I just came in from locking the chickens in their run. It is a daily evening ritual, when they come in from free-ranging around our property to the protection of a fenced chicken yard. This yard is attached to the coop and provides protection from critters who become more active in the waning daylight. There they will pick around at scratch I have provided until they decide it is time to head for the coop for the night.
Chickens seem pretty smart as they quickly conditioned to this ritual. When I come out at this time of the day they come running from where ever they are for their treat, scratch. Occasionally I have to call them, but they quickly coming running as they know about the reward. Scratch is cracked corn and other seeds that is the chicken version of crack. I spread this out in the yard so they have to work for it and everyone in the crowd gets a little. I then I top of their chow feeders and water for the next day. It is a perfect set up for me. It gets them out of harm’s way as it get dusk and it fills their crop (stomach) so they don’t dawdle before heading to roost for the night. I also get time to checkout the ladies and make sure their isn’t any problem going on with one of them.
Tonight one of the “littles”, as we call our 2011 additions who are no longer little, was comedic in try to get in the run. A weather front was coming in and the wind was howling. Little Rock would start and then for some reason would decided that she did not want to run head into the wind. She would turn around and the wind would catch her wings. Chicken wings being worthless and having almost no muscles were nothing more than sails the wind caught. Once the wind would catch her, it would blow her off her feet. She would get up and start running to the coop again only to repeat this over and over. Some times the wind would not just blow her off her feet, she would tumble head over heels. I wished I had a video to capture this as it was one of those times it was very clear what one means when they call someone a “bird brain” Eventually I went and picked her up and brought her in. The other birds all made it into the run, does this mean that even bird brains have some who’s brain is a little smaller than the rest?