Little vacuum cleaners with wings

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Squeaky, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    This is my "Woohoo! Chickens!" post... [​IMG]

    My 4 girls arrived a couple weeks ago and are little eating machines. I feed them weeds, grass, vegetables, a few grains, yogurt, and table scraps. For a treat they get a sunflower head.

    I notice their beak strength is increasing. At 8 weeks, they were having trouble with the immature sunflower seeds, so I sat there and peeled all the seeds for them so they could eat them out of my hands (everyone got hand-fed the first day). Now at 10 weeks they rip mature, dried seeds out of the sunflower head and swallow them whole.

    How much stronger is the beak and pecking going to get? In the feeding frenzy, sometimes my hands get pecked and pinched because I think they just kind of flail randomly and hope they get a seed.


    Cheers,

    Squeaky
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    You've got lucky chickens! I'm guessing you know that you need to be giving them grit with these treats? Or, are they out on the ground a lot, then they wouldn't need the grit.

    It can certainly hurt when a chicken pecks you. It will hurt more as they get older. Most chickens are just looking for food or checking things out, as you are aware, and not actually trying to hurt you. But, it still hurts.
     
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Our girls are coming up on 12 weeks. DBF can attest to how muck a peck can hurt. Over the past couple of weeks our BR has pecked his exposed love handle TWICE when he has bent over.

    (She probably went, "oh boy, a rolled up flour tortilla!")

    Little turdling!
     
  4. Squeaky

    Squeaky I squeak, therefore I am

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Quote:Yes, when it comes to weight everyone's a critic including the chickens. [​IMG]

    I give the girls free access to grit, plus they have a big run to play in. On any given day they get at least four different kinds of plant or vegetable material, fresh or dried, plus some kind of protein. Today they started out with melon chunks and some bug-covered pumpkin leaves for the protein. Their afternoon meal was bindweed (their favorite, and one supplied in great amounts by my garden, so much so that I'm debating whether to try drying some of it for their winter feed). For dessert I gave them some spent bean plants and a bunch of seeds eaten out of my hand.

    I like to sit on a log in their run and let them climb all over me eating out of my hands. It gives me a good chance to check their feet and wings. Also I get to perform Nefarious Chicken Experiments to see whether they like to be petted, how they like to be held, and whether they really can be hypnotized. While petting Babs gently I lifted one of her wings and eased her head around under her wing. Sure enough, she froze still and did not move. When I removed my hands she went right back to normal... or did she? A few minutes later Babs decided to try a cross-species experiment of her own.

    Since I'd run out of seeds to feed them, Babs (while sitting on my lap with the other three) decided to find out whether nose hairs are edible. She got this thoughtful look for a second, and then like lighting her ninja-beak went arrowing through the air, hitting the inside of my nose and pulling out a nose hair. Now that HURT. I yelped, the chickens scattered, and a second later Babs came back to experiment as to whether the freckles on my arm would respond when pecked at.

    So I've now been nose-pecked, and I've got a chicken who's decided that experimental turn-about is fair play. Assuredly I may have deserved that even though Babs didn't seem too upset at the time. I'm going to have to watch out for that thoughtful look.

    Next experiment in honor of today, which was International Talk Like A Pirate Day: can I train a chicken to sit on my shoulder?

    Aarrrrrrgh.....
     
  5. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    LOL! Dude that's hilarious!
     

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