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We learned a chicken thing today!


So, I put a stick through their box today and this happened. Immediately. Completely expectedly.

Chickens were originally creatures of the forest floor, which you can see in many of their behaviors — like clinging onto branches. Like all roosting birds, chooks have a flexor tendon that automatically locks their feet closed when their knees are bent. Hence, they can fall asleep clinging to a stick and never fear falling off.

When they’re little, they’re especially well able to fly. I spent an uncomfortable afternoon one day when tiny baby Coco and Maggie flew up into a tree and disappeared into a tangle of blackberry bramble. Blood was shed.

The new girls haven’t figured out perch is for sleep yet. Which is a pity — the whole point of the exercise is that no chicken should have to sleep in her own poop.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: March 24, 2016, 10:04 pm

Ok, two perch stories. I retrieved an escaped cockatiel by inviting the bird to step up onto a perch that I had taken from the cage. The bird was happy to ride the dowel back to the cage.

Meanwhile, the ex girl friend had purchased a perch that looked like a tree branch rather than the smooth dowel that the bird was used to. The bird wouldn’t go near, and instead attempted to flee, the strangely shaped stick. It was said to be therapeutic for the bird to exercise its feet on the roughly shaped pseudo tree branch.

To my eyes, the irregularly shaped stick looked like a snake, and the behavior of the bird seemed to me that the bird agreed with me.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 24, 2016, 10:39 pm

You sure you werent heating up the floor of their cage??

Comment from mojo
Time: March 25, 2016, 12:47 am

You could serenade them to sleep with your flying-V style electric ukulele, I suppose…

Comment from Tim
Time: March 25, 2016, 1:04 am

More chicken posting wouldn’t be bad.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 25, 2016, 4:09 am

Partially related: My in-laws keep three hummingbird feeders on their porch and spend hours watching the birds. For Christmas I gave them a hummingbird “swing” to hang on the porch near the feeders. The perch is a smooth thin dowel, maybe 4mm in diameter. Theoretically, the hummers will rest on the swing if it’s near the feeders.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 25, 2016, 2:36 pm

In other news … How about an update on the motorized bicycle and your commute to work?

Comment from drew458
Time: March 25, 2016, 4:59 pm

Motor bike post, with chickens in the carrier basket! With handmade little leather helmets and tiny little chicken goggles!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 25, 2016, 6:36 pm

Pah! I had to ditch the basket, even though my bike came with one. I have kinda narrow storage places at both end of my commute and the basket wouldn’t do. Pity, it would come in handy.

Bike is doing great. I do about 16 miles a week, which barely exercises the battery.

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