The rules in the coop though are a little more clear cut. There is definitely a pecking order among chickens. Hence, we have two feeders and three waters, plenty of nesting boxes, a lot of roosting areas and a large expanse of floor space. My husband takes this approach to coop building and design (and I love him for it!):
"Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral." Frank Lloyd WrightThe older hens, so far, are still the queens of the coop. There are a couple that lead different groups of hens and certainly are the first ones to the feeder when it is newly filled...there is a young barred rock, though, that seems to be challenging the established order. She jumps inside the feed bin anytime it is opened to get first dibs on the food which is met with some loud complaining from the bossy gals.
The non-dominant hens hang back and crouch when the dominate hens are close to them. Mostly to avoid a nasty peck which I can tell you first hand does hurt a bit. Turns out that a dominant hen who is sitting on an egg or two will let you know swiftly and firmly that reaching a hand under her is not a good idea. I really need to remember to put some work gloves in my pocket for times like that. ;)
So, why would I bring Cabbage Ball to the coop?. The hens are spending more time inside lately because we are still having regular visits by a fox and can only let them out to roam if we are supervising them. The poultry run is going to be the first project of Spring so we can be sure to get them outside more safely. All that time inside is making them a little grouchy and bored so I wanted to give them something else to focus upon rather than picking on each other.
Chickens are very curious creatures and love to spend the day scratching around looking for a tasty morsel or just investigating anything new. Some folks even put mirrors in the coop because chickens enjoy trying to figure out where that other chicken is. So hanging a cabbage has really drawn their attention and every time it starts swinging, some chickens run and others peck at it even more. I spent some quiet time sitting in the corner of the coop just watching and laughing and letting the work day concerns melt away.
Way better than watching TV which, if you read my post yesterday, you know that I am being more choosy what I watch these days ....farm TV is becoming my favorite channel and there are no re-runs!
Tomorrow's post will be focused on gardening.
Until then, Peace be with you,