Chicken Foot Charm - As Cruelty-Free As It Gets
Custom made-to-order chicken foot charms are valued for their reputation as protection amulets. Chickens are said to protect you and your homestead by virtue of their ability to "scratch up" any tricks that have been laid for you in your yard.
The chicken foot works along similar lines, though it also has a reputation for being able to "scratch back" at the person aiming for you in those cases (and if you've ever been on the business end of a rooster spur, you'll understand why). So if you want a little element of reversing mixed in with your protection, want to return BS back to the sender with a little kick in the pants to go along with it, these can be a useful addition to your arsenal.
I learned about these in New Orleans in the early '90s where they enjoyed a period of popularity as charms to hang from your rearview mirror to keep your car from getting stolen. These days folks use them for protection in all kinds of situations and contexts, from threats both spiritual and physical. I've also known workers who use them as part of uncrossing rites and others who use them in healing work, the idea being the illness or injury or blemish is "transferred" to the chicken foot (which in this case would then usually be buried rather than kept around, so not exactly our realm here, but definitely related).
They come with a wire loop for hanging and an attached mini mojo bag that I will custom create for you according to your petition/goal as I decorate the chicken foot accordingly. Feathers come from several sources; at least one will come from one of my black hens or my black frizzle rooster, Glenn, as these types of chickens are especially prized for their ability to scratch up enemy tricks.
CRUELTY FREE, DIGNIFIED LIFE, SANCTIFIED DEATH: I've been making chicken foot charms for over 20 years now, but this batch is special.
I usually make them with commercially available chicken feet that come from the same source as the chicken you buy at the grocery store wrapped in plastic.
These are different. These come from a source I know firsthand to be cruelty-free and devoted to humane practices. I know for a fact these chickens had as good a life as it is possible to have as a chicken bred for meat. They were not cooped up their entire lives. They got to feel grass under their feet and sunshine on their feathers. And I know they were slaughtered cleanly and quickly with great skill and compassion. They did not spend their final moments in terror with the sound of machinery filling their ears.
Matter of fact, they were *individually prayed over* during the process and individually thanked for the gift of their life that in turn sustains other life. This is no assembly line anything. These birds’ lives were not taken for granted. No joke, I kind of had to do an interview about what I use them for and what kind of spiritual economy they'd be circulating within before this all got finalized. You can't lie to the chickens, you know, and tell them they'll be honored and appreciated if they're just going to end up on the trash heap.
I don't know how much she wants me to say about her in a public place, but they were provided by a family member who works at a very small organic, farm-to-table operation in Louisiana. In addition to knowing her way around farm animals, she also happens to be one of the most deeply spiritual people I know, and I mean the type that gets into the messy bits of life and deals with the real stuff instead of just isolating herself in an ivory tower where she doesn't have to see and think about dirt and pain and poverty and death in the world (though she does have the ivory tower education - in theology, no less).
In short, I couldn't dream up a more competent person to have made this a truly spiritual practice with genuine gratitude and deep connection, messy bits and all.
And while I totally get that not everybody is comfortable with materia magica like this, for those who do participate in the carnivorous economies and want to use these popular curios, this is the most ethical way I can even imagine to obtain these things. And I am really grateful to be able to source them from a place like this – from someone I know to be a person of real compassion who is powerful in prayer and deeply connected to the life around her and the land under her feet.
CARE: These are not taxidermied, but you should keep them away from pets. They are not prepared according to food quality standards for either people or animals, plus they're painted. But your pets may try to go for them even with the paint on them - ask me how I know - so seriously, keep them out of their reach. Fido doesn't need a belly full of enamel paint, chicken toenails, wire, and milagros.
These are thoroughly dessicated and if kept in a cool, dry environment will not get funky or rot. They are *not* simply air dried like some folks do. I put them through an intensive, multi-stage dehydration process. I also use enamel paint on them for additional durabilty and moisture resistance unless otherwise requested, so if your chicken foot gets rained on as you dash to the house, it should be fine if you dry it off and hang it where air can circulate for a bit.
But if you leave it outside in a rainstorm or it sits in a puddle of beer all night, that is not gonna qualify as normal wear and tear and I can't predict a good outcome in those cases. So for best results, try not to get them wet or keep them somewhere constantly humid like the bathroom.