- May 24, 2018
So I have been raising chickens from babies for the last 20 years now. When my flock dwindles down to a few I add a new baby flock and start over. That being said chickens use to be just egg layers to me when I was little and nothing more. Since I started raising them myself from babies they are literally my children! I am always learning new tips and tricks from this site and I love it. I see so many coops on here that are very extravagant and impressive. My coops have always been quite simple. I currently have 2 coops that are just fenced lots attached to the side of a building, roost poles in the back and laying boxes mounted to the walls. The last 2 flocks I have had never once used the roosting poles. My chickens have always preferred to roost and sleep huddled together on top of hay bales that are inside the lots. Now in the winter I wrap the lots with tarps to keep the wind off of them but again nothing fancy. I have a road island red hen who is gimpy due to a leg injury months ago who lives in a lot to herself. She has been kinda mopey and doesn't walk around much. I sit with her everyday and keep her company. The other day when I was out there with her I was rubbing her and I wiggled my fingers into her feathers and started scratching her skin, and that chicken went crazy!!!!! When I say she went crazy I mean the chicken who moved slow and didn't want to get around much at all stood straight up and started grooming with me as i scratched all over her. Much like a dog when you rub his belly and he starts scratching his leg because it feels so good. That is what my chicken did. I scratched all over in her feathers for several minutes and when I stopped she jumped out of the nest (hasn't done that in months!) and she was clucking and in SUCH a great mood!! Now since she is gimpy on one leg her balance isn't the best when she walks or stand up at times but i NEVER considered the fact that since she had balance issues she couldn't scratch herself or groom properly! How did I not think of this!?! She is like a brand new bird now! She walks around more, she clucks and get excited and everyday gets out of her nest at sunrise and is moving around the lot ALL DAY where before she got up maybe 3 times for short periods then returned to the nest. I felt like crap for not thinking of that. You know how bad it sucks to have an itch you cant get to right? So now that I started this, I go out twice a day just to scratch her all over and I'm telling you she is SO much happier now! Why didn't I think of that before? SO here I am. I wanted to share this with everyone here so you can give your babies a good scratch all over. Like I said I have had birds for many many years and some let you rub them some don't. I never thought so get in there and help scratch all over lol. So especially if you have a gimp bird like I do, go scratch that bird! Always learning new things! Hope everyone enjoyed reading this! btw my gimp bird Annabelle is a RIR and is 9yo, also have chicken, who is a golden sexlink and Guinea bird (creative names I know) and they are both 10yo. Then my babies that aren't a year yet. My 3 old ladies are the oldest I have ever had and Annabelle still lays eggs as does Guinea bird and rarely chicken does.