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Due to one of my jobs, I keep my cell phone with me constantly.  Our main lines are transferred to my cell so I can work from home part of the time.  It is usually a win/win situation.  Unless…

I headed out on my daily chores.  First stop, the chicken coop.  As I entered, I noticed one of my girls had some string from a feed sack wrapped around her foot.  So, I gathered her up in my arms and proceeded to try and untangle her.  Suddenly, my phone rang in my pocket.  I had to shift and juggle to reach it, but finally did.  With the hen still tucked snuggly in my arm, I answered.  I was lucky.  She didn’t squawk at all during the entire conversation.  Finally, I ended the call and set it on the shelf as I finished the untangling job.  From there, I cleaned and refilled water containers, put feed out and grabbed the string to throw it away. 

After leaving the coop, the next stop was the barn to feed the cats.  That done, I did the rest of my chores – checking the cows, making sure gates were secure, and all that other stuff – and walked down to the pasture to let the dogs run.  On my way back, I realized I had left my phone in the coop.  Oh, just lovely.  I was praying the phone hadn’t rung, as I could just see what would happen:


“Cluck?” (Hello?)

“Um, is this the office of Beth and Patti?”

“Cluck, cluck, cluck…” (No. This is Paradise Coops.  We have fresh eggs.  Want some?)

“I need to make an appointment?”

“Squawk!!!  Cluckcluckcluckcluck Squawk!!  Bwauckbwauckbwauck!”  (Don’t you speak ‘chicken’ lady?  We don’t have appointments.  We have fresh eggs!  Do you want some or not?)

“Um, hello?”

“Bwauak…”  (grrrr…Eggs or not, lady)

“Do I have the right number?”

“BwauakbwauakbwuakBWAUAKSQUAWKBWUAUK!” (How can I tell you if you have the right number or not, if you won’t even tell me whether or not you want eggs!  I don’t have time to play these crazy human games!  I have WORK to do!  And if I don’t hurry, Martha is going to get in my nest box!  DO YOU WANT EGGS OR NOT?????)

“My word!  I don’t think I’ll call this office again.  Their receptionist is terribly rude…”


Yep.  That would be just my luck.  Of course, had I left it in the other side of the coop, I am certain that Mrs. Gray would have been much more polite, and done her best to get the woman scheduled.  But that Miss Clara – she’s a bit of a grouch, and really doesn’t like to be pulled away from her scratch grain. And get ready for war if another hen gets Miss Clara’s preferred nest box.

The moral of the story – never leave your cell phone where a chicken can answer it. The results won’t be pretty, and you may have an angry caller show up at your gate to demand an explanation to your rudeness.

Now, if you leave it with the cows, you probably wouldn’t have any problems.  Cows are really so much more polite than chickens…



Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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