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#68846 - 07/23/04 07:27 AM lucky break
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
Sometime ago in response to a question about the origins of the dorking, I digressed to the topic of fortune telling in ancient Rome. I said that chickens had it easy. They were simply offered grain. If the chickens ate, that meant the gods would look favorably on the matter in question. If the chickens did not eat, that was a bad sign.

Well, further research (using equally unverifiable sources) indicates instead that the sacred chickens were placed in a sacred circle and fed. Then the fortune teller interpreted the resulting chicken scratches. This may or may not have led to the use of the phrase chicken scratches for undecipherable handwriting.

In another story about fortune telling through chickens, the birds didn't get off so easily. A bird was killed and its bones dried. The bones would be broken and the future divined by the way they broke. Presumably, the phrase “to get a lucky break” originates from this custom as does the custom of breaking the wish bone.

#68847 - 07/23/04 07:45 AM Re: lucky break

Greetings smile -
That is a fascinating bit of info, oh wise one wink
But I think I will just 'listen' to my girls. I think they have a lot to say, and I'll bet they'd appreciate keeping their bones in tact. laugh

Any words on 'crowing'?

Thanks from The Collective cool

#68848 - 07/23/04 07:19 PM Re: lucky break

I, too, have found that I can predict the day by the way the chicken scratches...when I have to catch one, and it scratches me, it isn't usually a pleasent day for the chicken (usually a rooster) LOL

#68849 - 07/24/04 03:52 AM Re: lucky break
Kirstine Offline

Registered: 04/11/04
Posts: 21
Loc: United Kingdom
I wonder if there was ever a time when the chickens did NOT eat the grain? smile

Either that or we are a very blessed generation!



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