Friday, July 21, 2017

How smart are chickens?

If you've been around chickens any length of time there's no doubt you've heard someone go on and on about how smart their chickens are. Some people have trained their chickens to come when called, do tricks and even run obstacle courses. You've probably also heard someone complaining about how stupid their chickens are. So, which is it?

Personally, I have chickens that come when called and know their own names. Most flocks that free range are coop trained to come back at night. If nothing else, almost all chickens learn what the treat bag looks like or know what door you come out when you have treats and come running when they see you.

Are chickens smart?

Everyone with backyard chickens and a garden will tell you how chickens are smart enough to see what's in the garden and plot how to get to it by going over, under or even through the fencing. That takes a bit of reasoning, or maybe a whole lot of trial and error...either way, it's not stupid!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

How to keep your chickens cool in summer

In the hottest days of summer I often worry about my chickens and how they are handling the heat. Chickens can die of heat stroke so of course I want to do everything in my power to help keep them cool. Luckily, it's pretty easy to tell when chickens are getting overheated.

When chickens got hot they pant and hold their wings away from their body. They tend to seek out cool spots to rest and don't bunch up together as much. Once you see these symptoms you know its time to go into emergency cooling mode! However, the best results are in prevent overheating to begin with. These are the 14 things I do to prevent overheating in chickens.

prevent heat stroke chickens

1) Extra water bowls: in summer I fill all their normal watering stations plus leave large dog bowls full of cool, clean water absolutely everywhere. Try to keep waterers in the shade so the water stays cool longer. I like using dog bowls since they are deep enough for the chickens to drop their wattles in to help cool themselves. Providing lots of cool, clean water is the number one way to prevent heat stress in chickens!

2) Bobbing for berries: If the chickens don't seem to be drinking enough, float some ice and berries in a bowl of water and let them at it. Some berries float and some sink, but the chickens eat them all and afterwards they seemed a whole lot cooler. I also tried this with frozen peas and they gobbled them up just the same. Plus I used up all the fruit that has been going bad way too fast in this heat!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Unique chicken themed gifts for the crazy chicken lady

If there is one thing I get a lot of, it's chicken themed gifts. I'm pretty sure that when somebody decides to get me a gift for any occasion they just think "chickens" in a eureka sort of moment and that's how the gift is chosen. Either that or theres a chicken farmer gift store somewhere that I don't know about!

I'm not complaining at all! I have some really great items in my chicken collection. I have chicken Christmas ornaments, chicken statues and a chicken jewelry box. I have an adorable chicken charm for my bracelet and several Murano glass chickens (that choice is kind of a twofer in my case!) 

Crazy Chicken Lady

I have accumulated chicken pictures and chicken pitchers. They really are different ya know? Stuffed chickens and rubber duckies in every shape and size. Funny chicken signs and coffee mugs. Clothing with chickens on it and dish towels with chickens on them too. I even have a crochet chicken oven mitt and a life size handmade crepe paper and burlap rooster from somewhere in South America. His name is Rodney, don't judge me!   

Whew, that's a lot of chickens! I does bring me to my point though. If you or someone you know are a crazy chicken lady like me, you might need an appropriately themed gift. Whether you're celebrating Christmas in July or just have a birthday coming up you'll find unique chicken gifts on this list that are perfect for the crazy chicken lady in your life!

Friday, June 30, 2017

4 coop additions I can't live without!

Admittedly, I have a lot of chicken coops. 5 to be exact. I have all different sizes and shapes of coops. In all my chickens coops I have my favorite additions in each one. Each coop has things about them that I love and things I absolutely hate, but there are 4 additions we've made to our coops that I just can't live without! 

chicken coop additions

Whether it be ease of cleaning, predator protection or a time convenience, every one of these 4 coop additions makes taking care of my chickens just a bit easier. Now don't get me wrong, I like extras like sitting areas in the coop and window boxes but those aren't really things I need...these are!

Washable nest boxes: whether you buy or build your nest boxes you want them to be easily cleaned. Inevitably you'll have a chicken decide to sleep in the nest box and poop all inside it. If you're lucky it'll land on the bedding and you can just scoop it out. If not, they'll manage to smear it every where! 

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