There's bound to be plenty!
I've never owned chooks but I've heard the odd story along the way.
Friend up the road when I lived in town, had a motley collection of chooks including some Silkies.
The chooks got up in the morning, walked up the many steps to her back door and sat there waiting for handouts.
Evening came and they put themselves to bed. The door to their pen was never closed, so they were able to 'get up with the chooks and go to bed with the chooks'.
Middle of the night, there was a terrific kerfuffle. A neighbour's dog had got into the chook run and was creating merry hell. My friend shot out of bed and roared around the yard chasing this dog.
Her neighbour (the one who owned the dog) just about had a heart attack on the spot.
My friend slept in the raw. It was weeks before her neighbour could look at her again.
My mother in law is phobic of birds...anything birds! She came to visit one day when I had the girls out free ranging. Little did she know, if she stood at the back door and opened it, that was the girl's signal they were about to get some scraps. All 9 of them flew as fast as they could to the back door....she nearly had a heart attack!
I have attack chooks!
(We may have spoiled the girls a tad when they were just babies - not that they are huge yet).
I've noticed that when we enter the run, the girls launch themselves at us. It does tend to give you a start, especially when they head towards your eyes.
Well, until you work out they're actually headed towards your shoulders.
I swear it was cute when they were little!
Since they are a flock animal who does what they are told by a leader (like dogs) maybe a little arm's length might help. They probably see you as one of their number and not as their leader. Not ever having had chooks, I can't prescribe a 'remedy'. If it were dogs, then some obedience training would help to establish you as their leader. 'Pecking order' is no joke, it's exactly the way chooks work out their order of precedence. There is no equality in the chook yard anymore than there is equality in the dog pack.
Don't get me wrong Elaine. I am clearly alpha bird. Just a mumma one. They're trying to cuddle up - which was cute when they were chicks - but I am gunna end up with full grown chooks on my arms! LOL.
That's what I mean - what is cute in puppyhood (or chick-hood) can be downright dangerous with adults. Chooks have quite big toenails (claws) and sharp beaks and they always will try on to see who is boss. Chook-discipline is not my field :-( maybe someone on BLF skilled in chook psychology can offer insights.
My damn yard is turning into a prison!
Today I found two of the girls in the aquaponics grow bed. Jeez, my perpetual spinach got slaughted! I'm ending up with damn wire around everything. It's starting to look like Austwitch out there....
In other chookie news, they are producing 2 eggs a day now which is pretty good.
Is it evil to tell your chickens that they'll end up as dinner at this rate?
A little persuasion of the oven or compost bin sort never went astray. They may not understand English but they do understand an intent.
Now you know why a lot of folk with only a backyard at their disposal, keep their chooks within their own yard. Like cats are supposed to be these days, you could make a 'day run' for the chooks - a moveable one perhaps where they can scratch and not bother your plants. So that way they get some almost-free ranging but keep their claws and beaks to themselves.
I'm only grateful they are not the size of my Huskies, Elaine! Can you imagine??!!!
LOL. Just tell people your chickens are "Trained Ratter Chookers." Cost you a fortune to pay the Chicken Whisperer, but well worth the money....
Yes, apparently that's my parents philosophy too... instead of enclosing the chooks, they enclose the deck because they were on the deck otherwise .... so the chooks have the entire backyard to themselves...
I have an ISA Gold. That's right.... gold, not brown!
One of my girls loves me more than the others. In fact, she loves people more than the others. I frequently cuddle her. I've caught My Rozie giving her secret snuggles. Hell, the other day I looked out the window to see my German Home Stay student patiently stroking her with a smile on his face. My little Ruby is better stress relief than any drug on offer.
However, Ruby is very sick. I took her to a bird vet today. All of the obvious things have been done: crop is not blocked but she is eating, she's been wormed, her diet is good, x-rays show no obvious egg binding or eating of nails/screws etc. In case of some injury we can't see, she is now taking pain killers by beak (kid you not). She's tucked up in a special bed in the laundry tonight.
I reckon she is the only $8 chick in Brisbane that is now worth $258!
Can't imagine why I call her an Isa Gold.