Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Chickens love watermelon
Chickens love watermelon, with a passion. These were just our leftover rinds, with only a bit of red. Last year we bought an over-mushy melon by mistake, and they ate the whole thing: chicken heaven.
I had figured that the black and white chickens were Dominiques, but now I'm not so sure. Dominiques (or Domineckers, as they are called here) have a rose comb, and these don't appear to be headed in that direction. The female on the right as a lot of whitish feathers on her front, but the others don't. The feathers on the back of their necks seem to be changing from black-and-white to brown-and-white.
My husband says they're probably all just mutt chickens. The three remaining excess cockerels haven't made it to the stew pot yet. They're not fighting, or even crowing, so far, but it's just a matter of time. For now though, they are helping decrease the insect population in the yard. This little flock roams further afield than others we've had.
I hate the fact that after the cockerels are culled, we'll have one tiny flock of two chickens and another tiny flock of three. "Can't we all just get along" is not a sentiment that's shared by chickens, apparently. The older birds just won't have anything to do with the younger ones. They treat them as if they were another species entirely. I wonder, if one of the older ones dies... will the remaining one prefer to spend her time alone, or will she try to join the younger flock? I'm guessing the latter.
The one on the right is lowest in the pecking order. The other chickens chase her from the food at times. But I've taken a tip from some people and started offering bugs that I find in the garden to the chickens. This gal is the one who comes running the fastest, for her caterpillar treat. Now she runs to me, expecting bugs, every time she sees me. I'm tempted to buy mealworms to keep in my pocket, so I won't be such a continual disappointment to her.