The Great Backyard Chicken Adventure, part 2

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“Backyard chickens” are all the rage in the Bay Area. One Sloat staffer recently adopted two chickens… we’ve asked her to document her ‘chickens in the city’ experience from time to time. Above is a picture of her ladies – Thelma is brown, Louise is black and white.

Wednesday morning I serenade the girls with a soft chorus of “all the single ladies” when I come down to feed them and find two brown eggs in the nest boxes! I’ve read and heard you must observe the ladies every day (easy enough, since they are fascinating) so you can learn how they normally act and look. That way if something is/seems wrong right you can take action quickly.
I sit down on a small stepstool and hold their bowls of fresh salad and leftover pasta at the same level as their backs.
They are enthusiastic eaters, pulling out the pasta and shaking it from side to side. The pasta looks like a worm as they swallow it down.
They pick the sliced grapes and sliced cherry tomatoes out of the salad first, then eat the greens.
They don’t seem to mind that their combs brush against my thumbs holding the food bowls. The combs feel cool and softly rubbery.

They usually eat from the plastic bowls at first, then I put the bowls down and they continue eating. I keep up a soft chatter of ‘how are we this morning? Isn’t that a good salad? What lovely girls you are’, etc.

While they eat I go on ‘poop patrol’, scooping up all the little treasures into a bucket for the compost bin, keeping up the chatter and moving slowly.

They both startle easily from sudden noises and movements and big gusts of wind.

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