Friday, April 10, 2009

Crazy preening instinct


Chickens are pretty funny animals.
One of the silliest instincts is the "you just touched my bottom, I'm going to preen you" instinct. I was trimming dirty feathers today on Snowneck's rump (Snowneck sometimes poops damp manure which sticks to her feathers) and she started preening! I have no idea if she was preening me on purpose or not but it tickled and was scratchy at the same time.
One of the joys of raising chickens is trying to figure out what they are doing and saying.
Actions speak louder than words when you're a hen.

Important! Please read.
Since Easter is coming up I thought I should warn you about the dangers of visiting a feed store. They often stock chicks near Easter and those little fuzzballs are hard to resist!
Way too many people buy chicks without thinking and lose interest when the cotton balls turn into teenagers. Think before you buy.
Buy a book such as Keep Chickens! and read every page carefully. If you still want the birds, the next step is buying a chick feeder, chick waterer, feed and heat lamp (you can buy the grown-up feeder and waterer later if you want). At home set up the brooder.
And get a chicken house up as soon as possible! We like our Henspa but it is pretty expensive.

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If you have a chicken question, I highly recommend that you visit BackyardChickens.com. There are some brilliant people there, and they can almost certainly answer your questions better than I can.