The Great Backyard Chicken Adventure, part 4

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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.

Every morning I call softly to them, to let them wake up and know I’m on the way. They make soft chirrupy ‘hurry up’ noises. Sometimes when I unlock the door to the coop they just plop out, instead of waiting for me to put the little gangplank in place. I like when they step on my feet to get closer to the food. Louise gives my garden shoes an inquiring peck. Louise is the messy eater, getting oatmeal or snail innards on her beak.

I notice they use the gangplank at the coop door as beak floss, wiping against it to scrape bits off their beaks. Louise quickly figures out she can wipe her beak against my shoes and jeans to clean her beak….lovely.

I’ve begun a list of what the ladies like to eat. Fresh greens like kale, lettuce, chard are a big hit. Juicy grapes and cherry tomatoes cut in halves or quarters are favorites. After they eat some salad for breakfast they will check out the other stuff offered, cut up cooked spaghetti (preferably un-sauced), cooked oatmeal with flax seed and raisins, cubed day old muffins or bread (not too much). Thelma pecks away at the organic chicken crumble offered and then wipes her beak against the ground. She is still a lot more nervous than Louise.

After dinner last night Thelma went in the coop for some quiet time. Louise stood around for a while, then sat down near me and closed her eyes while I chatted softly. Is it okay to have a favorite?

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