Some chicken observations…with a healthy dose of subjective interpretation
1. Female chickens aka hens, Cock-a-doodle-dooo too.
2. Chickens put themselves to bed.
3. Chickens play catch me if you can, with humans and each other.
4. Chickens love fresh, cold watermelon, dried meal worm, and rinsed red leaf lettuce. Fresh. Daily. Some of us are happy to oblige.
5. There are different levels of hen aggression. This includes the hens establishing who is the leader, the controlling of resources (especially if scarce – think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs), downright prickliness, outright bullying, shit-rolls-down-hill bitchiness, and intermittent play fighting. Intercede with the bullying and ignore the rest.
6. Chickens avoid poop — their own and others. This observation makes clear that cleaning out the chicken coop and play area / run every day is the proper thing to do. This is counter to every chicken book I have read so far. Daily poop cleaning is optimal.
7. Chickens learn damn fast. Faster than dogs.
8. Chickens scratch because???.. they are hungry for more and better food (dandelion leaves, crickets, worms are natural favorites.) Once full, satisfied, and confident that ALOT of great food will always be available (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs), they do a little less incessant earth scratching, they look up to “smell the roses,” and appear to spend more time in their daily life playing and running with each other, investigating their surroundings, observing that which is afar, and reposing comfortably in various locales.
9. Chickens have a high level of curiosity and sense of adventure. This is observed within a routine, consistent, daily framework…In other words, just like humans — and dogs, they thrive when there is a high level of confidence in every day basic needs far exceeding their expectations!
10. Chickens will trust you, but you must earn it. Daily.
UPDATE BELOW: 9/03/2012….
11. Chickens are very clean animals; they are constantly cleaning themselves, especially first thing in the morning and again before bed.
12. Chickens are game to try any food, at least once.
13. Did I mention that female chickens – aka – hens, cock-a-doodle-doooo?
14. Chickens don’t really care for heat or humidity; humidity is worse.
15. Chickens develop a daily routine and will not stray far from their comfort zone.
16. The top hen plays little rooster games and then mounts the others, which is generally NOT appreciated.
17. Some chickens are coy.