We’ve had our chickens for almost two weeks now, and sadly, day before yesterday, one of them died. After we closed them up, we went to bed, and when our dad opened the coop the next day, one of the chickens was dead. Our dad said that when he was growing up, his family had a big farm with around 300 chickens, and occasionally they would just find one of their chickens dead. Apparently, it isn’t really a rare occurrence among chickens, because our dad has heard of it before. In any case, we went to get another two chickens today, and we also got a picture of them. It’s funny; they look almost identical to the other chickens 🙂
In the two weeks that we’ve had our chickens, we’ve learned several things about them, chief among those things being that they’re really dumb. When we first got them, we were wondering how long it would take them to find the bird feeders. Now, it’s pretty regular to see a chicken up on the porch railing, stretching his neck and trying to get the bird seed from the feeders. Interestingly enough, if a blue jay flies near them, they seem very scared. They stop what they’re doing (which is usually eating) and lift one foot in the air – as if they think that’s going to help defend against a blue jay. They can’t get any food out of the bird feeders, but that doesn’t stop them from stretching their necks and attempting…. every day.
Sometimes at night, when we’re about to put them back into their run, they hear that we have food and they want to come into the run. All of them shove their way in and start gobbling up the food, but one of the chickens for some reason doesn’t seem to know how to get in – even though the door is wide open and usually pretty much right in front of its face. This chicken starts getting frantic as the other chickens are eating up the food and our father usually has to pick the thing up and put it in the run.
Another example of how dumb a chicken can be is this: if we open the run door completely, it leaves a small triangle-shaped gap between the hutch and the door. If chickens are trying to get into the run, they’ll occasionally go into that triangle shaped gap. When they find that they can’t actually get into the run through there, they look very disappointed and then try to figure out how they do get in. Eventually they figure it out, but it sometimes takes them an amazingly long time.
No matter how stupid our chickens are, they’re doing their duty. Even though they are very young and not laying their full potential, we’ve gotten eighteen eggs from them and haven’t had to buy any eggs since we bought the chickens. They’ll have saved us as much money as it took us to buy them and to build the coop in no time! Unfortunately, it seems we might have a blueberry shortage this year, seeing as the chickens enjoy eating them as much as us and the rest of the birds out there.