Recently I have started paying a little bit more attention to how quickly the chickens finish their meals. As a child, and even as a young adult I suppose, my parents and friends were always commenting on how fast I ate. I would frequently be stuffing my mouth with food while I was chewing the previous mouthful.
I don’t think chickens do this. I was more referring to how much time they spend eating their food before they call it quits. It’s much less than I thought. I think the chickens would much prefer to eat at multiple times during the day but less food each time. YouTube seems to agree with this but it’s not quite a feasible solution here on the farm because any food left over after the chickens have pushed their plate forward and moved on, is very quickly cleaned off by other animals.
I’d like to believe the other animals are mostly birds but the remnants of little tiny black poop pellets it’s evidence that I am feeding the rats. Just looking at them, is evidence that I am feeding them well.
In other words, I’m giving the chickens too much credit and too much food. Some of them gobble gobble gobble and walk away very quickly. They are satisfied with far less food than I predicted.
I like to be a generous guy and I have been over feeding them for sure. This will probably continue because I had rather than be satisfied then hungry although to me, there is visually no difference between a satisfied hen and a starving hen.
I can’t even gauge the speed at which they come running to food as a meter because they all come running to food. It’s one of my favorite parts of this feeding ritual. Watching hens run quickly is funny. Daily fun. Observing the way the rooster reacts to the hens it’s interesting, but not quite as much fun as just watching them run.
I’ve never looked online, but I would imagine that there are many videos of hens running. It would not surprise me if there were even hen races. It’s certainly a lot more fun than watching cock fighting I’m sure, although I’ve never wanted to watch those videos at all. I don’t even like watching people fighting videos although seems a popular sport gaining in popularity every year.
I think cock fighting is actually legal in North America, or at least Canada and the US. Maybe people travel to Mexico just to see it as they do for Jai lai.
And cheap prescription drugs.
For a short while I was picking up the excess food after all the hens and the rooster walked away but I soon noticed that the pecking order means that some hens that eat less, like to come back for more after the abuse of rooster has abandoned the dish.
The dark hand that I call crow although I found that it’s real name is Diane, doesn’t seem to like the other hands and definitely stays its distance from the rooster at all times, often in a humorous way. She tends to lurk around just a little bit longer and enjoy her meal alone. I’m sure this has nothing to do with her being black.
That would be a fascinating study that I’m sure universities are terrified to undertake. Do chickens hate the blacks? I like to think of the crow colored hen as superior and just too smart to hang around the arrogant asshole rooster.
They arrived at the same time from the same origin farm I believe but I’ve never seen them within two feet of each other and crow seems to stay out of the chicken pen for much of the day, wandering. This could be some explanation for why it’s the smartest of them. Education and wisdom comes from observation.
Sometimes, when the situation is right, I sneak a little extra food to her. Frequently this backfires and all the other hands come running. When it comes to food, the most recent is the only one that matters to these girls. There can be a huge plate filled with a mixture of all their favorites and they will abandon it at high speed to a handful of the food they dislike most if they see me dropping it elsewhere.
In my head I imagine what it would be like if humans did that. Sitting in a restaurant eating your meal but getting up and going to another table every time something new is served.
Photo of the two weakest chickens low on the pecking order sticking around to eat their favorite food without being disturbed. To them, being disturbed includes getting pecked on the back by the other hands or getting fucked by the rooster at a moment’s notice when they’re not looking and their asses facing him.
I have yet to get that on camera.
It’s a nice fall day and I can sit in my regular chair without the sun making me too hot. I get to observe behaviors and watch the one dog that loves to think of herself as a rat hunter but to my knowledge, has never caught one. She doesn’t seem to have the sense of smell or the eyesight of a true hunting dog. Frequently while sitting in my chair, I see rats running back and forth between their various hiding spots. They are visually quick but easy to see despite the fact that their skin is essentially the same color as the rest of the ground here.
The dogs seem oblivious to their emotions and prefer to sit and stare at the locations that they vanished to. The female will sit and stare and bark with the high expectation that one of the rats will reappear.
Rats are cautious and not that stupid. They can see and sense us farther than the dog can see or sense them by far.
There are two main areas where I feed the hens and the rats tend to hang out at the opposite one at any given time. Logical.
So I think I might start considering the rats as additional farm animals. They live on this property and sleep in covered quarters and eat expensive food we leave out for them. If they are not our pets, perhaps they are the hens’ pets. After all, it is their food being left for them.
I think it’s probably wise if I don’t include them in the list when I’m telling people who lives on our little farm. Six hens, eight cats, two dogs, nine goldfish and an asshole rooster. If I add 15 rats to that list it changes the overall opinion people will probably have.
Plus then, other animals may feel they want to be included and I’d have to list an estimated million flies, 300,000 mosquitoes, three stink bugs (there could be more but that’s what I’ve seen so far) and a lot of birds, although they come and go more than the other animals so I suspect they’d be okay with being omitted.