Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Things you probably don't know unless you raise chickens:

  • Chickens have very warm and soft feet.
  • Despite feeding them and handling them every day, an ordinary chicken will never come to trust you entirely. They know if it came down to the wire, you'd eat them. Don't lie to them, they know.
  • Chickens don't mind the rain as much as people think they do. "Madder than a wet hen" isn't really that mad, and they really are more sad than mad when wet.
  • Chickens will eat most anything, even chicken meat, though I don't do that to them, it seems wrong.
  • Chickens "peep" until at some point, their voices change to clucking. You can tell when they are full grown when their voices change.
  • Some chickens are "engineered" to grow very quickly, and are slaughtered for meat by six weeks. (I don't do this, I'm chicken.)
  • Chickens love to take baths - dirt baths that is. It will appear to be a seizure or death throe at first, but they are really just rolling and flapping about to get the dust all over them.
  • There is a "pecking order" amongst chickens. Caged, bigger chickens will kill chicks that are not their own, and must be separated. Free-ranged, the mom usually can keep the chick away from the bigger hens, and she will attack just about anything that tries to come near.
  • Big hens have been selectively bred to be not broody. Bantams love to be broody. The bantam that dropped her eggs recently continues to sit as if they are still there. Broody hens will eat and drink little for the 21 days incubation period.
  • Because they are sloppy and fed at will, their food attracts rodents. It's best to not keep them in a horse barn. (Horses rarely miss a morsel.)
Now you know.


Cloudia said...

now i know ;-]

Kristen Painter said...

Now I really want to touch a chicken foot.

pita-woman said...

Warm feet or not, I still have a bird phobia and have no desire to touch their feet.

Paula emailed me yesterday... she recently got 3 lt. green eggs from one of the chickens she named Iris.

debra said...

I knew that :-)

Kim in Crestwood said...

Our broody chickens act really weird.

Enjoyed the post--from one chicken owner to another. :)


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