First things first.
We have EGGS people! Whoo hoo! Real eggs, tasty eggs, bright yellow eggs. Teeny tiny eggs, but hey, them's real eggs! I've been getting 3 or 4 a day for the last 4 days. But, yesterday is the first day that I actually found one IN the nesting boxes. Gotta teach these stupid girls to actually LAY in the nesting boxes, not just rest in them. Gotta teach the girls that it's safer to lay your eggs in the boxes rather than on the floor, where the humans might step on them. And, I need to make them understand that it's nicer to the humans to lay the eggs there than all over, under, and around the chicken house in the grass and weeds.
And, I'm glad to say that the rooster has finally figured out how to crow. He still sounds pretty pathetic, but I heard him finally crow. Now, I need to see him show some interest in the girls He hasn't shown any yet, which is good for the girls, but it seems odd having a rooster who isn't randy...
This is the strangest bunch of chickens I've had. They follow me around like a herd of dogs whenever I'm outside. Not when I want them to follow me around, but they will follow me around as I walk around the yard, and they'll go with me to check on the rabbits and they'll even follow me to the chicken pen. But they won't go in. It so...so "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
They aren't afraid to come up onto the deck either. Which annoys the heck out of Kevin. And, it is a little disconcerting to be sitting at the supper table and have a chicken looking at you through the patio door. But, Kev is so annoyed by it, he's ready to build a taller fence around the chicken house.
Another odd thing, is the way they act when startled. These hens will hunker down and kind of shudder. They're more nervous that way than any I've had in the past. They're easier to catch and pick up too, cause they'll hunker down like that. I'm not sure their mental capacity is that great, they just seem more stupid than any birds I've had before.
One annoying habit they have is pecking my toes. It doesn't hurt, but it's damn annoying to be feeding chickens and have them think that your toes look pretty appetizing and try to take a bite. These girls also tend to peck at my hand if I'm not quick enough with the feed. I've never had birds that peck at ME so much. And, those of you who are thinking "Well, she shouldn't be barefoot, or should wear better shoes than sandals out in the hen house", well you guys can just shut up. I will wear the shoe apparel that I want. If someone does peck at my toes, and it hurts, I will boot them pretty high up into the sky, sandals or no sandals. So there!
One hen committed suicide on Saturday night. Well, I think she did. She may just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. We splurged and went to a Nut Fry on Saturday night. When Miss Kat went to pen the dogs up, she told me that there were 6 chickens in there. So, I went out to herd the chickens out. (Funny, but when I want them to follow me, they won't...) Since they wouldn't follow me, I had to herd them out. Either I missed one, or one flew back in after we put the dogs in the pen. As we were ready to walk out the door for the Nut Fry, we heard Midnight barking and carrying on as if someone was in their pen. We ignored it, cause, you know, we were on our way to the Nut Fry, and Nuts are more important than a barking dog any old day...
When we got home, with bulging bellies, we sent Miss Kat out to let the dogs out. She ran back to inform me that there were at least 2 dead chickens in the dog pen. I went out to pick up the birds--thinking I'd just go ahead and butcher them and put them in the freezer. Not that I wanted to, but I didn't want to waste the meat and I didn't want to toss the dead birds in the pasture to attract coyotes which might alert them to the presence of 26 other succulent dinner selections.
I only found one bird in the pen, and she looked like the dogs played tug-o-war with her. Her breast was in one spot, the rest of the body in another spot, entrails somewhat scattered, and a missing head. I never did find her head. But, I cleaned her up and gave her a decent burial. She's the first chicken we've lost so far.
But, hey, I'm gettin' eggs!