This is my blog about the day to day lives of my little flock of pet chickens. They're a happy little flock, although they're totally crackers! If you want a laugh, they'll gladly give you one.


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Friday, 29 July 2011

Fizz on dad duty

Quite often  Fizz is to be found in a nest box, trying hard to emulate the girls.   At first he accompanied Rebecca and watched while she laid her egg.   He didn’t seem to have much patience, turfed her out and used the area as a dust-bath.  Rebecca forgot why she was there and also had a dust-bath in the nest box.   Then they both sallied forth into the sunshine. 

Inevitably Mother Nature reminded Rebecca why she’d gone inside in the first place, and she returned to the coop and laid her egg.   Fizz also returned a little later, and it was after this second trip that I found him sitting quietly in a nest box.  He still does this from time to time, even though there is never anyone’s egg beneath him, as he always chooses the wrong box.   Still, he gets marks for trying.

To be fair, when Pom-Pom is “in labour” he stays with her and makes encouraging noises.  I’m sure he knows how much she hates the whole egg laying business.   With Punk and Rebecca he just pops in, chats for a while, then pops out.   He has more sense than to show his face when Irene, Maggie, Tu-Tu or Titian take up residence in a nest box.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

A visit to the vet

We had to take Tu-Tu to see the vet - luckily they're a rural practice and know about chicken health issues. Madam had developed a dry, flakey skin condition above one eye.

Tu-Tu

We were given some cream to apply to her skin twice a day, but is she grateful for the attention?   Not judging by the way she glares at us when we put it on her!   When she's released after being treated she stalks off in a right huff.

It never ceases to amaze me how chickens can make their feelings so very clear!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Food glorious food

Irene found something edible in the bottom cage and dashed out with it in her mouth.   Everyone dashed after her.  

Irene in a quieter frame of mind

She headed for the gate, tried to get out through a gap at the bottom which nobody is small enough to get through.   So she feinted to one side like Ronaldo, jinked in the opposite direction (all of them fooled by her feint), and took off again.   Punk managed to catch up and snatched it from her mouth, Irene snatched half of it back and they both ate their pieces before anyone else could get there.

You can't help feeling sorry for this poor, half-starved flock!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Look what I've found

Maggie seems to change her personality every week.   Last week she was a bad-tempered old bat, this week she's calling out to the others to let them know she's found food.   She doesn't eat it herself, just points out to the others that it's there.  

Maggie in a mellow mood

Needless to say, Irene responds as fast as she can.   Most of the others make their way over too, leaving Fizz wondering where all his girls have gone.

I wonder if Maggie has finally remembered that she was expecting to have chicks around her by now, and has decided that the other girls will make a good enough substitute.   There is another explanation.   Last week she did Fizz's job for him and protected the flock from a lone dove (see In a fowl mood, 12 July).  Maybe she's decided that by also taking over his task of indicating where food is, she'll be well on her way to becoming an honorary cockerel.   http://sciencefocus.com/qa/can-chickens-really-change-gender  makes interesting reading on that subject.

Monday, 25 July 2011

All by myself, don't wanna be ......

Rebecca is a real loner – right up until the time she realises she’s on her own!   Then she rushes off to join in with whatever Irene is doing.  

Rebecca

Thursday, 21 July 2011

I like your stile

It was raining heavily nearly all day yesterday, so most of the chickens sheltered in the cage beneath the coop.  Irene, however, couldn't care less about bad weather and likes to be outside foraging around. 

Irene
She'd popped into the coop to lay a quick egg and on her way out, found herself part-way down the ramp with further progress blocked by Maggie, who was reflecting on the joy of staying dry.    Titian was conveniently standing on the floor just below her, perfectly placed for Irene to use as a stile.   Titian being a heavy, chunky girl herself, scarcely noticed when Irene stepped on her back, jumped to the floor and tootled off into the run.   

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Morning all

There are definite individual rituals when I let the chickens out in the morning.   Mine is to sit on the wall in the run and watch them all for a little while.

First out is Rebecca, who can often only achieve that by squeezing past Irene on the way down the ramp.  She then hurtles to the far end of the run because she knows Fizz will come out next – and she knows he’ll have just one thing on his mind.   In the meantime, Irene checks the weather then wanders round the run looking for any leftovers from yesterday.   Hot on her heels will be Punk, who isn’t fully awake yet, but doesn’t want to be left behind.

Then there’s a lull in the proceedings before Titian makes her stately way out.   Her first job is always to come and tell me all the latest coop gossip – you’d be amazed how much goes on once they’re locked up for the night.

Tu-Tu suddenly realises she can see daylight through the pop-hole and rushes out, rushes round the run, chases the nearest Araucana, then settles down to eat her breakfast.   Maggie arrives next and heads for water for a long, long drink (there are 3 containers, but she likes the blue one best).

That’s usually it.  Seven chickens up and about, but where is No. 8?   Pom-Pom likes a lie-in as I’m very well aware, but I always open the coop up and check that she’s OK before I head back to the house and my own breakfast.