Just a couple of weeks ago I was at Aldi. This poor guy was trying to load the skinny but long boxes Aldi uses to hold the coffee pods into those large box containers they use to hold all their empty boxes. The boxes fell on the floor and I said to the guy – don’t pick them up, I’ll get them – I could see a perfect use for them at my place. You’ll remember the Chicken Merge – I used baked bean trays from Aldi to hold the treats. These long boxes are better suited to the task.
Todays treat – baby spinach and rocket, apple, tomato, tuna.
Chickens like to scratch with their feet when they are eating. With the wider baked bean boxes I used, two things would tend to happen – they would tip the whole box onto its side, or they would get in it and scratch around in there.
These long skinny boxes are perfect for chicken treats. I now bring a minimum of 3x those home each time we visit, Because they are long, there is room for all the girls to check out the treats without anyone having to get pecked. Because they are not very wide, the chicken scratch the ground and then eat the treats, and there isn’t much room for the chickens to get inside them or tip them up onto their side.
You can see how perfectly the girls arrange themselves around these thin, long boxes.
It always amazes me how much chicken behaviour is learned from other chickens.
These new girls did not have the foggiest idea where to lay an egg. When they first merged with the older girls, you would find their eggs on the ground, just randomly. Now, they lay in the laying boxes.
They did not make the Egg Song, ever. They were not very vocal at all. Now, they’re joining in with the egg song, and they are trumpeting and bagerking and making all the chicken noises.
They had tried to dustbathe but were not especially great at it, mostly because they did not grasp what the kitty litter tray full of sand was actually for. They also struggled to make dirt holes in the grass. Now, they are in a yard where everything is dirt, which by the way is exactly how chickens like it, and they spend a good couple of hours a day dust bathing with their new chicken friends.
Lizzy, Mary and Kitty get to share a treat box.
Speaking of chicken friends, how are they going together? Because they have so much space, this merging process is a lot longer than it would usually be. The three newbies still sleep out on the roost in the run at night.
During the day, White Sussex is Queen of the Castle, with the three new girls slotting in just under her, then the game hens, then Redcomb and Rosie are at the bottom of the pack.
Redcomb and the two other game hens got a bit confused with all the rain in December – their bodies thought it was winter again, and they went off the lay and moulted as a surprise to themselves, especially as they had only moulted a few months before. They are looking a bit ratty at the moment as the feathers slowly grow back in.