Friday, January 6, 2012
What a GREAT Idea!
Betty has taken to just picking the feathers off the backs of Tulip and Victoria. And not only that, but she's taught Pete Rose how to do it as well, so now the two nearly bald-backed girls have two feather pluckers to contend with. I've tried a number of things to alleviate Betty's boredom. She's actually quite a smart little chicken and she's plucking not to be mean but to give herself something to do. I've hung a cabbage in the pen to give her something to peck at, which she does use, but it's not worked. I bought a ridiculously expensive "pecking block", which is rock hard made with seeds and such. Though Magnolia does love this thing, she's not a problem with the plucking, and Betty doesn't pay it any mind. It's mostly gone and I can't see that Betty or Pete Rose have used it at all.
The girl's pen has been rock hard dirt for a while now. They've eaten all the grass out, and the soil is so compacted by them and now frozen that it's basically almost asphalt hard. Mostly they wander around in there aimlessly. I read on the Chicken Community blog that a couple of people have taken to throwing their autumn leaves in their chickens pen. Apparently, the chickens will make compost out of it for you with no shredding or anything required. They mulch it up with all their scratching. BINGO! Something to give the girls that will provide hours of scratching pleasure. And, it will make me compost for the garden. And, it doesn't cost me a cent? Sounds like just the ticket!
Wishing you scratchy leaves and happy clucking in your pen, ~Peacemom