Jenny Birks likes chickens. Like REALLY likes chickens. The bio for her 2018 Fringe show says ‘Single, no kids, allergic to cats’. There is also a warning that there may be some fowl language. We wanted to crack this egg wide open, to show some pluck and not rely on blind cluck to find out what this show is all about.
Your show is about you love of Chickens, I am assuming they are not in ‘nugget’ form so how did this chicken affection come about?
Chicken nuggets as pets, can’t say that appeals to me, in much the same way as chicken nuggets as food doesn’t appeal to me. If only they tasted like…umm…
As for chickens, they are addictive. You get a few, thinking they’ll be easy to look after and you’ll get a few eggs and the next thing you know you’ve got 4 coops, the whole backyard is taken over, and when you sit down to watch TV in the evening you have a chicken on your lap. I’m not really sure how that happened. The show is in part me trying to work out how that happened. I think some women of my age experience something similar, my difference is I’m allergic to cats.
I am terrified of chickens, they some how remind me of tiny dinosaurs, don’t they peck you and stuff?
You shouldn’t be afraid of chickens, you are much bigger than them and they are…well they’re chicken. They are however tiny dinosaurs, have you not watched Jurassic Park? Yes, tiny dinosaurs that evolution has completely fucked over, T Rex’s without the large teeth, large powerful body, or even the ability to fly any distance like other modern tiny dinosaurs.
Yes they peck me, but only occasionally and I think that is just to check if I’m made of food. The real danger from chickens is tripping over them when they run at you like a flock of dinosaurs when they think you have food for them. And perhaps if I die in the backyard they will eat me (chickens are meat eaters). And perhaps if I show weakness they will as a flock take me down and eat me. And perhaps you should be afraid of them. Just a bit.
Do chickens have distinct traits like cats and dogs? Like would a chicken fetch a stick?
Chickens have distinct traits not like cats and dogs. I suspect you are asking if chickens can be trained, and to some extent they can be but I haven’t seen one fetch a stick. They really like food, mine come when I call them because they think I’m going to feed them. My silkies (a breed of chickens) are very tame and sit on my lap and fall asleep while I pat them, but my laying hens not so much, I would probably get a flapping wing in the face if I tried to get them to sit on my lap. They love helping me garden and bravely protect me from any insects and spiders. Most things they do aren’t taught, it’s just instinct. They put themselves away in the coop at the end of the day and I just have to shut them in and give them a kiss goodnight. (Just a peck on the cheek.)
Are roosters very evolved or are they always strutting around like the cock of the walk?
I don’t have a cock. A lot of people make that mistake, but I just like wearing clothes with pockets.
What is the best Fringe Show you have ever seen?
The best Fringe Show I have ever seen? That is a really tough question, over 30 years of going to the Fringe (and this year I’m doing my first Fringe show) and a lot of partying along the way, there have been so many good shows (and a few crap ones, but that is fun too). I think those late night shows at venues that are about the art and the artists and the audiences rather than the profit, when the performers are at the top of their game, have a rapport with each other and the audience, fuelled by adrenalin and laughter and a few drinks, and no one wants the night to end. I think my favourite shows like this have been at the Tuxedo Cat, quite often followed by dancing until the sun comes up.
Interview by Ian Bell
Crazy Chicken Nerd plays at the Biggies Basement at Biggies at Bertram from March 6th to 17th (No show Mondays)
Tickets From: Fringetix https://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/crazy-chicken-nerd-af