Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The key to a chickens' heart.

Watermelon.  It's so simple it's brilliant actually.
Watermelon was the key that unlocked it all.
Over the course of the past couple of months as they became old enough,  I have tried offering various treats to the Cochin chickens.  Sunflower seeds, fresh shoots of grass,  alfalfa sprouts,   and grapes to name a few.   The first few times I brought something they would crowd around and peer at what was in my hand.  Nervously they would jostle for position until inevitably someone would get pushed forward only to squawk in sheer terror and run to the back of the run before returning to look over the shoulders of everyone else.   If I so much as flinched, everybody fled squawking with fright to the furthest corners of their universe.  Unfazed,  I would pick up the offending food monster and toss it in with the big chickens, who at this point will devour dirt if I toss it in the coop.
Semicircle of suspicion

  As time went on,  I would arrive and offer the treat,  some would form the semicircle and regard whatever vile thing I held in my hand with the deepest of suspicion.  Once the leg cramps set in, I would drop it on the ground and they would run amok, screaming something about how the food was going to eat them. 

The same thing happened with the watermelon, at first.    I walked in and knelt down, everyone gathered and stared at it waiting for it to jump up and attack, dance, do the funky chicken maybe.  Then they simply walked away one by one, not in the least bit interested or impressed.  I even broke off a few pieces and scattered it around  the large piece, and sure enough, one or two did peck at it, but then walked away.   Having already dropped a piece off in the big chicken pen, I decided to leave it there and went inside.  Later that evening Jeff noticed they had ate the watermelon down to nothing but the very outer rind.
Now when I go in the pen, I don't even get a chance to put my hand out before I am being rushed from all sides. They have discovered they like rice, squash, zucchini and noodles too.  But nothing is better than watermelon!

1 comment:

  1. that is so funny! I love the "semicircle of suspicion" LOL!!!! watermelon is great for mine too- especially now that it is getting hotter. Have you tried raisins? mine will do circus stunts for them ;0)