I felt overwhelmed by the first chicken class. A great amount of information was presented. A lot of worst-case scenarios and a lot of diseases and illnesses that our chickens may never have.
Plus, this past week- for the first time- one of my chickens bit me on the thumb. The one that bit me is one of them that is looking a bit rooster-ish. I wanted to say to the chicken "haven't you ever heard don't bite the hand that feeds you?" Plus, they are turning into rude teenagers, pushing and shoving at feeding time to the point that it frightens me. To the point that I think they might hurt one another. I think the situation will be better once we move them outdoors but we've had so much rain and a lot of storms this past week that we haven't been able to finish the pen. (We were able to work on it this evening.) So I've been having some
One subject the chicken guru talked about this week was what kind of food you feed your chickens. She said it should smell good- like something you would want to eat, yourself. If it doesn't smell good, don't feed it to your chickens. She said you can even taste it if it is quality food and it isn't going to hurt you. She told us that if your chickens aren't getting enough protein that they might not lay well or the eggs might not have good shells or a yolk. She said not to let your chicken fill up on junk food like cracked corn or white bread- that it is like giving them candy. A lot of empty calories. She said seeds and grain are good. Black oil sunflower seeds make the feathers shine.
The chicken guru shows chickens so after class she gave a chicken a bath that sothat we might learn how. You need to use tepid water, not hot or cold. You put your soap first, then rinse in the second bucket. The third rinse you can put a bit of vinegar in to cut the soap. She used dog shampoo for fleas and ticks.
|You lookin' at me?|
|showing us how to check a vent|
|how to wash a chicken|
|scrubbing his feet with a toothbrush|
Then to dry the chicken, she rolled it in a towel.
|rolling the chicken in a towel|
When we got home Doug asked me if I thought I would ever wash one of my chickens. I said "well, I'm not going to say no because one thing I've learned is that every time I say I'm not going to do something- I end up doing it. But I think it is unlikely."
My new worries include wondering if my chickens already have mites and if the pen and room they will be in will be big enough- because in class she covered what will happen if they don't have enough space. I'm sure once they are moved outdoors everything will be fine. If not, I'll just call or email the woman with the PhD!