More Chickens

I swear, the chicken postings will die down soon enough, if only because I've pretty much finished figuring out how the asbestos abatement will be done. But until then, I give you some photos from today's Chicken Exercise Hour.

Chicken Exercise Hour is a nice little trip outside to peck and scratch and explore the larger world. Today there was much interest in the Dianthus 'Rose de Mai.'

This kind of looks like Liza. I'm still figuring out how to recognize the two Ameraucanas as separate animals.

Liza on the mini polygala

Joan taking a little sit-down moment. You may be able to tell from this photo that her beak, which had been trimmed by the hatchery, has almost entirely grown back. This is a good thing, because trimmed beaks make hunting harder. Also, they look kind of stupid.

Joan in the dirt

They all spent a lot of time just sort of trying to cram themselves into the dianthus. With mixed results.

Carole, Debbie, and Liza attack the dianthus

Here's Carole, squatting on my miniature polygala (I don't remember quite which one) while Liza looks on.

Sitting on a plant

They mostly stayed together, which was nice to see. I also made some movies but they are really too large to serve in the volume we get here, so they'll wait until I can reduce the size somewhat.

All four chicks in the corner

One thing you can see now: the girls are getting their tail feathers. Every day they seem to have more regular feathers and less chick fluff. Joan is behind the others so I think she might be a whole day younger.

Carole is getting tail feathers

Despite common sense telling me to be careful, I let the dogs watch the exercise from a decently safe distance. Goldie was very stressed out by the situation and yet, intrigued.

Goldie watches Chicken Exercise Hour

While Rosie ooched herself up close, licked Carole, then snapped at Debbie and got sent away. These are two of the mellowest dogs ever, dogs who allow cats to totally walk all over them, so if you think you can let dogs and chickens coexist unsupervised you are insane.

Rosie watches chicks

One thing you can't see is that Joan has had a case of pasting up lately, which is when her poos dry on her butt and then she can't poo naturally. The treatment is to soak the dried poo off with a warm, wet cloth. Here I am applying this treatment, with Joan feeling not so entirely happy with the idea. After getting her wet I patted her dry, then put her right back in the habitat under the heat lamp to dry off.

Joan has pasty butt

Having livestock is all about humiliating veterinary procedures.

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posted by ayse on 04/02/08


You are doing a fine job. They are as cute as buttons!

Absolutely adorable! And you are such a good chicken "mom" !! Many (many) years ago I obtained a chicken at Easter time and lo and behold he grew up to be the most gorgeous rooster. He irritated the hell out of the neighbors (I'm sure this is the reason my dad kept him) with his morning solos. Eventually we gave him to man who had lots of hens, but no rooster. He went on to live a very happy productive life !! Great pics of your "brood"! meo

They are soooo cute.

But of course, I have a question. Why did the hatchery trim Joan's little beak?

Joan is a trouper. First her beak, now a plugged pooper. She seems to be having trouble at both ends.

They clip the beaks because chicks will peck at each other, and they have really sharp beaks. In confined places, like crowded chicken houses, they can start pecking at each other and end up pecking each other to death. So they clip the beak (and then keep clipping it) to dull it. Some places just chop practically the whole beak off (looks really stupid).

None of the others had clipped beaks when I got them, but they may well have been days older and have regrown their beaks already.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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