February 6, 2013

Creatures of Habit, Calculating Creatures or Just Divas?

For the last 2 days I have been out of our regular chicken feed. Normally that would not be a problem for me to zip on up to the feed store. But the hubby had his shift changed from 3rd shift to 1st shift and with one vehicle my "zipping" days are over. Plus by the time he gets home my feed store is closed.  Do not get me wrong the Ladies of the Yard have been fed and that may be the some of the problem.

I love to give the Ladies treats. I love watching them happily dive into whatever delectable goodie we bring out to them.  That is what they have been fed with, treats and scratch. As I was making breakfast and dinner both days for my family, I was creating a gourmet meal for the ladies. Whew, talk about feeling like a short order cook! But I think I may have created some calculating creatures.

Have you ever seen the movie "Chicken Run?" If not, you should. The basis of the movie is that the hens want to be free from the dull life of the chicken farm. What is funny about the movie is when the humans go to sleep, the hens become their true selves. It is quite comical. But now, I am not sure how funny it is. I think my girls are doing the same thing, and I am calling it!


My first sign was this morning. All the girls were out in the run. hmm... Now this is not the first time it has happened. Our door to the run is on the floor of the coop with a latch. When this first happened, we chalked it up to us not securing it enough. The next couple of times, we still stuck to that theory. However, today it was the 8th time it happened! Strange don't you think? Yeah. When I let the dog out, they are standing there talking to me. I thought it was cute, but now I think they are just laughing at me in their chicken language.

My second issue today. I went out to fill up their feeder and give them new water. When I put the feeder down, I did not put it in the "normal" spot. This is where "Creatures of Habit" comes in and maybe a sprinkling of  "Diva" too. They look at the moved feeder, then looked up at me and started squawking. So I picked it up and gave it a shake putting it back down in the new spot. More yelling at me. Then they went over to where the feeder normally goes and started pecking at the ground. What is bad about this is I only moved the feeder maybe 6 inches from where it normally is.  They stood there eyeballing me.

I told them "hey this is it, take it or leave it!" They did not move.  I told them again, "take it or leave it." Nothing! It was a stand-off! I could not believe it! Maybe I am turning into the Crazy Chicken Lady. Finally two took my advice, took a gander at the feeder (as seen in the picture) but right after this, walked away, squawking, and chicken murmuring under their breaths. WoW!

The other two new ladies are still working out their pecking order. Their normal feeding habit is too hang off to one side letting the top three hens start eating, and they jump in and out at the feeder. On the first day of feeding treats, I had to throw them down the run so they at least had a chance. (my top three are a bit of, well how to put this nicely? But they are Pigs!)  One time! One time I did this and now when they hear me coming they take off down to the opposite end of the run. Standing, staring.

I was floored. Completely floored. I know that Chickens are some what intelligent, but they are not the rocket scientists of the animal world. Maybe I am wrong. I decided to just go about my business, well kind of. I stood in my house watching out the kitchen window. These birds did not touch their food not one crumb! I realized I never checked the nest boxes. I went back out and looked for eggs. Eggs that are normally there waiting for me. NOTHING! The only thing I got was more chicken back talk! FINE! I marched back into the house, grabbed the left over salad from dinner. 

Enter the Divas. They would not look or even take the treats out of the bowl when I was holding it. They waited until I put the salad down in the coop. I also moved the feeder back to the "normal" spot. And guess what? They began to eat. Unbelievable! I have monsters! I have created Calculating, Habitual, Diva monster chickens! But regardless I "lovey" them. They are my monsters. They know it, and I have to think they like me too because after their feast, I was given three eggs. :)


Tiffani B. said...

Stumbled across your blog this morning via Farm Chick Chit Chat! I'm thoroughly enjoying it! I also someday long for a farm, but not quite there yet :) Good luck with your chicks!

Carol J. Alexander said...

Chicken Run is one of my favorite movies!