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By TNChick2, Jan 11, 2012 | |
  1. TNChick2
    I am a chicken lover! My girls are "pets with benefits". They hop on my lap, they peck at my clothes, and I am in heaven. I thank them for the eggs they give us every day, and they come inside our house whenever they get a chance. I started out with 6 chicks and had the grand illusion they could be free-range as long as I put them safely in a coop every night. I subsequently lost 4 hens to stray dogs or a fox. I then bought a dog kennel (10x10) and Delilah and Eva are protected at all times. They are walked 1-2 times a day in our big fenced in yard with myself, my husband, our 3 geriatric poodles and our killer Siamese cat. Every one coexists in peace but our hens would like nothing better than to leave our 1 acre fenced-in yard to wander (and perish) in unprotected areas. I also have to keep an eye to the sky as hawks regularly come visit, hoping for a bit of tasty chicken. I had no idea so many critters love to eat chickens!!! I have expanded the 10x10 cage to include a grassy area that is about 10x20 with covered chicken wire to keep hawks OUT and the girls IN. Chickens themselves are not expensive. Keeping them safe, however, is another story. My husband built a nice roof over the 10x10 and even roofed it with shingles. Still, if there is a storm brewing or it is super hot or super cold, the girls head into our home where they roost in the laundry room with newspaper down under them. They often want to lay their eggs in the laundry room too. They have a nest in their cage but they often prefer the indoor nest. They tell me this by pacing back and forth in their pen until I open the door. They make a beeline for our front door and will peck on the sidelight if I don't immediately grant them access! They run down the hall, waddling back and forth and making that strange clucking noise that announces "I have an egg to lay! Get outta my way!!!" They hop up on the counter, settle into the nest, and within a short time, deliver an egg. If I check on them and there is no egg yet, they will both shake their head negatively. If an egg has been deposited, they stand up and show me! When the egg-laying process is complete, the hen will saunter back into the main living area of the house or stand at the door to be let out. Both girls are then perfectly content in their pen and do not pace again - until the next day when the process starts all over again. Yes, I am a chicken lover!

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