Friday, March 13, 2009

Release the birds!

Finally it was warm enough and dry enough to let the girls out. I wish I could have taken a picture when I opened their little door, six hens and one rooster piled out at the same time like a giant ball of feathers with legs. It is still cold here but at least they were able to go out and be chickens. Except Gracie, she would not go out, it is possible that she has never been outside in her life and needs to get used to the idea. Instead she stayed in and enjoyed the peace of being able to eat and drink without any of the bigger hens trying to boss her around. I will just let her go out at her own pace. This upset Chico as she is his favorite hen, he kept running in and out trying to get her to come outside with him, he used every trick in the book, the 'food call' the 'run up and dance' and even walked up to her and walked to the door, over and over calling but she refused to go out. True love prevailed and he stood by her silent for almost an hour until she got bored and went back into her cage, only then did Chico leave her side and go out with the others.

I put out some seeds and bread to give them something to pick at, this gave me a chance to clean out inside without having them under foot. It is nice to see them running around in the fresh air again. The weekend is suppose to be warmer with sunshine, that will be a nice change from ice and snow.

Above you can see Chico crowing, he did it almost all afternoon when I let him out, I guess he wanted to make sure there were no other roosters around, the only thing that answers him is the hound dog next door. The girls had fun picking at the ice, they love to eat snow and ice for some reason. Even in the cold they will stay out almost all day, I wish in summer I had a field to let them run around in, the black girls are always foraging for something to eat, I can certainly see why some free-range farmers like the black sex-links, I am sure a person could save on feed with these girls if allowed to roam. The reds are pretty good too, their trimmed beaks handicap them a lot at times but one thing they love is worms, they suck them up as fast as they find them.


Tracey said...

That's really nice,
by the way, I think this blog is great! & very informative.
Tracey x

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Tracey: Thank you for your kind comment.
I read you had your hands full with the grandchildren did you. Remember your job is to spoil them and when they start climbing the walls... just give them back to Amy & Steven! {Haha} ;)

Sunny said...

Hi ! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed viewing yourchicken pictures and reading your posts. You have a beautiful silkie!But then I am partial to them..... They all look very nice and healthy and your site is very informative,

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Sunny: Thank you for your comments. I like the silkies also, I am going to try and get some hens or baby silkie chicks. I know two people who told me they are going to have chicks later on for sale, one lady is where Chico came from.

John Gray said...

YOUR HOME MUst be so neat and tidy...again I have never seen such a tidy run!!

Amy said...

Aww thats nice to see. I always say it but chico is gorgeous!!

Amy x

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

John: I guess my place is okay but it is much for fun to be out playing with my chickens than doing house work. ;)

Amy: Thanks, he is cute but lately he is such a little brat, that if you lived closer... he would be all yours! :D

Jennifer said...

What a cute story about Chico being torn between staying with his hen and going outside. He sounds like a character.

Thank you for your comment on my blog. You had asked about the livestock guardian dogs and if they protect against other dogs too. I answered you there but thought I would paste it here too in case you missed it.


Good question "nobody-but-us-chickens". Yes they will protect the goats from other dogs. Last year a large red dog got into the buck's pasture. I only had one Pyr in that pasture but he fought with him and ran the red dog off, no goats were hurt. I hate to think what could have happened if I did not have a LGD, likely a repeat of the rottweiler incident.

While this was going on the two pyrs that was in with the does and kids positioned themselves between the buck pasture fence and the goats and raised quite a fuss about this strange dog in the next pasture over. They can be wonderful guardians that will protect their herd but people do have to be realistic, in other words one LGD can't defend against a whole pack of dogs though I have certainly heard stories of valiant livestock guardian dogs trying. Some have been killed like that too, so I always recommend people work LGDs in pairs if at all possible.

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Jennifer: I really got a kick out of Chico until he turned into Mr grumpy pants.

Thank you for answering my LGD question.