Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tame Chickens are Like Puppies

My (somewhat) new puppy follows me everywhere . . . back and forth as I feed and water my chickens, around the property as I dream up improvements to the 'ol homestead, and while I check on Goosey and Lucy, the geese and pet rabbit , Petal.

She's not alone, though. At any given time there are at least three hens and my rooster, Radio Flyer traipsing along just behind her. My neighbors get a good laugh, especially when I nearly fall on the little entourage as I forget something and do a sudden about-face.

They can't figure out how I get the chickens to become so tame, but I know it's the frequent handling, the offers of snacks, and the fact that I treat them as pets. Some people get chickens, keep themselves continuously separated from them by a fence, then wonder why they're flighty when they're taken to a show to be judged.

Chickens aren't the most intelligent of the animal kingdom, but they do seem to have an awareness and instinct about their environment and the humans and animals available to interact with. Once you gain their trust, it's almost impossible to keep them away from you. . . even when they're interfering with your productivity.

Giving your chickens just a little extra attention every day will turn them into loyal fun pets for years to come.  You've probably proven that yourself if you've been raising chickens very long.

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