Updated date:

The Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer (July 2015 Edition)

We have had up to four roosters and fifteen hens. Have since downsized since moving to town but still have a few chickens.

Some of our poultry outside the back door hinting that the want feeding

Some of our poultry outside the back door hinting that the want feeding

Eureka! A cackleberry

Eureka! A cackleberry

Our first flock of chickens on the early days of the Cackle Farm

Our first flock of chickens on the early days of the Cackle Farm

What the #&%* is a Cackleberry?

This is the question I imagine you all asking as soon as you read the title of this hub and hopefully are drawn in to read further to find out. That is sneaky of me I know but it's what one has to do to try and attract readers, right? Besides it's a relevant title that does describe what the article is about..really it is.

I often try to look for a play on words or pun for the title of many of my hubs and with this one I had almost decided on "Playing Chicken." I thought that would actually be more misleading as readers would expect an article or story about the challenge of driving cars at full speed towards one another before one would swerve at the last minute, subsequently losing the contest.

As this hub is actually about the farming of chickens for eggs, I instead resurrected fond childhood memories spent on my Uncle Bill's farm. He often made up his own interesting words to replace commonly used terms. These were often a combination of two normally unconnected words.Two of his most frequently used and my favourites were: "kangaroosters" for kangaroos, and "cackleberries" for eggs (hens cackle when they lay an egg, and I guess eggs are shaped a little like berries.. so it makes sense to me). Hence the title of this hub became "The Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer." (*After doing a Google search I found that Uncle Bill may not have actually coined the term, but that it was a popular slang term for eggs in the 1950s .. oh well)


Cackleberry was a well used slang word for egg during the 1950s

How about a couple of boiled cackleberries for breakfast?

— Urban Dictionary

Humphrey, a photo hog who loves attention

Humphrey, a photo hog who loves attention

Jackson and Ginger, the toy poodles. Who's spoilt?

Jackson and Ginger, the toy poodles. Who's spoilt?

Phoebe and Fanny

Phoebe and Fanny

Our Menagerie

Caring for pets and animals is a rewarding, funny, and sometimes challenging experience. Notice I didn't say "owning." With the exception of a few chickens purchased very cheaply (sorry for the pun) we have never paid for any of our animals. They have all been advertised as, 'FREE TO A GOOD HOME" or something similar due to their previous owners having to relinquish them for one reason or another. Besides, it often seems more like they own us. We provide them with a comfortable place to live, wait on them with ample food and water, clean up after them etc etc. All we expect in return is unconditional love, and in the case of the hens, an occasional egg.

Our menagerie currently consists of: four cats (Basil, Humphrey, Fanny and Phoebe), three dogs (Coco, Ginger and Jackson); a regular variety of wild birds (magpies, butcher birds, peewees, noisy mynas, currawongs, king parrots, red wings, and zebra finches) which we feed either directly (birdseed and native flowering plants) or indirectly (leftover cat and dog food); and ten chickens, or chooks as we call them here.

This hub is primarily about the chickens. They told me, in no uncertain terms, that it was their turn. I have previously written hubs about the cats and dogs, and only briefly mentioned the poultry in my hub about scrambled eggs.

The world's best scrambled eggs

The world's best scrambled eggs

A menagerie is a collection of live animals that people visit, study, or keep as pets

— Vocabulary.com

We kept the chickens caged until they were big enough to let free range

We kept the chickens caged until they were big enough to let free range

Doodle Doo and friends

Doodle Doo and friends

Tales From the Chook Pen (or Chicken Run Chatter)

It's hard to remember a time when we didn't have back yard chickens. Even when we lived in town, on an urban block, we always had a small chook pen with four or five hens. Since moving to our rural property our poultry population has continued to fluctuate.

We started off with six hens and two roosters, and subsequently hens hatched chickens resulting in the number reaching, at one stage, around 20. Before reaching maturity a few chickens were taken by snakes (pythons) or goannas, a couple were given away, and now and then an older hen or rooster would die from old age or natural causes.

Recently our poultry flock was down to two hens (Ugly Betty and Red Hen) and one rooster (Foghorn Leghorn). As egg production had fallen significantly we decided to rebuild our chicken stocks. We saw an advertisement in a "Buy, Sell, and Swap" group on Facebook "Chickens and Turkeys For Sale". Week old chickens were only $2.00 each and turkeys $5.00 so we bought ten mixed chickens and a male and female turkey.

Our chooks are free range and allowed the run of our 1 1/2 acre fenced yard, however while they are chickens we keep them penned until we consider them big enough so that at least the cats don't see them as an easy meal (about three weeks). The chickens turned out to be eight hens and two roosters which was quite good because we had no idea of the ratio when we got them, and too many roosters is not ideal.

Feeding time at the cackleberry farm

Feeding time at the cackleberry farm

The two young turkeys

The two young turkeys

A python

A python

Life and Death on the Cackleberry Farm

Within a week of letting them free, one rooster disappeared. Within another two weeks the number was down to six hens and one rooster. The male turkey had also disappeared by this time. A few days later I found the culprit.

While watching TV at around 11pm I saw something move in the corner of the lounge room, next to the cd rack. On closer examination I saw the head of a python poking up behind the rack. Being home alone at the time, but the brave man I am (stop laughing!) I put an oven mit on my hand and grasped the snake just beneath it's head and pulled. It had tried to crawl under the TV cabinet by this stage and had wound itself around a shelf to try and prevent me from removing it. As I continued to pull hard I slowly dragged it out from under the cabinet. It was around eight or nine foot long and thicker than my arm, which it was now wrapping around.

Normally, to get rid of a python and prevent it returning, you need to take it about 10 miles away before letting it go. However, as I mentioned earlier, I was home alone, it was almost midnight, and I didn't have a sack handy to put the snake in while I drove it somewhere. I just carried it to the bush (forested area) next door and released it.

I am 99% sure this python would have been the predator that had taken the chickens and turkey. Fortunately I haven't seen it since, though the female turkey went missing the next week. I have no idea what killed it but I found it's body a few days later next to the storage shed.

Moppet and others

Moppet and others

Two of the nesting boxes (ex grass catchers)

Two of the nesting boxes (ex grass catchers)

The Cackleberry Hunt

Six months have passed and we still have these seven chickens (bantams and Pekin crosses), and the original three chooks. Of the new ones only two have names: "Doodle Doo" the rooster, and a hen with a parted pompom of feathers on its head called "Moppet."

By the time the latest acquisitions were old enough to begin laying the weather had begun to cool down and days were growing shorter as Winter approached. As chickens usually need at least 11 hours of daylight to lay I hadn't expected any cackleberries before the onset of Spring and longer days. Over the last few days however, I have heard lots of cackling coming from the hens and occasionally even a rooster joining in.

For three days I went on a cackleberry hunt searching all over our 1 1/2 acres where the chooks have free range, and even though they have access to nesting boxes in the hen house there is no guarantee that they will lay there.

Once again yesterday I heard a chook clucking enthusiastically so immediately sent out in the direction of the noise. This time it was my lucky day. "Eureka!" i cried as I found a nest of four cackleberries in the corner of a small chook pen used to house the chickens while they are small. Continuing the search, I found another three eggs in one of the nesting boxes in the hen house. I don't know whether I missed them before or all three were laid today. It appears we are now getting seven cackleberries per week and this should continue to increase in coming weeks. That's just the right amount we need without having to buy any. If we get extra we can give them to family and friends or sell.

One of the nesting boxes

One of the nesting boxes

Author's Note

Thank you for reading this initial article of "Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer". Time will tell if there are any more hubs in this series. I guess it depends if there are any new additions to the feathered or furred occupants of our hobby farm or if some other earth shattering event occurs here that needs reporting.

Oh, and enjoy your cackleberries. They are a great source of protein.

© 2015 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 18, 2015:

Hi ps, thank you for your kind comment and compliment of :"the best hub you've read in a while"..I'll gladly accept that and at the moment I am planning on one of thee hubs each month unless nothing new happens on the cackleberry farm. Thanks for the vote up.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 18, 2015:

John....what an enchanting hub....It was fun to read from the first cackle to the last!!! It brought back so many memories of my earliest days...we had chickens lots of big fluffy ones and alas, they did end up on our Sunday dinner table from time to time....they were not pets so in hindsight I guess that is how I was able to eat them without trepidation.

Like you we had a menagerie around our property....kitties, dogs, goats, geese, you name it.

Your Phoebe and Fanny remind me of my Honeybee kitty who adopted me ten years ago....

You did so well telling of your farm and the adventures...so glad you told us about all of the critters there and not just the hens.

Great hub ...one of the best I have read in a while....Know that Angels are headed your way ...voted up++++

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 12, 2015:

Thanks for reading Randy, yes we are called "hobby farmers" or "blockies" here, anyone with under 100 acres anyway. You don't have to tell me about chicken manure between the toes..been there, done that :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 12, 2015:

Hi Phyllis, thank you for sharing your childhood memories. Glad this hub helped to bring them back. Thanks for reading and the vote up and share also.

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on August 11, 2015:

I always enjoy reading about your "hobby farm," John. Around here, anything less than 300 acres is also referred to in this way. We barely rank above it with as our small farm covers 500+ acres.

My late father referred to eggs as cackleberries when I was small and I've spent my share of time cleaning chicken manure from between my toes. LOL!

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on August 11, 2015:

Hi Jodah. Wow - this diary sure takes me back to my childhood on the farm where so many wonderful memories linger. One of my responsibilities was to collect the "cackleberries". Dad had built a large chicken yard that kept the chickens contained and the "hen house" was in the back of the yard where, like good little girls, the hens each had their favorite nest and laid their eggs faithfully.

I so love reading about your farm. That is the way I have always wanted to live. Thank you so much for sharing your life experiences.

Voted up and shared.

PS: off to next Cackleberrie Farmer diary ...

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 03, 2015:

Thank you Alicia, as you see I am making it a series and you've already read part two :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 03, 2015:

I would enjoy reading a series about cackleberries, Jodah. This hub is very interesting. I loved learning about the chickens.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 28, 2015:

Thank for returning to enter another comment Lawrence, glad you liked the hub and now know what a cackleberry is. Take care.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on July 28, 2015:


I read and commented on this yesterday but must have pressed the wrong button. I did wonder what the Cackleberry is, thank you for explaining.

Loved the hub


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2015:

Hi Mary, yes chickens can be a lot smarter than many people give them credit for. I can imagine that scenario happening here....snake taking eggs in the kitchen.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 21, 2015:

This ole' gal grew up in the country and we had lots of chickens. I even had a pet chicken when I was a kid. They are pretty smart, you know. I wrote Hub about how chickens make good pets.

I never heard of a cackleberry though; great name!

I just saw a video someone shared on FB. A snake had come into the house, and was in the process of eating an egg from a basket on the counter!!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2015:

Thank you Genna, I appreciate you taking the time to read about my Cackleberry farm. In fact in the last week the hens have been laying overtime. We are currently getting around six cackleberries a day, and I found one clucky hen sitting on a nest of 14 eggs (they don't even all fit under her) so we should have another batch of chickens in a few weeks.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 19, 2015:

Cackleberries -- what a great moniker for chicken eggs. Your menagerie of pets is adorable, John. Seeing that python squeezing its way into your home and wrapping itself around your arm would have caused me to faint. Yipes. I look forward to the next story in this series, Cackleberry Farm. It was enjoyable and informative.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2015:

Thank you lolly just, it's interesting to hear of others that grew up with the term "cackleberry".

Laurel Johnson from Washington KS on July 19, 2015:

My family called eggs "cackleberries" so yes, that term hooked me. Loved the article. Very well written.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 18, 2015:

Thanks Deb, yes the snake is gone.. At least for the Winter.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on July 18, 2015:

I knew what cackleberries are, so I got what I expected from this story. Now I know names and enjoyed hearing the antics. Glad to hear that the snake has fled the scene, and hope that it continues to keep away.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 16, 2015:

So glad you found this a fun read Nell, I had trouble referring to my feathered friends as "chickens" as we always call them "chooks" here but because not many of my readers are Aussies I thought I'd make the compromise. To us they are only "chickens" until they are two or three weeks old then they become "chooks"..lol. As drbj said I need to come up for names for the rest of the flock but they all come running to the call "chook chook chook" :) Even when we go to a store to buy a "roast chicken" we ask for a "cooked chook"...guess us Aussies just like to have some of our own language.

Nell Rose from England on July 16, 2015:

LOL! I was smiling my way through then I got to the cockerel called Foghorn Leghorn, then had to burst out laughing! fun stuff! then I noticed the snake and thought not so much fun! and yes you were brave (smile)!

And of course I love cackleberries too! I did smile when you said chook as I heard your Australian accent in my head then! LOL!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 16, 2015:

Hi Eric, living among predators and prey kind of makes you really feel like part of nature.. And I guess it's a way for kids to learn the truth about life and death too. Thanks for the comment, and hopefully there'll be more to come.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 16, 2015:

A wonderful piece. Makes me homesick for animals of all sorts just being about. I actually had an uncle Bill with a farm growing up. I learned to shovel the stuff on that farm. There is something special (and I cannot put my finger on it) about living in a space where predators actually still have an impact on domesticity. It just kind of keeps a "keeping it real" essence to life.

I vote for more stories from the diary.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2015:

Hi Mel, yes Bill and I are the cackleberry kings. He has a few more different types of domestic critters on his urban farm though. I probably have more wild ones. If it was my first encounter with a big snake it may have been a different story. I was a little worried when it began to wrap around my arm and body as I removed it from the house. they are incredibly strong, but I managed. Just call me "python hunter." :)

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on July 15, 2015:

You and Bill Holland are the Hub Pages cackleberry kings, but I'll betcha he doesn't have any 9 foot pythons making off with his stock up in Washington. You speak of this monster snake with remarkable coolness, too. A 200 pound plus grown man like me here in the states would faint on the spot. Bill, on the other hand, might have to wrestle a garter snake, but they're about ten inches long. Great hub!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2015:

Hi Theresa, I hope the storms are gone and power on again. Glad you enjoyed this. Yes we have pythons too. My daughter actually breeds them. Thanks for reading and everything.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 15, 2015:

How about Giggle, Gaggle, Cackle and Cluck for starters?

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 15, 2015:

Oh, you clever one you, John, that title certainly draws one in! I almost missed this one ...last evening we had a fierce storm blow threw right at the time I was to get on here and read, and our power cut off.

I am here now, and I thoroughly enjoyed your Cackleberries Tale. Love their clever names too.

Oh, my, you ARE brave to tackle that python! I would have had a heart attack if I saw that in my home, especially. Is a "lounge" inside your home or an outdoor room? I know Australia has some of the deadliest snakes and other critters in the world, but I did not know you have pythons.

Another delightful read, except for the snake part : )

Peace and blessings

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2015:

Hey Gypsy, thanks for reading about the cackleberries. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2015:

Kim, I have missed you to my friend and your lovely and encouraging comments. Glad you like my writing voice too. Hope all is improving for you and you can write more soon.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2015:

Hi Dana, glad you enjoyed the read. Oh I enjoy fried chicken too..they don't come from the same place do they..? :)

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on July 15, 2015:

Loved this. Now I'm going to be always thinking of hens laying cackleberries. A most fascinating read.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on July 15, 2015:


Gosh! How I have missed you and your wonderful hubs. I love how your natural sense of humor creates such wonderful stories. And this one is no different. This was just pure cackle-doodle-doo fun! Cackling all over the place.

Thank you for making me smile!


Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on July 15, 2015:

You are very brave grabbing that python by the head! With that being said, this was an enjoyable read. I love animals of all kinds but considering I love fried chicken I don't believe I could have raised any.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2015:

Hi Blossom, thanks for reading and commenting. "Cackleberries" could have been coined earlier than the 50s, what I read said it was a "widely used term during the 50s"so it may have been around earlier as well.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on July 15, 2015:

My Dad had lots of chooks when we were growing up and although we didn't use 'cackleberry' ourselves, we were well aware what it meant. I'm surprised it's recorded as being coined in the 50s, I would have thought it was earlier. And interesting article and great photos.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2015:

Haha Frank...funny! Glad I could prove your childhood misinformation wrong. Sorry Marge.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 15, 2015:

well it worked.. I thought to myself what the hell is cackleberries? LOL Farming is intense work, but I suppose as a youngster it can be alot of fun, and I am so glad you shared this experience with us my friend.. I always thought eggs as a youngster came from a diner.. created by an old heavy weight woman name Marge.. glad I was wrong

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2015:

Thanks for reading Cam, glad you enjoyed this. That's a new way of eating eggs I had never heard of..sounds interesting. Cheers.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on July 15, 2015:

We had chickens most of the time our boys were growing up. My son still raises them on our property which he is now purchasing from me. Great article, John. I enjoyed it very much. By the way, I enjoy eating eggs dropped raw into my cream of wheat as it cooks. The eggs cook right in and give this cereal a whole new flavor.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Hi Al, yep that' it plenty to keep me busy. I am so pleased today a I managed to finally get the generator working. I was given it and found it had a seized engine which I had been trying to figure out for months. We pulled it apart, cleaned the cylinder and got the pull start working but it still wouldn't start. I had another play around with it today and voila! all working at last. This will make life on the cackleberry farm much easier. You are right, animals are God's gifts.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on July 14, 2015:

Ok John, I see why you have such an interesting life besides the precious love of your wife. You have a farm! My grandmother had a little farm. She raised chickens and pigs. There was also a nice sized pool adjacent to it as well. I enjoyed fishing in it as a youngster. Anyway, you have enough to keep you from any boredom. Animals are amazing creatures that God created mostly for our amusement.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Thanks Missy, glad you enjoyed this hub and like the name Foghorn Leghorn..good impersonation too :) I am not sure how many poisoners snakes we have here, but eleven sounds about right. Yes fresh eggs do taste better and have richer orange coloured yolks, especially if the chickens are free range. I am happy that my writing never bores you too. Cheers.

Missy Smith from Florida on July 14, 2015:

I really like your cackleberry story. Lol...I also love that you have taken in so many other different breeds of animals. That's awesome!

I lived on a farm a couple of times, and I enjoyed having fresh eggs. They're just something better about them. They have a richer taste. The color of the egg is brighter.

Naming one of your chickens' foghorn leghorn was brilliant. I adore that Warner Bros. character. I'm laughing thinking about him. I say...I say... Well, he likes to talk in that manner anyway. lol.

It's sad that the snakes take the chickadees. You have like 11 poisonous ones there, right? I mean venomous that would likely kill... That is so scary!!

Jodah, I always enjoy your stories. You're a very talented writer. You are always able to keep my attention. :)))

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Your logic was spot on Emese..yep it's eggs. Glad you could relate to this from your childhood experiences with chickens, and thanks for your compliment about my writing style.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Thanks Flourish, not everyone can have chickens unfortunately, but at least you can read about them :). When you say you are looking forward to more, I hope you don't mean snakes! I do like my animals though.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Hi MsDora, the owners of that chicken have probably been wondering if she is nesting somewhere and couldn't find her or the eggs. She has probably been sitting on them and starved from not being fed? Frequent death is a sad part of having animals unfortunately. Glad this brightened your outlook.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Thanks for an Aussie viewpoint Maj. Dad and Dave, hey, haven't read those stories in awhile. I wonder if Steele Rudd and Kevin are related? Thanks for the compliment comparing this to that series. I didn't know whether the International readers would know the meaning of "eureka!" but I knew you would.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

You crack me up Shauna :) I can see where you got the name "Bravewarrior".. Beating the crap out of a poor frog :) The snake probably came in through the roof. If it came in the door I'm sure myself, dogs or cats would have noticed it otherwise. You do what you have to when these things happen...don't know whetther it's brave or stupid. Hopefully there'll be more stories from the Cacleberry Farm.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Hey drbj, I hope the new way you'll look at poultry and eggs is a good one :) how about some suggestions for good chicken names??

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Hi chef-de-jour, Mr Cackleberry has a ring to it. That's the second nick name I have been given here.."Frankenhubber" is the other :)

Egg production is increasing a little every day fortunately. I don't suppose you know any good recipes for 'python' ?

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Hey Bill, from one cackleberry farmer to another..what a life! Go collect those cackleberries.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Well Ruby, we usually have at least one door open ,especially during Summer so the cats and dogs can come and go. Pythons can also usually find a way in through the roof. Some people have them in their roof cavity for years without even realising. At least they keep the mice and rats down.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Thanks Mike, my lifestyle does have its limitations like slow and limited Internet, but the pros outweigh the cons. I find my natural voice is best to try and write in. I have trouble pretending to be what I'm not.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Hello liesl, glad you found this interesting. If I had more livestock apart from chickens I would like to have miniature goats, sheep, pigs, horses and cattle. I find they are much easier to handle than large varieties..and eat less.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Thanks for reading this Carb Diva, glad I introduced to a new word. Chickens are great but yes the predators are the problem. I'm still not keen on tackling pythons either but someone has to do it. It helps that my daughter breeds them I guess. I had to get used to them..sort of..when I visit her.

Emese Fromm from The Desert on July 14, 2015:

I really enjoyed this. Though I've never heard the word cackleberry, I had a feeling it would be eggs, though I have no idea why; probably just logic. We've had chickens when I was growing up, so I can relate to some of this. Thank you for sharing your experiences. You are a great writer, it's so easy and fun to read your stories.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 14, 2015:

I've always wished I could have chickens. I've enjoyed your tales about yours (yikes that snake!) and look forward to more. Beautiful animals, all of them. Voted up and more.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 14, 2015:

Interesting, Jodah and timely for me, wanting to think positively about hens and eggs. Just yesterday I found a hen dead and sitting on eggs in my yard (I do not own any hens). It threw me for a loop. Thanks for sharing your happy story about chickens and cackleberries.

travmaj from australia on July 14, 2015:

Hi John, this had a kind of Dad and Dave quality - down to earth and telling it as it is. A quite fascinating read. Great word cackleberries, and your snake experience - well you know, these things happen!. Absolutely, love the image with the oven mitt. Only in Australia. I also cheered at your eureka moment - great word.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 14, 2015:

I love cackleberries! I think I'll start referring to them as such from now on.

You are extremely brave, John. I would have had a heart attack if I saw a snake in my house, let alone a python! How did it get in?

On Mother's Day a Cuban Tree Frog got into my bedroom (I have sliding glass doors that lead to the back patio). I totally freaked! The durn thing jumped every time I tried to coerce it outside. Mind you I was alone and couldn't get my son to do the dirty deed for me. It finally settled in my bathroom. My heart rate was going through the roof at this point. There was no way I'd be able to sleep as long as that squishy toxic frog was in my room. So, I did what any mom would do. I got a broom and beat it to death with the bristles. Or so I thought! The damn thing played possom on me. So I really went to town on it. I literally beat the living crap out of it and covered the dead body with my trash can. Once my son came home I had him dispose of the creepy reptile. What a day!

There's no way I could have done that with a snake.

Anyway, I look forward to more tales as recorded in the diary of a cackleberry farmer.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 14, 2015:

I shall never lo0k at a chicken or hen or rooster or cackleberry in exactly the same way, Jodah, now that I have read about your precious 'pets.' Now you just have to name them. :)

Andrew Spacey from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK on July 14, 2015:

Lovely read Mr Cackleberry - reminds me of a name from a Dicken's book? - and hope your egg production stays high. Nice addition with the snake. Stay safe!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 14, 2015:

It's always a treat reading about another cackleberry farmer. I love that title, by the way, and cackleberry is a perfect description for a chicken. Ours are cackling as I write. :)

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 14, 2015:

OMG how did the snake get in? Of course I would ask that question first since I'm terrified of snakes. Cackleberry is a new word to me. While reading this I could sense your love for animals. Well done. Voted up..BTW I love eggs!!

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 14, 2015:

I enjoyed reading this. You have a natural voice and speak with such affection regarding your lifestyle.

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on July 14, 2015:

Thanks for this interesting hub Jodah. My father and mother have chickens too and my husband enjoyed feeding the rooster last time we visit. I think farmers like chicken, dogs, pigs as well as cows as pets. I remember when I was a kid we use to feed our chickens, pigs and cows. Voted up.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 14, 2015:

I have a new word to add to my vocabulary--cackleberry. It makes perfect sense (and made me chuckle).

It sounds as though you and our hub friend Bill are kindred spirits. I would love to raise chickens if not for the coyotes, raccoons (and the occasional bear). Sure glad I don't have to worry about pythons. I doubt I could have the courage to grab one if I were wearing a suit of armour, much less just an oven mitt. Good grief!

Thanks for an interesting and enjoyable hub.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 14, 2015:

John, my family called eggs "cackleberries" when I was a child here in Arkansas, so I was familiar with the them. Too bad about your missing and dead fowls, but you really are brave to capture a python. The worst things we've had in our house are stinging scorpions. We have had a king snake living under our rock steps. My husband carried him off twice, but he, or a companion, came back. This year we have a plethora of baby frogs hatched in our tiny pond, and they are living so maybe the snake is gone. Good luck with your cackleberries. Fresh ones daily are the best. Loved your story.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Thanks Larry, I love having chickens around but the predators are a constant worry here too. Glad you found this entertaining.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Glad this gave you a cackle whonu :) thanks for reading, My Friend.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 14, 2015:

My family had chickens when I was a kid. A very easy way to get food, if it wasn't for every predator known to man wanting to eat them.

Very entertaining hub.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 14, 2015:

Thanks for visiting the cackleberry farm Peggy, glad you enjoyed it and learnt a new term. Hopefully there'll be more.

whonunuwho from United States on July 14, 2015:

I got a "cackle" out of this one. Not a bad word after all. Nice work my friend. whonu

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2015:

You are right! The cackleberry title lured me in to reading this and I truly enjoyed it. I had never heard that term for eggs but like you said...it makes sense. Ha! Hope you write more in this vein.

Related Articles