Monday, February 9, 2009

To spank a chicken

Can we spank chickens, with my girls acting like bored children up to no good, I am ready to give it a try! Like I said before, it has been very cold with a lot of snow since the beginning of November this year and that means the girls have been locked up for a long, long time. That is actually not normal for this area even though I'm in Canada, usually we start to get snow the third week in December, even then there will be a day or two with enough thaw that I could normally lets the girls out, but not this year.

That has left me with a house full of girls up to no good, I try every trick in the book to keep them busy, active and out of mischief. The new stunt that they pulled on me this week is expensive. I have one of those large metal containers that holds their feed and feeds free choice. Usually I fill it up and it takes them almost two weeks to eat it all. The other day I noticed it empty, I found that strange as I thought it was only last week that I filled it. I was in a hurry and so filled it half full that morning. That night I gathered the eggs but did not notice anything funny as it was after dark, the next evening I went in to get the eggs and saw the container empty and a large pile on the floor. The little brats have come up with a new game of picking all the feed out of the container. They must have spent hours pulling feed out as it does not allow them to get a lot at one time. I know they are bored but this is crazy, that is like buying feed and just throwing it on the compost pile! I took the container out and for the next few days they will have to pick through the straw and shavings to get their food. I have a lot of eggs so it will not bother me if they go down in production but they will have to act like chickens and scratch for their meal.
As for the offer of the bantam rooster and hen, I decided not to take them. My hens have not fully accepted Gracie yet and I don't want to make another pen as it would crowd the others, plus even though Chico can be a pain in the butt, I still like him enough that I don't want another rooster hurting him.


Don said...

Naughty girls!

Is your feed the pelleted type? I find my hens don't prefer that, but they really go for the crumbles.

If you develop a spanking method, please share!!

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Don: I mix their feed, it is between layer crumbs and scratch feed mixed together. I found with just the layer crumbs it seemed too strong for them and went right through them. The scratch feed is whole grains like oats, wheat and barley with cracked corn in it as well. They lay just as good for me this way and it is much cheaper than straight crumbs, well it was cheaper until they pulled this stunt!

I guess spanking might cause scrambled eggs! XD

Don said...

Scrambled eggs, Nice!

That's interesting that you mix them. I wonder if they are pulling everything out to get to their favorite part of the scratch? I give mine a scoop of scratch in the morning and at night.

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Don: I suspect something like that. I had no problems with this before but now I am afraid they have it in their little pea brains to do this as a way to pass the time. I have closed the container down to the last level where the feed will come out really slow, if this does not work then I will get another feeder and offer both feeds at the same time not mixed. If that does not work then I will have to feed them a little every day.

Cottage Rose said...

Do you check on them every day? If you do why not just give them enough for one days feed. I find if I leave an abudance of food, it invites vermin. My guys wont eat pellets, only scratch mix, ours here has molasses in it.
I saw you asked about lettuce, mine love it. I have some guys over 10 years old and it has never affected them. Mine also enjoy boiled rice, pasta and every vegetable except for onions and potatoes. Oh n pumpkin but my geese love pumpkin. Fruit is also good, especially bananas, pears and chopped up apple.
If I was really brazen I would tell you what "spank a chicken" means here in AU.
Thanks for your concerns about our bushfires, we are safe here but everyone is hurting for our fellow Aussies.

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Cottage Rose: Thanks for the treats tips. I noticed that my girls love spinach but not so much lettuce, but if you have ten year olds then it must be harmless.
I found it easier not to have to feed every day, I could just look in on them in the morning and go, or if I went away for a day or so, a friend could just gather the eggs and check their water. Everything worked well until this week, the little brats! What I may do is put in only enough feed for two days, so if they empty it they will have to make due and scratch for their food.
I think I know what spank a chicken means over there, probably what choke a chicken means over here, I never realized my mistake until after I wrote the post, well if it gives anyone a giggle then no harm done.

I see this morning where they found more people lost to the fires, I really feel for the families, so very sad.

Amy said...

Hi... very funny, i thought you were being serious, haha!! I took a quick look on you tube late last night and didn't find anything but i will search better tonight and let you know!
Thanks alot, Amy :)

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Amy: I'm bad, sorry but I just had to tease you. I think you will know soon enough because if she is a he then he will be close to the age where he will start to crow.
I once had a very strange looking chicken that was a mix of everything, it looked like a male and I thought it was going to be a rooster right up to the day he... actually she, laid an egg.

John Gray said...

I guess you re right...I have five roosters......2 are brothers and are buff hens, so seem more good natured together

I had two brother roosters originally (duncan and stanley) and although they were usually fine together,,,,duncan nearly killed stanley one night when they were locked in the same hen coop!!!!
ps whats you name by the way?

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

John: My name is Steven, sorry I never thought to put it up.
Back in the good old days I often had many roosters together. It was very hard for me to buy chickens back then so I had to mostly raise my own, thus giving me many roosters out of a batch of chicks. This is what I learned from that experience, it may be different for others. It often works when there are three or more. If there are only two, then the chance for a fight to the death seems greater as a third rooster will often join in and break up the fight. Also roosters raised together will often get along for life with one being boss over the other(s). The trouble starts when one wants to become the boss instead. I also found that the father will remain leader and not harm his sons, except he will not let them breed. Mostly though I found the roosters bothered the hens too much and could affect their laying so I sold them and we ate some. Also there were times when a group of young roosters would gang up on a hen and once almost killed a hen on me, so I never let it get to that point again.
My worry for Chico was he has been the boss over the flock since fall and is the only male, plus he is older. The other rooster the lady wanted to give me was also the lone male and two years old. I don't think they could have ever gotten along so I did not want to risk hurting Chico. I feel bad about not getting the hen though.

Amy said...

I was wondering what your name was!
I will just keep my eyes and ears open and wait and see what he/she is, thanks for your help!
Oh...i got a second egg today...but i dropped it!!
Amy :)

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Amy: Dropped your second egg, too funny, well that is the one you get for breakfast and your husband gets the other one! ;)

I never realized I forgot to put my name up, Steven is easier than typing Nobody-but-us-chickens!

Cottage Rose said...

Not sure about what part of spinach, but I do vaguely remember that it can be toxic, google that to be sure. I hate spinach so there is no issue here of me feeding it to them.
I find with my roosters that they all get on, no fights, they have their own little cliques of what girls are theirs, the girls know who their daddy is (haha). I have 6 roosters at the moment but have had 19 previously. The only problem I have is if I introduce a grown rooster, like the time the vet gave me a rescued one. I had to give him to a good home for his own safety. But then there was once when I went out to let them out one morning and there was an extra rooster (like I needed another rooster) and he got on famously with them all. Turns out someone had snuck in during the night and dumped their unwanted rooster. He ended up drowning in the bath tub, por baby.

U eat your pets??????????

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Cottage Rose: I agree, if they are raised together they seem to get along fine. I know however with some of my friends who had only two roosters, it always seemed that one killed the other or made life so bad for the other, that one rooster would go off and live alone in another barn etc. I never had that problem so I will assume it was because of there being only two roosters.
Too bad no one ever sneaks in some unwanted laying hens! ;)

Yes we ate some of the roosters, I was a teen on my Dad's farm and he was a very stern man. The hens had to pay their way or I could not keep them. There was sort of an agreement, the hens would never be touched and so I spoiled them, the roosters on the other hand I knew never to get close to but still take good care of them.

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