"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Monday, September 28, 2009

Be Happy, Get Chickens!

This is my Cuckoo Maran rooster, settling down in a nest box and acting like a hen. Yes, a hen! He snuggles down, turns a circle or two, clucks quietly and settles..as if HE will be laying an egg. I have seen him do this many times and am always intrigued. Most of the time he is a proper rooster, strutting and courting the hens. He does rule the roost. Then, some days I find him behaving as if he has eggs to lay and tend, and he will knock the hens out of the nest boxes so he can set...go figure.
Here is my frizzled bantam cochin rooster. He has a few hens of his own and seems to be quite the gentleman.
He will choose a cedar shaving, pluck it up in his beak, and wiggle and bob as he dances around the hens. Then he passes the shaving to a hen, takes it back and does this to another hen. What is this? A dance? A rooster dance?What does it mean?
The hens are checking out a prospective nesting box. ( note: I use kitty litter boxes for my nesting bantams) Wonder what they are thinking.You know, my bantam hens are constantly stealing eggs from each other and they will even roll eggs out of big nest boxes and across a pen to set on and hatch as their own. They LOVE to be mama hens.
My chickens fascinate me. They come up with all sorts of antics and behavior I have never read about, but I know anyone who keeps chickens must be seeing many of the things I observe. There is so much more to animals' behavior and thought processes than we read and hear about. Anyone who keeps a dog, cat, bird , or any kind of pet they observe even a little bit knows this! "If you search the world for happiness, you may find it in the end, for the world is round and will lead you back to your door." Robert Brault We have chickens in the back area of our property, they are funny and when I need a break, a laugh ,or to just put things into perspective, I get a cup of coffee and sit on a bench near our chicken pens to just watch them. They make me happy. Really, everyone ahould have some chickens!

21 comments:

LindaSueBuhl said...

I know our cluckers have provided some head scratching moments - we see them do things and wonder why they'd want to do that? I love the song our hens let out when they lay their eggs. Didn't know how much we'd enjoy the cluckers until we'd had them a while - now they are a part of our little routine. No roosters here - just egg laying hens.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Chickens have always fascinated me as well but I don't want any. With a Jack Russell Terror there would be mayhem involved -smile-. I do enjoy chicken song...love hearing them when they are at peace, so soothing and calming.
Love the quote as well; good post!

Mildred said...

Very interesting to read about your chickens. I had no idea they had so much "personality." It must be very entertaining to sit and watch and try to figure out some of their antics!

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I LOVE having a few chickens! Oh, the stories I tell about the antics of my chicks! We currently have 10 hens ans 1 rooster. We THOUGHT we had 8 Buff Orpington and 3 Cuckoo Maran, BUT...I am getting 2 blue eggs a day now, so it seems we have some imposters in the house!

Susie said...

Love free entertainment Kathy. I guess every kind of animal in God's kingdom has it's own language. Too bad we don't understand it all.

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Maybe your Cuckoo Maran has gotten in touch with his feminine side! I just love your beautiful chickens. I don't see the kind you have in this area. Mostly just the plain farm kind like Rhode Island Reds, and such are what the feed store sells. I am thinking about ordering from McMurray coming next year to get something different and pretty. Your words are so right on how animals behave. Have a blessed week, blessings,Kathleen

Vickie said...

Good morning- I love seeing your chicken pictures. I'm sure lots of our animal friends would have much to teach us and entertain us with if only we'd stop and pay attention. I'm a big animal lover - just about any kind - I let my middle son have snakes, iguanas, tarantulas & scorpions. We had fun with them and I was Mom of the Century! (altho a few of my friends thought I was crazy and wouldn't come to my house during those reptilian days!)

Southern Comfort said...

I grew up with farm animals but I didn't make pets out of them. Now that I am older, I've learned that animals are much smarter than I thought and they all "talk" and have individual personalities. I'm glad I learned that before it was too late. Now I love animals and enjoy watching them so much. I think I need to get some chickens again.

Mary said...

Your birds are very photogenic. It must be relaxing to sit and watch them go through their paces every day. I hope you are having a great day.

Julie Harward said...

Loved it! My chickens make me happy too...the hens drive for motherhood is so powerful. Our two horses play tug-a-war with a stick every afternoon..very cute and smart. Maybe your rooster and hens are playing a game. Thanks for sharing! :D

Mary said...

I miss raising chickens. They do have their own personalities.

Mr. Rooster seems to want to be in charge. Even if that means lettimg down his manship. :)

Leslie said...

I couldn't agree more. My chickens have been a great addition to my life. I have had many, many laughs thanks to them. You have very pretty chickens.

I have had many different pets throughout my life and I have always been fascinated with figuring out what they are doing and why. When I sit, observe and listen I start to see that they are not just random sounds and movements. They are communicating, they are actually thinking, they have a purpose to their weirdness.

KathyB. said...

LindaSue, chickens almost purr when they are setting, don't they? Love the big clucks and squeals they make when they lay an egg too.

Thistle Cove, those Jack Russells, don't they know chickens are not vermin? Our youngest son and his wife have 2 of them and I like their JR's.They don't have chickens either.

Mildred, poultry are highly underrated for their entertainment value, plus, there are always the benefits of fresh eggs for breakfast.

FarmGirl Cyn, I have some Americaunas too and hope to get blue and green eggs soon. Will you show a picture of which hen lays blue eggs when you figure it out? We always noticed the Americaunas that might look like anther breed of chicken usually had green shanks and "Cleopatra Eyes".

Susie, I think we'd be the wiser if we did understand more of what animals say in their own way.

Kathleen, ha ha! Yes, his feminine side. Well, he does spend his days surrounded by 11 hens, guess it helps!I got this rooster from Murray McMurray 2 years ago.

Vickie, I have always kept pets, and had lizards, frogs,and turtles growing up. I let my sons keep the pets they wanted often their bedroom smelled like the terrariums in it...that did not keep spiders or tarantulas though I am scared of them, I would probably have let the boys keep them. You are a good and brave Mom.

Southern Comfort,you DO need chickens.They add so much and require so little.

Mary, I was just outside awhile ago watching them as I drank a cup of coffee. They are relaxing for me to watch. Thank-you, I am having a nice day. ( I'm making chicken soup and home made bread for dinner)

Julie, you HAVE to video your horses playing like that and post it on your blog!

Mary, maybe Mr. Rooster is showing the gals just how HE thinks they should set.That would be the male thing to do...supervise and instruct!

Leslie, they DO have a purpose in their weirdness, don't they? I remember you talking about your chicks playing and also your turtles, have they gone into hibernation yet?

Nancy M. said...

I agree! They are such fun to watch! They each have their own quirky personalities. I love your frizzles, so cute!

KathyB. said...

Nancy, I know you love your chickens. I think you spoil them too!

A. Joy said...

It doesn't take very long before you too can speak chicken. Pretty easy to figure out what clucks and growls mean what. I can speak chicken and when I need them to start laying eggs ( because they haven't been lately ) just start clucking " cook - cook - cook - CHICKEN! "

noble pig said...

Okay this is funny stuff. I never thought of chickens as being entertaining but I was completely entertained by these stories.

KathyB. said...

A.Joy, funny! But we know this really does work, I have threatened them with the soup pot before and lo and behold...they began laying eggs again. I think they understand humans too.

Noble Pig,for real entertainment you have to watch chicks playing "football", it is hilarious and I could watch that kind of football a long time!

audrey y said...

Kathy, I don't think I ever told you that my mom really loved chickens. She liked their looks and the sounds they make...even the roosters when she would rather have slept.

The Cuckoo Maran rooster of yours is something to see. I'd like to see him in the flesh...so to speak...sometime. The other one resembles a black mop...really different. Chickens clucking do have a comfy sound.

I'm going to have to pay more attention to your feathered friends

Audrey

kenleighacres said...

Chickens are so much fun! My friend has a hen that lays eggs and crows like a rooster :) I'm still trying to figure out what my babies are - hens or roosters. Yours are lovely!

Daisy said...

What a fun post, Kathy. I didn't know chickens would steal each other's eggs. I always learn something when I visit here.