Friday, February 25, 2011

Soccer fans on the farm?

I have an exhibitionist on the farm.

I didn't notice it immediately, but she caught my eye the other day as she went dashing by like a streaker at a soccer match. Her bare pink backside shockingly exposed.

One of my hens is plucked to perfection. However, after some quick research it appears it is not uncommon at this time of year. I checked her for parasites, and she has none. Just a plucked clean bald area.

She is feeling "cooped up" it seems.

Chickens at this time of year begin to crave the freedom of summer, and the chance to roam far and free. They tire of the enclosed run area, and want a good leg stretch.  How do you explain to them that there is still a foot of snow on the ground, and that their legs are no match for the ice blocks that still litter the grass?

And so, in her boredom - she plucks herself.  I suppose it started with one feather and then another, and over time perhaps she kept trying to even things out. But now she has a bald spot.  She is a Golden Laced Wyandotte, and I am told that it is common for this breed. I wonder why? Why not the Red Sex Links, or the Barred Rocks?

I have begun to think of ways to keep them amused. Yesterday it was whole green peppers, today some whole lettuce heads. Something to bat around the enclosure like a soccer ball for fun.

I mean, since she seems to mimic the soccer fans, I thought "why not?"

I have begun to see a business opportunity in "chicken toys".  Whole warehouses full of toys to amuse your snowbound chickens.

Spring can't come soon enough - for the hens or I!

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