Friday, June 17, 2011

chicky chicky this, chicky chicky that...

So, recently we got three chickens...for purposes of getting eggs this fall. A friend/relative raised them for a few weeks while we wrapped up the public school year. We have had them for about a month maybe, so they are about 2.5 months old or so. I have decided these birds have a pretty simple life, which makes them interesting to watch when you are feeling stressed.

They have distinct personalities. It has been interesting to watch how they have learned that when the dog is released from the house to the backyard, that it typically means a human will come to the coop. This correlates to food and they rush to the gate door of the run. Mind you, they still do not like to be touched too much or handled...but they rush the door to wait in anticipation for a human to bring food.

They have names: Florence, Matilda, and Louella...great southern girls they will become!!  Flo, Tilly, and Lou for short...although, most of the time they just get called chickens. I named this this to be nicer than what we were called them. I said there were three of them: a fat one, a middle one, and a little one. This equals out to an F one, a M one, and a L one...thus their name beginnings match their sizes.

Yesterday, I took them some crickets for treats. It was fun to watch them run to grab one and run off with it while the other two chased the one with the treat around. It is almost too easy to decipher their chicken chortles and sounds to say - give me that! I was going to eat that bug!  It is like watching chicken keep-away. It is also easy to see why the fat one is fat and the little one is little. Flo is smarter than the rest. She was quick on the uptake to note these bugs were food treats...and she is quick. She quickly started to come over and peck her head into the cricket cup and would grab one up and run off to a corner of the run to eat him up. Tilly is brilliant enough to grab one up if it jumps near her. Louella - well she is just not that bright.

As a special education teacher of 15 years or more, I would say this dear girl would need an IEP. She looks around at the other two of her small brood and chases them with their delicious cricket finds. She tries to catch the cricket that hops by at her feet, but normally Tilly or Flo were too fast for her to even know where the cricket went to as she was attempting to gobble it up...Alas, most of the time she only pecked at air, because the delicious cricket she tried to claim was already on its way to the belly of her counterparts. Although, she did manage to get some of the crickets, so she was not without.

I have come to realize it is a good thing these chickens will lay eggs soon and that God made such natural for them...as they are not too bright on their own. Poor chickens.

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