Chook antics

No matter how bad things get in the world, if you’ve got chooks, there’s always something to laugh about.

I was pruning off the lower branches from the stand of Blackwood wattles down in the back corner, when I noticed that the bed of fallen, decaying leaves under them was several inches thick.

They were damp after the recent rain and scrunching around in them, I found lots of little creepy-crawlies.

The Girls will like these I thought, and went to get the wheelbarrow.

I’m starting to think that heritage breed chooks are Very Highly Strung. I’ve only got to sneeze near them and my three practically go into cardiac arrest. When a neighbour was helping me out recently with some chainsawing near their run, they were beside themselves with fear at the noise (Oh, for a placid Isa Brown that will sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her!).

So when I dumped the barrowload of leaves into their playground they took one look and bolted into the corner, waiting for it to explode and blow them to smithereens.

When the pile showed no sign of doing that, they ventured out one by one to look at this strange new phenomenon. One of them gave an experimental scratch and leaves went flying. That was it… was one in, all in! The pile of leaves was reduced to a thin layer over the entire playground. They had a ball!

One of them caught a large moth. She ran with it, wings flapping (the moth, not her). The others ran after her, the three of them doing wheelies around the pile of logs in the centre.

She wanted to put it down to deal with it, but didn’t dare. She knew she’d lose it. Eventually she did lose it and the chase started anew. I thought, at least they’re getting some exercise which is good for them (I doubted the moth thought so).

Next day, I got them another barrowload. This time they were ready. They knew it wasn’t going to explode and they knew there was food in there! They dived in and the chase was on again. This time it was big brown grubs.

I could watch their antics all day, but unfortunately there’s work to be done.


4 Responses to “Chook antics”

  1. narf77 Says:

    Like you we have realised the fun value of chooks. We have predominately Wyandotte girls (and Big Yin the rooster) here and our blue laced Wyandotte girl Effel (Effel Doocark for her full name…) has managed to keep 7 of her initial 12 babies that she hatched out just on a month ago. We are starting to suspect that Wyandottes are NOT the brightest sparks in the cable. Whenever they hatch anything out at all, they tend to be only able to keep a single chick. Effel and her 7 babies follow me everywhere because in Effels mind Human = food. A large rotten tree fell down on the boundary fence the other day and we were clearing it up today and found some very large borer grubs. As Effel was hanging about expectantly, we gave her the grubs that we found and she had a fantastic time feeding them to her chicks. You certainly learn about life when you watch chooks. Ours are free range during the day but we have a 4 acre property and they go into their roost at night to be closed in. We don’t have foxes in Tasmania so we don’t have to worry about them and so our chooks have a carefree life apart from when the white gosshawk comes to visit but that…is another story…


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I just love Effel Doocark for a chook name. The mind boggles!

      You are so lucky not to have foxes over there. I’d love to let my 3 out to free range but I just don’t dare.


      • narf77 Says:

        We do have quolls here, but at night. I have a chicken coop where my lot head to at night time… that is apart from the 5 ferals and their 7 little brothers and sisters that were born to Houdini the hen who kept disapearing and emerging weeks later (long after we thought that she was dead) with a clutch of babies. We call them “the ferals” and we have 2 generations of them now. Goodness only knows what we are going to do when we have to start hunting down the roosters and ‘removing’ them to return peace to the property…we will deal with that when the need arises! Effel doocark and her 7 babies spent the afternoon out on the woodpile with me inserting their beaks in between each and EVERY chop for the termites that were flying out. I am NOT the best chopper and so Effel is lucky to be still alive! The babies went from fearing me to sitting on my hand as I was chopping the wood and I have 7 new adoring devotees that materialise as soon as I set foot outside the gate…oh well…better be loved than feared! Have a great weekend šŸ™‚


  2. Jason Dingley Says:

    They are wonderful aren’t they. Our tractor is currently parked near our pergola where we sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea. Tea breaks now seem to last a long time as we are mesmerised by the chickens. It’s better than TV. I like it when one jumps down from the perch on top of another. I don’t know if it is intentional or just poor flying.


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