The chooks are getting friendly. Sometimes too friendly. If I go in to rake out their run (something I do only once a week and maybe I don’t need to do it that often) they now chase the rake and me just in case clover appears like magic (I’m sure they think I conjure clover out of a hat just for them). They also are starting to “help” me with my daily task of cleaning out their nest box and roosting area. This should be as simple as slipping out a layer of newspaper that stands under their roosting bar but our chickens are a bit too lazy to stand all night so they snuggle into the straw we have piled in their nest box to make laying more comfortable (naughty chooks). Actually, there was a divider to make this 2 nest boxes but the 3 hens all tried to cram into one and we felt sorry for them so took out the divider. Frank’s at work on a 2nd nest box now in the hopes that they’ll leave one clean for eggs.
Those are not real eggs in their nest box – they aren’t laying yet. That is ripped up newspaper because Bronwyn especially (but Rosie and Isabel as well) likes to tear the paper I’ve placed under their roosting bar. Plus she gets a great kick out of ripping the paper when I’m cleaning up their nightly mess. Simple pleasures for simple minds I suppose.
In the past we’ve ripped the chunks of chook-torn paper into smaller pieces to add to the straw in the nest box. Unfortunately for Bronwyn (and maybe all of us) I caught her eating a couple of the bits of paper as I was rumaging in her box (just the sight of me puts the poor thing into a feeding frenzy) so I now remove any ripped pieces rather than shredding them further to make more bedding. I don’t think eating the paper will hurt the chickens but newspaper must be the very definition of empty calories so they’re being taken off their fix cold turkey.
Yesterday, after cleaning the nest box, roosting area and chook run, I brought 2 chairs, Frank and some chickweed into the chook run.
They hopped down when the chickweed was all gone but then after a couple of minutes hopped back up. Isabel and Rosie settled in for a bit of a rest on Frank’s lap with Isabel even closing her eyes for a little while.