Thursday, February 17, 2011

Do a dust bath, make a little love, get down tonight

My chickens are slowly adapting to the realities of confinement.

While none have tried to shank me, the rooster has given me the stink eye on more than one occasion. He has crowed at me while standing his ground. And he has tried to score with the ladies right in front of me.

These acts of aggression cannot stand.

When he behaves this way I haze him. That is to say, I point at him and call his name, or I take a step in his direction with an arm raised, or I step between him and the hens. That last one seems to have really bothered him.

Now when I open the pop door he leads them around behind the coop where I cannot see them. Today I was quick with the egg gathering so I stealthily peeked around the corner.

Oh the chickeny joy! It was a scene out of Imperial Rome! The ladies were lolling about with Sybaritic pleasure, languidly scooping dirt onto themselves at intervals. Mr. Big was having his way with one of the hens.

This went on for some time, so I slipped away before they noticed.

Now I feel dirty.

Update: I have tried my hand at creating dust bath containers for the chickens. They hated the litter box. They hated the raked area. They hated the sand-filled tire. They hated the round livestock water dish. The only thing that seems to please them are random depressions of their own construction, in which they place foot magnets to attract my feet. I suspect they are plotting against me.

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