Sunday, May 10, 2009

Picky Chickens

I read somewhere that when you first give chickens a new food, they'll act like you're trying to kill them with it: dramatically run away, and cluck about it until one brave chicken decides to try it.

Our chicks are almost a week old, so we're allowed to start giving them more foods. Last night we dropped a couple raw kernels of corn into the brooder. They dove after them and took turns doing the grab-and-run before they were finally consumed. So this morning, with no ill effects from the corn, we put in an end piece of of corn cob. This time, it was like a bewitched meteor had fallen from the sky.

First they ran over to see it, and then couldn't get away fast enough. The village mob ran as fast as they could to their village hut to have a conference about it. They cheeped and cheeped and scurried around inside, and then finally huddled down. After a while, one brave chick -- Scrambles, of course -- came out to inspect. She walked the length of the brooder, making nervous cheeping noises the whole way, took a look at the corn, and high-tailed it back to the hut.

The next time I looked, about 10 minutes later, they were all huddled in a corner next to the corn, eyeing it.

The next time I looked, about 5 minutes after that, they were huddled in the same corner, sound asleep.

I finally took the corn out. They must not be ready.

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