15 April 2013

Chicken antics

Another no-pics update really quickly.  I went outside a short bit ago to see the start of a game of "Calvin-ball" going in the bachelor pad(*), with Dirty finding a fat millipede.  Six small cockerels bouncing off the wire as they try to get the millipede from him!

It seems to be (dirt) bath day in the rampart - chicks, Betti (post-egg), and Armando ... with Armando providing the soundtrack as he rolled in the damp sand.  Betti has now laid six eggs in seven days.

Moola is in isolation as of yesterday.  She didn't quite look right, plus I caught her pulling tailfeathers off the chicks, so I caught her and put her in the old wire dog crate.  She has a bald spot at the base of her tail where Betti had pecked her, but that one isn't as bad as the larger bald spot on her lower breast.  I have her in solitary to see if Betti is the one picking on her, or if she is pulling her own feathers for some reason.  She did lay one egg on Saturday, but it landed in the food dish and cracked.  She had a membrane only yesterday that I had to wipe/pull - no shell and no yolk, just the membrane that is between the two.  She looks much perkier this morning, and sure was singing the poultry blues.  I suspect a chicken version of Humble Pie's "30 Days in the Hole."

(*) The bachelor pad ... now named because of the four Gold-Laced Wyandottes I got from TSC, all four are cockerels.  Add in two of the "golden girls," Dirty and Sandy, who are now looking very roo-ish.  If Sandy doesn't stop picking fights in all the coops, he'll end up with the Nuggets and share their fate as well.  I moved him last night after seeing him trying to pull Armando's sickle feathers, which earned him a grab by the scruff of his neck and a shaking from Armando.  About five minutes later, he did it again.

As for the Nuggets, they must be hitting another growth spurt.  They cleaned up their breakfast ration by the time I finished with the others, then lined up along the wire cheeping for more.  They even had that same "hope!" look on their faces as the dog does while watching me cook.  I gave them seconds, and they polished off most of that as well.

I have started some new things on the chicken feed, namely soaking the scratch either for a minimum of four hours or overnight, then serving that on top of the dry crumbles.  The Nuggets and Betti seem to love it the most.  We're still unpacking boxes, and hubby found the bulk seasonings yesterday to include garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes ... both often recommended for sprinkling on chicken feed.  I joked this morning that I feel like I am cooking for the chickens, while hubby retorted that I will only be pre-seasoning!

Breakfast this morning was toast and fried eggs: one each of Betti's and Winn-Dixie's "Farm Fresh" for each of us.  Right now they are pretty much equivalent.

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