While I'm thinking of it, just a few anecdotal chicken stories...
our first three hens were 2 months old, they were moved from inside the
house to the new coop in the back yard. They adapted well and loved
their new surroundings.
Until early one morning we awoke to
bloodcurdling, wailing cackling from the backyard. Up we leaped and in
record time, visions of dying chickens in our heads, ran out into the
back yard…to find that a heavy fog had descended and the chicken coop
was hidden from view. Of course we realized instantly that this meant
to the chickens, the reverse was true and the house was gone! We
laughed and made our way to the coop and let out some very confused
chickens. They made their way cautiously around the yard and we earned
some dirty looks for laughing at them.
Adventures in Coop Climbing
are spending a peaceful Saturday afternoon in the house, when suddenly
we hear loud, plaintive drawn-out cackling from the yard. We dash out
the back door to see who's being murdered. To our surprise, we can't
locate the hen making the noise. We finally see her—on the roof (10
feet up!) of the chicken coop, yelling at us to GET...HER...DOWN...!!!
She had jumped up on a half wall, from there to the top of the fence, to
the top of the coop and then discovered she couldn't get down. J
climbed up and rescued her and she got a lecture about hopping up on
things to explore the world. She has since stayed sensibly on the
Trying to be parents to baby
chicks is a weird experience at best. They catch on to normal food and
water just fine, but to teach them other new foods involves a tedious
lot of calling chick!-chick!-chick!, endless pointing, and repeatedly
picking up and dropping the tidbit. Our baby chicks love sauerkraut (go
figure!) and mealworms. In fact, we discovered (accidentally!) that
the small mealworms look juuuuust like another baby chick's toe…
Amid pained chick screams we were able to separate the two. My, but baby chicks hold on to food tightly!
love table scraps, and we have a lot of fun introducing them to new
foods. On one occasion it was cooked spaghetti. The problem was, once
the bird started to eat the noodle from one end, when they discovered
that after one or two swallows, there was a huge length of noodle still
to go they would start to panic. Now they are stuck, because they can't
cough it back up and they haven't yet learned to bite or break it
off-—the only choice is to grimly keep on swallowing. To their utter
relief here comes the other end (finally!) but wait—now THAT end is
flailing around and slapping them about the head and chest! Agghh!
Horrors! And when they try to get away it follows them! I never knew
that chickens could run in reverse.
They have since learned to break things into manageable bites...
our bantam hens were about 1 ½ months old, they were running around on
the living room floor with the adult chickens for a surpervised meet
& greet before formally joining the flock outside. We've found that
this procedure helps smooth the waters.
Our bantam rooster was
perched on my husband's leg as he lay on the floor watching TV.
Unbeknownst to the rooster, one of our bantam babies, Yin, was
approaching the rooster from the rear.
Apparently she spotted the little pink 'button' under his tail.
Now--to a chicken, everything is food until proven otherwise.
ensuing hearty peck to that roosters' nether region made him leap
straight UP with a loud, pained squawk. This startled Yin, who ran off.
When the rooster came down he glared at us for laughing, then spent
the next two hours trying to sneak up on Yin from behind to return the
favor. A simple chase and peck on the head wouldn't do—he was out for exact revenge.
He never did catch up with her, although I don't think he ever forgot the insult.
is the same roo that once chased me into the bathroom after I laughed
at him for falling off of a box he was roosting on the edge of. I had to
literally climb through the bathtub to hide behind my husband (who was
shaving at the time) while the rooster made little dissapointed noises
in his throat at not being able to reach me, and that just made me laugh
all the harder.
I still carry a small scar on the back of my
hand from when he finally caught up with me. Roosters have a very deep
rooted sense of dignity, fair play and justice.