Sunday, February 26, 2012

Manicure #2

Most people would never bother to wonder if chickens like having their claws trimmed. If you by chance are one of the few who do, let us tell you...........They dont. Thanks to a recent article in "Chickens" magazine (March/ April 2012 issue), we learned a super useful technique for trimming their claws without drawing blood and unleashing coop cannibalism. The trick is to shine a flashlight through the claw to see where the "quick" (the vein in the claw nail) stops. Once you try it, you can see it clear and distinct, and see exactly where to cut. It worked like a charm. The flock is now neatly manicured and their scary, t-rex-like claws are back under control.

Having your flock living in a coop that is surfaced with pine shavings on top of linoleum doesnt allow for the natural wearing down of the claws that would otherwise take place from scratching around in dirt. We learned that we have to pay extra attention to claws getting too long, and the price for negligence is a not-so-happy time spent trying to hold onto a flapping, flailing chicken while your assistant tries to cut the wickedly overgrown claws without injury to chicken or human. As usual, after a generous serving of treats, all is forgiven....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Backyard Chicken Supplies

The world of backyard chicken keeping has officially changed for better!!! Today Jeff and I were picking up bedding for the girls, when feed in "backyard poultry" sizes caught my eye. Now the girls would go throw this way too fast to make it worth it for us, but it is still an exciting development .

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Egg eating?

As we approach the chickens' second birthday, one thing we have learned during our many adventures with indoor chicken keeping is to always expect the unexpected. The girls haven't eaten their eggs in over a year and half...until last week. We came home twice in one week to find half eaten eggs in their nesting box. There is nothing like seeing dried egg yolk in their pin to remind you that they are here to be productive and useful not just pets. If we wanted an animal that was for companionship, we would have a cat or dog, but we have chickens. Chickens who have a job to do! The egg eating seems to have stopped for now, but I hope it doesn't start up again. At some point, we will have to face the possibility of having to eat the chickens which would be hard after living together for two years, but I hope that option doesn't have to come any sooner.