Monday, November 25, 2013

Chicken Drama

I feel like I've had a string of more serious posts on the blog lately... thankfulness, book reviews, or heart sharing posts.  I decided I needed something to work on that was less serious.  Maybe even a bit silly.

As you know, we have chickens.  Four chickens, three hens and a rooster to be exact.  I find myself telling stories about them a lot.  Maybe because I find them a bit ridiculous.  Maybe because going into this chicken adventure I knew nothing about them so its all new in its oddness.  I don't know.  But here is some semi-recent chicken ponderings and drama.

Chicken Sayings 
Some of the classic chicken sayings are very true.  Others I'm not so sure.

Are they "chicken"?  For the most part yes. 

But this hen is apparently not "chicken" when it comes to heights.  We had to offer her bread to get her down off the roof.
Chicken not afraid of heights

Most chickens are "chicken" when it comes to dark places.  Our chickens won't go into a dark coop so the coop has a red light stays on all night.  One evening this fall they didn't make it back to the coop before the sun set, so they just stayed under a bush until my husband found them (when he went to close their gate) and carried them to the coop one by one.

"Pecking order" really does exist and yes they peck each other to establish it.  There also appear to be rules about the favorite roost.  The least popular hen is often pushed off.

Our chickens have crossed the road.  No we don't know why they wanted to get to the other side.

Random Tidbits
Chickens are NOT vegetarians.  I knew this in advance, but only because I'd read the chicken book my husband bought.  Still it surprised me to see a hen catch a frog to eat.  My son did not approve.

Chickens enjoy taking dust or dirt baths.  My son does approve of this!

The rooster doesn't just crow at dawn but All Day Long.

The chickens do fly (often over the 4 ft garden fence and obviously onto the roof) but mostly they walk... or run.  Running chickens look so incredibly silly, the rooster especially.  Maybe its the running waddle.  I don't know.  But when I see them running from my kitchen window, I can't help but laugh.

Hen Hospital
We have had only one bad bit of chicken drama.  Mid October, after having the chickens out in the yard all spring and summer, the neighbor's dog decided to catch one.  I guess they wandered too close to her yard and she couldn't resist.  Our neighbors got there first, hen in their dog's teeth.  Thankfully our son didn't see it happen.

She appeared to be injured so badly that my husband didn't think the hen would make it through the night.  He set up a small pen for the hen in the shed.  We checked on her multiple times a day but there wasn't much we could do.  Two days later she flew out of the pen (it didn't have a cover b/c it seemed unlikely she could fly).  For about 2 weeks we kept her in the "hen hospital" as we called it, hoping to reduce the risk of infection.

It was interesting to watch her re-join the others... there was some re-establishing of the pecking order.  Now she is happily laying eggs again.  Big sigh of relief.

My husband has been busy getting the chicken coop ready for winter.  Its sad that they will have so much less space when the snow starts piling up (they'll be in the run of the coop and the fenced garden space).  We certainly enjoyed watching the chickens this summer and we're extra thankful for all the delicious eggs.

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