Ozark Encyclopedia – C – Chickens

Chicken gizzard to help with bleeding during childbirth – “If the woman has a really bad ‘bleedin’ they kill a chicken and fasten the warm lining of its gizzard over the affected part, usually burning a few feathers at the same time.” ~Randolph OMF 201

Chicken heart swallowed to make a woman beautiful – “Many mountain women say that to eat chicken hearts, especially raw chicken hearts, will make any girl good looking; I know one poor damsel who ate them for years, but without any benefit so far as I could see. May Stafford Hilburn says that in her section of the Ozarks the girl must swallow the chicken heart not only raw but whole!” ~Randolph OMF 163

Chicken heart swallowed to attract lovers – “In Cassville, Missouri, a woman told me that to swallow a raw chicken heart at one gulp may not make a girl beautiful, but it will render her sexually attractive, so that ‘she can git whoever she wants.’” ~Randolph OMF 163

Dead chicken “sock” for snakebite – “My uncle, when he was just a kid, he got bit by a snake on the big toe. He was barefooted and his mother grabbed a chicken, just tore that thing open live and socked it down on there.” ~Carter and Krause HRIO 16

 Scaring chickens to get rid of chickenpox – “Scare the chickens till they fly over the chicken house door will cure the chicken pox. That’s the way I heard it.” ~Carter and Krause HRIO 8

Yellow chicken for yellow chicken pox – “…kill a yellow hen and get the yellow grease from it; use it as a salve on the pox.” ~Parler FBA II 1702

Chicken dirt used for chicken pox – “For chicken pox find a place where a chicken has roosted and sprinkle some of this dirt on the sores and there will be no soars.” ~Parler FBA II 1705

Chicken flying out door as cure for chicken pox – “If you want to keep your child from having a bad case of the chicken pox during an epidemic, make him lie down in the house in front of the front door parallel with it. Then catch a chicken, hold him, and make him fly over the child and out the door.” ~Parler FBA II 1709

Chicken droppings for chicken pox – “Take a child, who has the chicken pox, under a chicken roost. The disease will leave the child and enter the chicken droppings.” ~Parler FBA II 1715

Chicken gizzard tea for gall bladder – “Drink tea made from boiled dry chicken gizzards for gall bladder troubles.” ~Parler FBA II 2288

Chicken gizzard for stomachache – “Take the lining out of the gizzard of a chicken and put in a cup of hot water. Let stay for two or three hours if possible. Drink for sick stomach.” ~Parler FBA III 3304

Chicken feet for warts – “…roast chicken-feet and rub the warts with them, then bury the chicken feet.” ~Parler FBA III 3601

Chicken heart swallowed to dream of a lover – “Swallow a chicken’s heart whole and you will dream about the one you want to marry.” ~Parler FBA VII 7106

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)

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