The Great Backyard Chicken Adventure, part 14 – Fog

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Our Bay Area weather doesn’t seem to bother them…. The run is next to a small hedge so there is protection from the wind. I use redwood soil conditioner in the pen to keep the sandy soil from compacting or blowing away.
Thelma is the talker, she makes a questioning ‘rrr? rrr?’ sound and looks at me accusingly. I think she thinks breakfast should be more than three courses (fruit, leftovers, greens). She plops out of the coop in the morning and starts scratching the soil. Louise always heads for the lettuce piñata, preferring to start the day with a light salad. They inspect the fruit offered and sometimes turn the saucer holding the fruit over when the scratch instinct kicks in. Peck peck, scratch scratch…it’s actually very entertaining/relaxing to watch this ancient rhythm.
Then it is personal grooming time, they have a little shakeout and start preening their feathers. This rather unusual movement looks they’re rubbing their head against the base of their tail on their back. They are actually moving oil from the uropygial gland to coat their feathers. This helps prevent the feathers from becoming brittle and helps with insulation and waterproofing.

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