Monday, October 5, 2015

Things I never expected about chickens

  1. Different breeds of chickens don't just have different personalities... they have different voices.  Wyandottes chatter.  Faverolles grumble.  Silkies almost coo.  Easter Eggers glare at me and hiss.  I don't think they like me.
  2. Ever hear the phrase, "madder than a wet hen"?  It's true, they do get pretty cranky when they are wet.  Unless they happened to grow up in a brooder full of ducklings.  Then they lie in the mud with their "sisters" when it gets hot.
  3. Two roosters do not crow twice as much as one rooster does.  It is more of an exponential equation.  We have three roosters and the crowing basically never stops.
  4. You quickly learn to recognize roosters by their crow.  Punky Rooster (silkie) greets the day in a clear, piercing tenor.  Chick Jagger (Wyandotte) is our bass - he almost sounds like he's howling.  Chikki Hendrix still has a derpy cut off crow that we had hoped he would grow out of.  Inexplicably the hens seem to like him best.
  5. You also quickly learn to ignore all the dang crowing.  They start about an hour before the coop lights turn on at five, but as long as the windows on the coop-ward side of the house are closed, I don't think anybody even notices.
  6. Pecking order makes no sense.  Punky manages to be head rooster despite being literally half the size of the other two (and most of the hens).  Perhaps they remember him feeding them when they were babies.  Perhaps they are in awe of his singing voice.  Perhaps he triples in size when no one is watching.  We will never know.
  7. Supposedly, a hen's comb and wattles suddenly grow and turn red (as opposed to pink) right before she starts laying.  Chickens are also jerks, and we have been waiting nearly a month for those "any day now" hens to quit being freeloading slackers.
  8. It is somehow always surprising when the layer pellets run out.  Not the scratch corn, because I have yet to come up with a method of keeping my millions of ducklings from breaking open the bags and throwing crazy scratch corn parties.  But there always seem to be tons of layer pellets until suddenly there are none at all.

In summary, chickens are endlessly entertaining, and I think every household should have at least six hens.  The eggs will be the best thing you ever tasted, and you will get bonus free chicken TV, all for the low low price of every bug they can reach and those magically disappearing layer pellets.

The three pound king of the barnyard.

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