Nursery Rhymes a la Chickens

Readers seemed to like the collection of Piggy Nursery Rhymes I shared earlier this month, so here are some chicken equivalents. If you know of other traditional chicken/hen/rooster rhymes I’ve missed, please leave a comment and I’ll add them to the collection.

An artist's rendition of a child sitting up in bed, looking at a crowing rooster perched in her open window.
This cute illustration of the nursery rhyme at the left is from a children’s book published in the 1920s.

Cock a doodle doo,
Yes, I’m calling you.
Get out of bed, you sleepy head,
And button up each shoe.

Cock a doodle doo,
The sky is very blue.
The robins sing because it’s spring
And all the pigeons coo.

Cock a doodle doo,
Now come to breakfast too,
For Lady Gwen, my old red hen,
Has laid an egg for you.

One, two,
Buckle my shoe;
Three, four,
Shut the door;
Five, six,
Pick up sticks;
Seven, eight,
Lay them straight:
Nine, ten,
A big fat hen.
This little chick ate corn today. (Hold up your thumb)
This little chick ate worms, they say. (Hold up your first finger)
This little chick ate yellow meal. (Hold up your second finger)
This little chick ate a potato peel. (Hold up your middle finger)
And this little chick like a fluffy ball, (Hold up your little finger)
Ate a teeny, tiny, bit of all!
Corn today! Worms they say!
Yellow meal! Potato peel!
Chick, chick, chick!
Said the first little chicken
With a strange little squirm,
‘I wish, I could find
A fat little worm!’

Said the next little chicken
With an odd little shrug,
‘I wish, I could find
A fat little bug!’

Said the third little chicken
With a small sigh of grief,
‘I wish, I could find
A green little leaf!’

Said the fourth little chicken
With a faint little moan,
‘I wish, I could find
A wee gravel stone!’

‘Now, see here!’ said the hen,
From the green garden patch,
‘If you want any breakfast,
come here and scratch.’
I had a little hen, the prettiest ever seen,
She washed up the dishes and kept the house clean.
She went to the mill to fetch us some flour,
And always got home in less than an hour.
She baked me my bread, she brewed me my ale,
She sat by the fire and told a fine tale!

(this ‘little hen’ probably refers to a little girl)

An illustration from an old book of nursery rhymes depicts a woman wearing one shoe while dancing with a colorful rooster.
“Cock a doodle do!
My dame has lost her shoe,”

Cock a doodle do!
My dame has lost her shoe,
My master’s lost his fiddlestick,
And knows not what to do.

Cock a doodle do!
What is my dame to do?
Till master’s found his fiddlingstick,
She’ll dance without her shoe.

Cock a doodle do!
My dame has found her shoe,
And master’s found his fiddlingstick,
Sing cock a doodle do!

Cock a doodle do!
My dame will dance with you,
While master fiddles his fiddlingstick,
And knows not what to do.
Chook, chook, chook, chook, chook!
Good morning, Mrs. Hen.
How many chickens have you got?
Madam, I’ve got ten.
Four of them are yellow,
And four of them are brown,
And two of them are speckled red,
The nicest in town.
Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken,
Lay a little egg for me.
Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken,
I want one for my tea.
I haven’t had an egg since Easter,
And now it’s half past three.
(This is a French nursery rhyme—no doubt it rhymes in French but suffers in the translation)
Tick, tack, tock,
What is that dry striking noise?
Rick, rack, rock,
It’s a little beak;
Crick, crack, crock,
The shell breaks.

Frick, frack, frock,
It’s his spur passing;
Click, clack, clock,
It’s the rooster, tick-tock,
Flick, flack, flock,
It’s the little rooster.
Farmer, go and look at the rooster
Farmer, go and look at the hen
Aren’t they just a lovely couple?
We will have a lot of eggs.
Farmer, go and look at the rooster
Farmer, go and look at the hen
I had a little rooster by the barnyard gate,
And that little rooster was my playmate,
And that little rooster went cock-a-doodle-doo,

I had a rooster and my rooster pleased me,
I fed my rooster from the green berry tree,
And my little rooster went “Cock-a-doodle-doo-

I had a hen and my hen pleased me,
I fed my hen from the green berry tree
And my little hen went, “Cluck, cluck, cluck!”
And my little rooster went “Cock-a-doodle-doo-
The cock crows in the morning
To tell us to rise,
And he that lies late
Will never be wise;
For early to bed,
And early to rise,
Is the way to be healthy
And wealthy and wise.
Here sits the Lord Mayor (point at the child’s forehead)
Here sits his two men (point at the child’s eyes)
Here sits the rooster (point at the child’s right cheek)
Here sits the hen (point at the child’s left cheek)
Here sit the little chickens (point at the tip of the child’s nose)
Here they run (point at the child’s mouth)
Chin-chopper, chin-chopper, chin-chopper, chin! (lightly chuck the child’s chin)

In this illustration from an old-time book of nursery rhymes, a gentleman holds a small child by the hand while both look at a cute black hen.
“Higgledy Piggledy my black hen. She lays eggs for gentlemen.”

Higgledy piggledy my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen.
Sometimes nine and sometimes ten
Higgledy piggledy my black hen.

Hickety, pickety, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen;
Gentlemen come every day
To see what my black hen doth lay,
Sometimes nine and sometimes ten,
Hickety, pickety, my black hen.


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