Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Black Chicken

Feathers burned for a fever – “Many people think it is a good idea to burn feathers from a black hen under the bed of a fever patient. I have seen the feathers of black chickens dried and saved in little paper bags for this purpose.” ~Randolph OMF 146

“Feathers from a black hen were burned in a pan under a fever patient’s bed.” ~Parler FBA II 2229

Blood used to cure shingles – “A power doctor near Fayetteville, Arkansas, says that in order to cure shingles one has only to cut off the head of a black chicken and smear the blood thickly over the affected parts. Wrap the patient in sheets and let the whole mess dry. Next morning you just soak the wrappings off, and the shingles will be gone.” ~Randolph OMF 147

Walking over patient to cure chickenpox – “At many points in Missouri and Arkansas country folk treat chickenpox by bringing a black hen and chickens into the sickroom and making them walk over the patient’s body as he lies in bed. Near Bentonville, Arkansas, I knew a woman who brought a black rooster into her house and placed it again and again upon the bed where a little boy lay sick with chickenpox.” ~Randolph OMF 147

Guts buried under the hearth for protection – “In some sections of Arkansas there are people who bury the entrails of a black hen under the hearth on ‘Old Christmas.’ This is said to protect the house against destruction by lightning or fire.” ~Randolph OMF 72

Blood used for hives – “Take a black chicken and wring its neck. Pour blood over hives, and they will go away.” ~Parler FBA II 2474


Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)

Source: Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Black Chicken

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