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Why did the chickens cross the road?

thebighurt posted 10/25/2020 17:31 PM

I live in a rural area with a number of small farms and homes with good sized lots. There are few ordinances I know of restricting what animals one can keep on any properties, farm or not. No farms close to me but my two nearest neighbors on the other side of the road have chickens that are usually free range on their properties and sometimes cross the road to mine.

One has the usual barnyard varieties of them, but the one closer has an interesting mix. One in particular is white with what looks like long hair rather than feathers and another with several pretty colors and white on the head that is flowing.

Kinda interesting to watch, but I'm not really into them. And maybe they are eating bugs, ticks or whatever that would help? Every time I see that flock, I am reminded of a dear friend who is gone now who loved chickens and had some like that in her yard for as long as she was able. I recall watching them with her when she let them out like that in her back yard. She would talk to them the way one does to pets.

Maybe it's this virus and not seeing all that many people these days, but I enjoyed seeing them a bit more lately and having that reminder. So maybe the answer to my question is that they cross the road for a nice reminder of a beloved friend.

Jeaniegirl posted 10/25/2020 18:01 PM

That's nice. Absolutely nothing wrong with chicken watching or any kind of animal watching right now. It's actually comforting. I'd consider that chicken as a surrogate visit from your chicken loving friend.

J707 posted 10/25/2020 18:42 PM

I've seen 3 Turkeys in my suburban neighborhood running around and relaxing for about a month. I talk to them, any animal actually. I always have

number4 posted 10/25/2020 19:15 PM

She would talk to them the way one does to pets.

Our D and her H got five hens this year... in the middle of urban LA. She talks to them like pets, and is teaching them to come take food from her hands. We had an OLD Fisher Price chair that was part of the classic blue table and chairs set from the 1990s. We'd kept a couple around as H used one in his closet for when he'd put his shoes on in the morning. Anyway, we only really use one now, and she asked for the second one, so she can go in and sit down in the coop with them without sitting on the ground. I'm glad I was there when she was born, because otherwise, I'd question if this person actually came from me!

thebighurt posted 10/25/2020 19:25 PM

Thanks for responses.

I haven't seen the chickens much until lately but have had three hen turkeys and a half-dozen chicks to watch grow all summer. But that is only about a third of what I have had other years. Some days they spent most of the afternoon alternately sleeping and eating in the back yard.

Also several whitetail does. One had two Bambis that were different sizes but both had spots. Couldn't quite figure out how that happened. Spots gone now and they grew very fast. The fawns would jump around and play just feet from the window where I could watch.

Also some gray squirrels and chipmunks that can be fun to watch. But some not so fun, not so welcome varmints that do damage - raccoons and skunks. I can tell some nights the skunks are around by the smell even when they don't spray.

One night I heard noises out back so I snuck over, flipped on the back lights as I peeked out the edge of the patio door blinds. As I stretched my neck to look where the sound came from, a racoon stretched its neck to peek right back at me from the railing right in front of my face! I think it startled us both! But I don't know which was responsible for damaging my screen and leaving mud all over the patio doors.

thebighurt posted 10/25/2020 19:29 PM

Yeah, number4, you reminded me that my friend would cuddle the hens and hand feed them like that as she talked to them. She really loved them.

I know what you mean about wondering where some traits came from.

tushnurse posted 10/25/2020 21:01 PM

Crazy chicken lady here.
I love my birds. They all have personalities and be quite comical.
I tried to allow some free ranging but lost too many to predators.

Typically chickens will not go beyond site of their coop.

I had a silky roo once that was named Buddy by my son's GF. He would jump on my foot when I was in the yard and ride around. He was a cute boy.

I currently have a flock of meat bird and have the largest roo ever. He has been named Barry (as in Barry White) due to his deep tenor.

Superesse posted 10/25/2020 22:42 PM

OMGosh Tush, I got the Barry White reference! Are we showing our age??? You're so much younger than I am...I used to wonder how Low could he Go with that voice on the radio...how funny!!

I too have had chickens. Sweet creatures, if smelly and messy. (We only kept a few roosters, as people give them away after they get too many). Of the 3 we've kept, they were each very different personalities. We gave them original names: White Bird (Longhorn) Red Bird (Rhode Island Red) and Silver Bird (Ameraucana).

White bird was a fighter, attacked my husband's shoe whenever he'd put it up on the cage to "challenge" him. His voice was seriously raucous. He lived for 6 years, survived my dog's attack and a bad case of some kind of ear infection, until late in his old age, I made the stupid mistake of using cattle delouser (Imidicloprid), just a few drops on the back his neck for his mites. Our farmer told us he used it all the time...Maybe it was coincidence, but 10 days later he died and I watched him drop in his run! Buried him with a white hydrangea to mark the spot. We both missed his noisy ass.

Redbird had been left for dead by my dear Lab/Shepherd dog right after we acquired the roosters; he was busy trying to kill Whitebird by shaking him to break his neck, when I caught him. Redbird was found laying lifeless in the driveway. Well, amazingly, he perked up so we didn't notice the puncture wound the dog had left in the bird's left wing/chest area. It festered and --- TMI --- had to administer warm baths, use a lot of Gentian Blue and water-born vitamins to help him survive, but for months he had an open "zipper" down his midline, you could just pick up his wing and look at his bare breast! I truly couldn't believe he survived; but he was a gimpy bird the rest of his long life. He was the sweetest boy...cooing and talking when we'd go out there. One morning, found him dead in his coop with a slash across the back of his neck - a weasel got him! Buried him with a red spirea bush for a marker.

We only got Silverbird to keep Redbird company because we noticed after Whitebird died that he seemed lonely! I'd built a parellel run for the 2 birds and a mini house. Silverbird, pretty as he was, didn't have much "personality." We kept feeding him, I didn't want to get hens, and he lived another 2 years after Redbird passed. I felt bad about it. But he didn't seem to mind, so long as the food held out. When he died, I buried him under a log in the wooded lot nearby.

I put away my hand-built mini-house and haven't had the heart for more....

You guys are making me reconsider....loved the OP's sweet story!! Love our creatures.

number4 posted 10/25/2020 23:36 PM

Buried him with a white hydrangea to mark the spot.

Dear God, I hope no one who knows D reads this forum, because if they do, they'll know who I am. When D got her first three chicks back in the early summer, one of them didn't make it after a month. She came home to find her dead.

D actually researched and found a local pet crematory, and took the chick in for cremation. Then went back to pick up the ashes. I couldn't ask her what she did with the ashes.

Superesse posted 10/26/2020 00:59 AM

Well, maybe this story will balance the last one I offered: a friend of mine works at a poultry processing plant and she's a line inspector of the birds they slaughter...they "process" a whopping 300,000 chickens a day here in the poultry capital of the East Coast. Imagine looking at that much chicken meat and still eating it when you get home...

Yet, she raises a pretty flock of Rhode Island Reds she has free-ranging in the yard, and she enjoys them the way we do, too. She tells me the rate at which her home-raised birds grow is much slower than the ones from the "industrial" farmers. It's probably genetics as she adopted one of them and it grew so heavy it couldn't forage for itself, inside of a month!

Trying to wrap my head around that home hobby, after a day at work like she has, stretches my imagination...but she raises them for their eggs and meat, so she has to kill her birds to put in the freezer and feed her family.

Guess we are walking a fine line, here....

tushnurse posted 10/26/2020 08:04 AM

That is so sweet that you buried your birds.

I live in an area of the midwest that is hilly woods, and we have our fair share of predators. I quit trying to keep silkies, after the hawks and eagles were picking off flock one by one.

The others that I have lost have been to raccoons, foxes, and this year we had a real problem w/ a coyote, that I fully intended to shoot, we had loaded shotguns at the ready for weeks, and never got his sneaky ass. He took out far too many birds this year, and I told my H let's just take a break for a while. But a friend of a friend was transitioning from breeding these beautiful meat/show birds to pheasants, and gunieas. She gave us her flock, that are just super healthy and gorgeous, and with a couple roo's help to keep the worst of the predators at bay.

Until we had our own chickens, I never liked eggs. What a difference a fresh egg makes. This is why my H insists we have at least a few birds. To keep him in eggs. LOL.

thebighurt posted 10/26/2020 14:21 PM

Today the colorful flock from nearer to me were in my BACK yard as well as in the woods beyond the yard. First time I have noticed them even very far into my big FRONT yard. There is a shed on their property so maybe they keep them inside at night? There are definitely predators here. No coop over there. I wonder what they will do this winter?

She tells me the rate at which her home-raised birds grow is much slower than the ones from the "industrial" farmers.
I know there have been regulations against what hormones can be fed to chickens to speed up growth and/or laying eggs. I was thinking this could be the difference.
Until we had our own chickens, I never liked eggs. What a difference a fresh egg makes.
Again, hormones that speed up egg laying could make a difference over nature doing it. I have been in countries where things used here are forbidden and the eggs have a totally different, better taste. And residents there who have come here have noticed the difference the other way. Also, those places sell the eggs from store shelves, no refrigeration used for them.

[This message edited by thebighurt at 2:23 PM, October 26th (Monday)]

tushnurse posted 10/26/2020 15:24 PM

Again, hormones that speed up egg laying could make a difference over nature doing it. I have been in countries where things used here are forbidden and the eggs have a totally different, better taste

It has more to do w/ having a healthy diet, they get all the leftovers that don't get eaten, they eat mice, snakes, toads, frogs, and worms. Chicken farm chickens eat feed. Period. Chickens are truly little dinosaurs and need meat, and grains, and seeds.

number4 posted 10/26/2020 17:24 PM

Chickens are truly little dinosaurs and need meat, and grains, and seeds.

When it was really hot here (think 100+ days), my daughter would freeze some of her homemade yogurt into ice cube trays, and give them to the chickens. She said they loved them.

Like I said, glad I was there when she was born, so I knew she really came from me.

[This message edited by number4 at 8:47 PM, October 26th (Monday)]

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