Letter from a Free-Range Chicken

//Letter from a Free-Range Chicken

Letter from a Free-Range Chicken

Francesca's New PlaceDear Gertrude,

I’m pleased to report our move to the new house has gone well. We arrived almost a month ago, and we couldn’t be happier. The bedrooms are spacious, with long perches so there’s no need to fuss at bedtime. As Mother always said, tranquility is of utmost importance for proper circadian rhythms. Although my spot is several flights up, the ramps make the climb easy. Eugenia has complained some, but she is so hard to please.

The mornings are my favorite. I like to sleep in while everyone else gets to the dining room early. It’s not too crowded, but some of the others get pushy when breakfast is being served. It’s best to start the day with some stretches and a cool drink of water for proper digestion. The plumbing is great. I prefer the taste of spring fed well water. My allergies have calmed down considerably with the new carpeting. The landlord is very good about scheduled maintenance.

The roof has had some leaks that are under repair, but the sunlight is so pretty. I prefer to get outside as often as possible. Violet and I go out for a walk around the neighborhood after breakfast. The new security system has made me sleep well. I don’t get nearly as nervous about owls or weasels, and the hawks have no chance with the long yard here. I haven’t shed a feather since the beginning of February.

There will be more to report once the grass turns green. The taste of winter roughage does start to get monotonous in March. Thanks for the beak warmers, I will pass the extras out to my roommates.

Give my best to Mother.




Check out my book, just named a “Best Read for Summer 2013” by Publishers Weekly!

By | 2013-04-29T09:33:27-05:00 February 28th, 2013|Farm|3 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy is a first generation Italian-American who makes good food and thinks about it. She has lived on this farm since 1998.


  1. Kate Gatski (@Gatski) March 2, 2013 at 7:56 am - Reply

    I just love, love, love this!! So well done. Fantastic!

  2. Nancy Polo March 4, 2013 at 4:55 am - Reply

    Thank you very much. I went for a walk on the farm last week to capture some images for a new painting. The chickens looked so happy in their new house, I couldn’t help but think how their letters home to a sibling or mother would be written.

  3. Betsy April 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    This is brilliant and funny! Our family has raised chickens for 20+ years. When my brother-in-law moved in over 2 years ago, he took over the care of the girls and their harem sheikh, Romeo. He made long-overdue repairs and many improvements, including adding a dusting box! (I call it the “Chicken Ritz”!) He enclosed more of the yard around the coop and made a rotating grassy area, so that when the hens ate down the grass on one side, he could move them to the other side and reseed. By the time the second side was bare, the first was lush, fresh fodder. Our girls have been happy and productive year-round, despite our cold, snowy winters. Keep up the good work!

    Betsy in Ohio

Leave a Reply