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Noun edit

chicken scratch (countable and uncountable, plural chicken scratches)

  1. Chicken feed consisting of random mixed grains such as corn, wheat, barley, sorghum and milling by-products.
    • 2008, Richard Dwight Apgar, Tough Shit, Eliot: A Yank's Tale, Dorrance Publishing, →ISBN, page 1:
      A soft odor of chicken scratch, mash, and manure always permeated the air when you approached. Attached to the chicken coop was a smokehouse that contained several smoked ham shoulders hanging from hooks.
  2. (informal, idiomatic) Cramped or illegible handwriting.
    Synonym: scrawl
    • 2014, A. Meredith Walters, Light in the Shadows, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 25:
      The pencil in my hand was limp between my fingers and I couldn't focus on the chicken scratch on the pages. My breathing had become shallow and my heart was racing. I was in the midst of a full-blown panic attack.
  3. A type of cross-stitch embroidery done on gingham fabric.
    Synonym: Amish embroidery

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