Well, chookspam was bound to happen! LOL Most of you on my feed will know that a few months ago we acquired some chickens. This was quite a sudden thing – one minute we were talking about how nice it would be and the next thing, Simon had gone off to get some, complete with the makings of a coop and all the chook paraphernalia. I was never averse to chickens, I have to say, but the thought of picking them up and cuddling them (with those spiny wings and feathers, and creepy claws) filled me with horror. Okay, perhaps not *horror* exactly, but distaste…kind of like Ace Ventura Pet Detective with the bat scenario: “Nooooooo SPANK YOU!” So you get the idea, right??
They have personalities
Yes…I started spending more time watching them, curious as to what their personalities might be like. We found Betsy very skittish, while Nugget turned out to be the Alpha chicken…Schnitzel seemed happy to follow the leader. After a while though, I found Betsy coming into her own. No longer was she running away we came near her, rather, it seemed Schnitzel started becoming less daring and would run when you tried to pick her up. Nugget stomps her feet at you when you get to close and bunches her wings up LOL! It’s sooo funny to think that they have these individual little personalities.
Those first few weeks, I found some information online and found some Facebook groups and websites that would help with any questions I had. Even though I wasn’t ready to hold them yet, they were going to be the most entertained, happiest, egg-laying chooks around!
Slowly, but surely…
I had to get over this darned fear of them. Their pecking. Would it hurt? How gross are their wings?! Could I pick them up? And so it went. I finally worked up the courage to rub their backs and found it not *too* bad. They’d peck at me and anything shiny on me and then one day, I just did it. I asked Jason to pick Betsy up and pass her to me. I held her for a bit and when she squawked and flapped her wings to get down, you guessed it. I shrieked like a banshee LOL!! I did that LOT until I got used to the flapping. Now that I’m familiar with how they like to be held (they love swinging and rocking!!), I also know how to put them down without the FLAPPING! #winning!!
Our coop and little run has come a long way since we get the girls in March. We’ve added a little pond which is meant for their dirt baths (which they don’t’ really use right now..???), lots of sand and I’ve planted herbs around their run. Simon added some marigolds to the outside (apparently supposed to make the egg yolks more yellow) and I made Simon fix up a perch for them. Apparently, they love having different heights to perch on. Hanging their favourite treats around the run (I have a plant hanger I used for this purpose) and along the fence also stimulates their little brains. We have a treat bottle with holes also hung up. They’ve now learnt that pecking the bottle releases their favourite treats.
They are indeed! Did you know they can catch and kill mice and moles?? Who even KNEW?! They love bugs. As gross as it is, it’s a LOT of fun watching them demolish grubs and every now and then when a cockroach has a death wish LOL We’ve even gone so far as to purchase live insects for them from PetBarn. I kid you not. Who would have thought??
I shouldn’t have favourites, but Schnitzel is mine >.> She is the calmest chook of them all. She loves being cuddled and rocked and will go off to sleep in my arms <3 She was also quite happy to model our little chicken jumper when I’d finished making it. If you’re keen, take a look at the slideshow of some of the Facebook pics further down the page.
So! Just call me the crazy chicken lady. This little step in sustainable living, along with our veggie/herb growing has really sparked an interest in Simon and I buying our own acreage and doing so much more to live off the land. I think we would simple LOVE it! Watch this space. :D
Do you have chickens? Experienced something similar? Let me know in the comments below!