plots and rid them of insect pests, trim the grass and keep down the mouse populations, while supplying me with  of eggs, minus the ones they would go broody on to keep up their numbers, and the rare rooster that had to be eaten because it attacked  me.  This was during the early Obama period of Hope.

"Three years or so down the line, the hens show no sign of wanting to brood any eggs, and at the moment are either mostly on strike, or all done. Several assasin rosters have had to be executed because of attacks on me or my family, all the chickens are a menace to most or my garden fruits and vegetables, and neither the hens nor he roosters want to go half so far from the chicken house as they did when they were adolescent .  They get around though, and some of them, including Olive and my three very polite Red Star Guard rosters, go in and out of the house. 

"The trouble is that Olive was not popular with the hens.  In their first year the hens were very peckish and half the feathers on all their backs were usually pulled out. They are much improved now, but Olive got beat up badly by them, and her leg  was injured, so I had to  bring her up to the house.  This has happened a few times with others.....hens and rosters.  Jenny, a Rhode Island Red had to be brought up to the house too, and spent a lot of time with Olive, living in William's Ark.  They got along.

"I tried to insert Olive and Jenny back into the hen house, but  the hens were slow to accept that.....and it didn't work with Olive at all.

"So...what to heck.... Olive and I decided to get married.

"The dogs were not too happy about that, but now the dogs have passed away, and Olive and I are living happily at Dog's Plot, scratching the dirt and issuing weather reports."


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Last Updated on Friday, 13 November 2009 22:47

Clucky pictureClucky title

Clucky is a good hen with a good solid strut.  She keeps her beak in everyone's business, and if someone acts out of order she's not shy about putting them in their place!  The coop is a proper flock with Clucky in charge.


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Last Updated on Monday, 02 November 2009 18:10


Betty the Welcome Hen

Betty the Welcome Hen

Betty the Big Brown Hen would like to welcome you to Chicken a Week.  This site is devoted to interesting chickens and their interesting friends.  As your host, I'll be making one hand-carved, hand-pulled block print each week and posting it on this site, along with the unique story behind the artwork.


If you have an interesting chicken, please submit a photo and story for consideration!  If I make a print from your photo, you'll see it posted on this site, along with your story and any interesting links you might have to more information.


All prints feature varying textures and colors.  Due to their hand-made nature, no two prints are alike.



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Last Updated on Monday, 02 November 2009 18:14
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