Today’s instalment of the Dalek Game is for the classic reference text Common Diseases of Poultry (and for the more widely known Common Diseases of Livestock). If you don’t know the expression to be “crook as a chook”, you should. It is remarkably descriptive. Sick chickens look extremely unwell.
I was in charge of the household poultry growing up – I had to buy the feed and look after them and book-keep and then my father and I would do a monthly reconciliation and I would be paid for the eggs (not a terribly profitable enterprise). I was even a subscriber to Poultry Breeders Monthly, and raised several generations of mutant bantam/wild things which moved into an abandoned pigpen and roosted in the shed and had to be caught by climbing a ladder in the evening and catching them round the ankles. I was a dab hand with a chook crook (a sort of miniature shepherd’s crook made of fencing wire) and knew how to hypnotise the hens, was witness to a wide variety of tragedies, alarums and excursions and learned to wear welding gloves before moving broody hens.