Things I've learned this month

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mandelyn, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I've re-entered chicken keeping 2 months ago, and this is what I've learned so far that I didn't know from the previous flock. Guess I have more time to kill this time around, and I spend a lot of time with them!

    - Chickens play. The older ones, not so much, but when a baby "teases" them, they'll banter back for a moment. They flit around the yard without a care in the world. The youngest pullet, she'll scoot out of the hen house high-speed, crash into her momma, jump at the rooster, circle around, charge back into the house, then calmly walk out again. She's a loon! Sometimes she'll charge out a second time, with the 2 standard game hens close on her tail, and they'll scoot around in front of the house, seperate, enter 1 of 2 doors, crash into other, and charge out of the door on the other side.

    - They recognize individuals, and they remember visitors that brought food. They also recognize dogs, new/different dogs get the stand-offish, suspicious treatment until they prove to be harmless.

    - It takes 2-3 weeks to tame a flighty bird. With daily holding, calm approach, and treats, even the most flighty bird will come around to be alright with your presense.

    - Roosters, even virgin ones, know when a hen is ready to lay before you will know. My older hen laid an egg the day after I saw Jibbers giving her extra special treatment. The other hens won't let him, so I know not to expect eggs from them yet.

    - A standard sized game hen really can fly 40 feet into a tree, without so much as a running start!

    - Wing clipping is really easy, chickens don't bite like parrots do!

    - They waste more food than they actually eat, so feed them where the food won't go bad once it's tossed out of the feeder. Husband made a PVC trough type feeder, it's too deep for food to get thrown out of, and the indoor feeder is on the floor where they can scratch through shavings to get "lost" feed... I simply don't refill that bowl every time it is empty... I check the floor in front of it first.

    - Squirrels know chickens are harmless, and vice versa. It's hilarious when a hen chases a squirrel, because the squirrel (atleast the ones here) will get about 4 feet into a tree, turn around, and look at the chicken. The chicken cocks it's head, bawks at it, one time the largest hen actually jumped at one.... and the squirrels seem to take it as an opportunity to play. When the hen jumped at the squirrel, the squirrel jumped over her head off the tree, landed behind her, and chattered at her before running off, the hen half-heartedly following.

    - A laying hen drinks A LOT more water than a hen that is not laying.

    - Don't even try to count on which days you'll get an egg. As soon as you think you know her schedual, she'll skip a day.

  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Very true!
  3. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Thank you that was cute.

    On the squirrel thing: our rooster apparently decided that the local squirrel was pushing his luck. I have no idea what the squirrel did to deserve this treatment, but one day the rooster attacked the squirrel and tossed it around like a rag doll. The squirrel did not survive the incident. The squirrels have given the hens a wide berth since!
  4. silkiechick236

    silkiechick236 Songster

    Sep 29, 2009
    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  5. NC Chicken Gal

    NC Chicken Gal In the Brooder

    May 26, 2009
    The water thing is SO true! I was just noticing that today!
  6. Tweeza

    Tweeza Songster

    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    FYI: Squirrels will steal eggs.
  7. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Quote:Seriously? I never knew that!

  8. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Quote:Seriously? I never knew that!

    Yep! They are notorious for stealing wild bird eggs - and destroying the nest in the process. Not to mention reeking havoc on a garden, nut trees, fruit trees, etc. Sure, they'll help themselves to your flock's eggs as soon as they figure out where they're laying them.

    I refer to them as "tree climbing rodents". LOL. They're not on my list of cutesy little creatures.

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