Chicken doings

The hens in my new flock are already wonderful layers, but their perching abilities leave much to be desired.  It’s not the poor biddies’ fault.  They’ve had neither mother nor older hens from whom to learn this necessary skill, or likely even a stick of wood to practice on.  They arrived two weeks ago at nineteen weeks old, and every night, they’ve huddled together on the floor like rabbits without a burrow until the ground resembles one wall-to-wall carpet of chicken.

So tonight, Albert and I taught them how to roost.  This did not involve us climbing the perch and flapping our arms, but it was almost as awkward.  Moving chickens for any reason works best in the dark because they can’t see, so they don’t resist or fuss much.  That is why they retire early, and where the expression “go to bed with the chickens” originates – they don’t like to stumble over the nightstand.  Instead, we stumbled about the murky coop, transferring one hen at a time from floor to perch.  Well, Albert carried two at a time, but they clucked and fussed much more than mine did, because you can’t gently lift and comfortably cradle two hens at a time.

Most of them balanced like pros as soon as their toes touched wood, but some lurched back and forth like drunks and a few fell off and had to be helped back up.  As if their night’s events had not taken a strange enough turn, I snapped their photo, blinding them with my camera’s flash before I said goodnight.  I hope it doesn’t give them little chicken nightmares.  They’ve got a busy day ahead and need to be fresh, bright-eyed and ready to greet the  morning.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Laurie on April 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Poor chickies!! At least you were gentle about it!! LOL

    Reply

  2. they will roost naturally as they get older, good luck with your chickens

    Reply

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