Spare the Oven Glove and Spoil the Hen

Anyone who thinks that birds are incapable of mischief should watch some Road Runner cartoons and think again. We all know that chickens have a pecking order. Those of us who work with our feathered friends every day need to be careful not to become part of it!

Rest assured, a failure to put your foot down from the outset will result in your fowl losing respect for you. They will tell other chickens that you’re a dunce. So how do you show them who’s boss?

Hens look innocent but are yours talking about you behind your back?

I have written to my MP about this, proposing a ‘Disciplinary Code for Chickens’. I am still waiting for a response but in the meantime here are some extracts. This is all covered by the Official Secrets Act so don’t tell your Auntie Flora unless you want to have her locked up until Christmas 2050. s Disciplinary Code for Chickens

Minor Offences

The following minor offences should be ignored because they are simply attention-seeking behaviours:

Rudeness, gluttony or poor etiquette at the dinner table (putting elbows on the table is a particular bugbear of mine), inter-group squabbling. Taking part in any form of hullabaloo should also be ignored, as should getting in the way (really annoying if you are trying to vacuum your room). Add talking with the beak full and making a mess and you have a complete list.

To put these offences into perspective, they are equivalent in badness to a teenager leaving a half-eaten Domino’s Pizza under their bed or not putting their jeans in the washing basket.

Serious Offences


A complete no-no. Here, a stern talking to is the appropriate response. Use a tone approximate to scolding a Primary IV child who has, for mysterious reasons, taken off his socks during morning assembly and thrown them at the headmistress.

Research has shown that chickens, when scolded, listen more attentively to some languages rather than others. Any of the four hundred dialects of Albanian or medieval Italian are proven attention grabbers. Avoid Scottish accents, these are studiously ignored. Be sure to maintain eye-contact throughout. Look away and they’ll know they won.


Refusing To Go In

Here you should read them the bed time story of Mr and Mrs Badger.

Dying Inconveniently

Since your chicken is no longer alive there’s nobody to punish. Bon Appetit.


I recommend a light spanking (wear an oven glove to cushion the blow)

Not Laying Eggs

For this crime a chicken really should be locked up, but since she is already locked up just take her into the kitchen and show her the oven. If this doesn’t work and bad behaviour is repeated, you may be dealing with a member of the Chicken Liberation Army. If you suspect this to be the case, you should turn off all the lights, crawl behind the sofa and call MI6’s Chicken Hotline (or should that be Hot Chicken Line?—Oh, no, I think that’s for the ASDA Deli.)



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