What do you do when your garden grows too many vegetables or the lettuce overgrows and is a little bitter? You make a rockin’ Chicken Snack! We just string the vegetables together, hang them up and let the ladies have at it.
One again the girls are nervous like they have been with other treats but they finally relax and eventually strip the string clean! YUM! What a special and healthy snack!
Greens are especially good for chicken health. They love them too!
Check the ladies out eating their snack on their YouTube Channel:
If you saw my last blog entry you would have seen our ladies NOT try our delicious apple treat we hung in their run. Why you ask? Because they are chicken! No, I didn’t call them chickens….. I called them CHICKEN!
COME ON LADIES!
We tried to give another treat to you today but when we tossed little flakes of the cabbage for you to try, you RAN AWAY! WHAT’S UP WITH THAT ?!!
We found that letting the chickens out in our back yard results in a complete disaster of a lawn. Every chicken we’ve had scratches up not only the grass, but also every plant and root within their reach. After destroying one of our flower beds we made the decision to bring unwanted grass and weeds to them instead!
Whether we have grass clippings from mowing the lawn or weeds that we pulled out of the garden beds, we toss it in a pile in the chicken run so they can have at it. I’m sure there are a lot of tasty bugs in there too since we never use chemicals in our yard.
See them scratch away on the ladies YouTube channel:
UGH The ladies are still at each other’s throats! We are having a tough time stopping them from pecking at each other! I thought since it finally warmed up and the days had gotten longer they would have more fun time and enjoy life!
But NOOOO, they would rather stalk each other and grab a mouthful of feathers instead!
That being said we are researching ways to keep these crazy chickens busy! So today we are going to make a Swinging Apple Treat! First, tie a string from the ceiling. We have a wood beam in the middle of the run we tie rope around. Drill a hole through or core an apple and put the string through it. Handy hubby cut a piece of wood into a round disc and drilled a hole through the center. So now you take that string and put it through the top of the apple, down through the hole in the disc and tie a knot at the end so it holds the disc under the apple. If your string is too thin you can tie a stick at the bottom to keep it from slipping back out.
Anyway, once you are done you pick a few pieces off the apple so the chickens can have a taste, then let it swing!
Of course our jumpy ladies are scared to death of anything they haven’t seen before! Oh well, back to the drawing board, looking for more things for them to do!
I can hear them saying “Hey, it’s getting a little crowded in here!!” Unfortunately it’s still cold outside and these little girls need to stay inside for another few weeks. So what can we do to make things better? Let’s let them eat out for a change!
This brooder came with troughs to hang on the outside to save space. There are metal pieces you can adjust to make sure the chicks can stick their heads out but not their entire bodies. We decided to give it a try.
First, we opened up the slides to let them investigate. It took awhile for them to get brave enough to poke their beaks through. Then we added the troughs filled with food. Opening the slides once again, they quickly got to it. They devoured the food like they hadn’t been fed for a week! Little monsters act like we are starving them!
After they filled up they started getting picky about their food. Instead of just eating they started pecking through it and tossing about pieces they didn’t care for. Guess where it landed…..ON THE FLOOR!. What a mess! We are now spending a lot of time vacuuming to avoid attracting mice.
But hey…..they have more room! It won’t last for long. They are growing way too fast. We are going to have to build a bigger brooder soon.
Check out our trough test, feeding the chicks outside the brooder on their YouTube Channel:
Trying to get Penguin healthy again I contacted the vet who suggested extra protein and calcium to help her. So I thought…..how do I get extra calcium in her diet? I heard a rumor that chickens love yogurt. I’ll give it a try. Of course it has to be plain, organic yogurt.
I started with just a spoonful and dipped Penguin’s break into it. At first she seemed irritated, but once she got a taste she went crazy and started gulping it down! I put a small dish in her cage and watched as her face got covered in yogurt! She tried everything to get it off her face. Wiping her face in her bedding and rubbing the sides of her cage was not helping. I even tried to help her but she wouldn’t let me touch her. I finally gave up, laughed and took a little video instead.
Watch as Penguin deals withe her yogurt on the hens’ YouTube Channel:
We had more requests for eggs this last week for Easter but had to disappoint everyone with the ladies still not fully up to speed on egg laying. So we decided they needed more entertainment.
Poor Stewart, the new rooster, is too much of a gentleman during snack time. He patiently waits for the ladies to get their fill before he eats. Unfortunately they never leave anything for him!
I thought we would kill two birds with stone……well not exactly how I should phrase that! BUT I wanted to give Stewart a chance to get his favorite snack, sweet peppers, while entertaining the ladies to make them happier. Happy chickens lay more eggs, right?
So I created a different kind of Easter Egg hunt. I scattered sliced sweet peppers Everywhere in the run, opened the coop door and let them make a mad dash out to find their snacks. “Go Stewart!” I cheered many times but every time he put his head down one of the ladies ran up and he’d back up as if saying “its all ours!”. Then he got……distracted. After all, he is a 1 year old testosterone driven rooster! Need I say more.
Once again, Stewart did not get any sweet peppers. Poor Stewart.
Watch the Easter Egg Hunt on the ladies’ YouTube Channel:
There is nothing worse than bored hens. The saying that someone is hen pecked came from reality in the hen house! The ladies can be soooo mean to each other, pecking any open spot on their bodies, plucking feathers and in some cases jumping on top of another hen!
It is so important to keep chickens occupied with interesting things to stop the torture. Food is always a good one. With a big vegetable garden we always have interesting leftovers for them, including the weeds we pull. But today we are removing weed block fabric from our garden rows. Guess what was living under them? A ton of crickets!
Nothing can be more exciting than treats that run away from you! So we collected up a bunch of crickets and tossed them in the run. They had a ball.
Unfortunately by the time I pulled out the camera, the hype had already warn off.
Now we have to find something else to keep them busy!
It’s 95 degrees today and the poor girls look very hot. Beaks hanging open, meandering around trying to find a spot in the deep shade. I knew this hot summer day was coming so pre-made a little treat that would help cool them off when the time came.
I found recipes from a few other blogs and decided to try it out. With many different types of cake pans I couldn’t resist making a frozen treat in a Christmas tree cake pan. It reminded me of the freezing cold winter which sounds pretty good right now!
The pan was filled with berries and chopped apples, then water was poured in until the pan was full. Sitting in the freezer for a couple days made it rock hard. This was perfect for crazy hot hens with fierce pointy beaks. They also needed a little entertainment.
The chickens are usually scared of anything new in their space and this was no different. They were so reluctant to walk up to it I had to encourage them by sprinkling their favorite scratch on it.
They carefully snuck up on the tree and delicately pecked off the scratch. Once they realized it wasn’t going to bite them it was a hit! The goal became to get through the ice to get themselves a berry. When one of the hens got to one they picked it up and immediately ran across the other side of the run with the others in chase! Rather than peck for their own berry, they’d rather steal the one everyone is after!
Silly girls. But at least their cool treat cooled them off!
Watch the girls as they try out their treat on their YouTube Channel:
We have a new way to keep the girls from getting bored! Lots of buzz on the web, and you know what? It’s a healthy snack to boot! It’s a new sport! Cabbage Tetherball! Drill a hole in a cabbage, string through the center and tie it up. It’s that easy.
This is new to to the girls so it’s taking a little for them to figure it out. The buffs were the first ones to pick it up. They are now monopolizing it. What a cheap, easy way to get them focused on other things besides pecking.
You can watch them try it out for the first time on What the Flock Chickens YouTube Channel: