National Chicken Month

by Carol Riley, Contributing Writer

Matilda the ChickenDid you know that the Smithsonian magazine recently called chicken “the ubiquitous food of our era, crossing multiple cultural boundaries with ease.” Are you beginning to see my problem? Can you understand why I write this in a darkened room with the door closed?


Suggested celebrations of National Chicken Month center around activities such as hosting a chicken potluck where guests must bring a dish centered around chicken. Another encouraged activity is going out for chicken and waffles, whether it is part of your weekly Sunday routine or a new adventure in trying this sweet and savory goodness. Perhaps you can challenge yourself to learn a new chicken recipe as there are seemingly endless ways to prepare this staple.

Statistics tell us that the average American consumes about 83 pounds of chicken each year, and chicken is the most widely consumed poultry in the entire world. I used to think that guacamole was the most consumed food on Super Bowl weekend—but no, it’s chicken wings (pizza is a close second). Just about every mother in the world wants to share her chicken soup recipe with you, that bowl of healthy, steamy goodness that fends of colds and flu and warms the soul.

Chicken is also widely available and affordable in our supermarkets, high in vitamin B, which is known to help with memory loss, stress and anxiety, and it’s delicious!

And now, at the insistence of Matilda, I have to offer some non-food related reasons to celebrate National Chicken Month.

You might consider raising chickens, an endeavor with many benefits. In this era of getting back to basics and trying to live a more simple life, raising chickens ticks a lot of boxes.  A supply of fresh eggs is a real bonus. If you are an egg lover, nothing tastes so delicious as fresh eggs gathered from your own chickens, and if you have an overabundance, eggs can be a source of extra cash. Chickens will eat just about anything, so they are more than happy to supplement their diet of weeds and pests with your table scraps. They are also a never-ending supply of free fertilizer. Chickens (you don’t need a rooster) are quiet, generally well behaved, need no walking or training, and make good companions.  Some chicken owners I know say they love to spend time hanging out with their chickens, value their companionship, and feel a sense of peace and stress relief when they spend time with them. 

I found this quote from Maya Angelou, “I like chicken a lot because chicken is generous – that is to say, it’s obedient. It will do whatever you tell it to do.”

Clearly, Ms. Angelou never met Matilda.