jil, you have to watch out for those roosters! Just ask my 15 year old son who was chased around the house by a Foghorn Leghorn lookalike I was foolish enough to rescue. That evil rooster had been taped inside a waste basket and left on the loading dock of my feed store and I felt bad for him. As soon as I got him home, I realized the waste basket was not such a bad idea! He was huge and mean and despite my efforts to befriend him, he would attack me at every chance,the little ingrate. I made him a big pen and he even had a little hen for company, but he was still a miserable cuss. When he was picked off by a fisher cat this past spring, I have to admit I didn't shed one tear and I am a true animal lover. My kids were so afraid of him, they did a dance of joy.
Just watch out for hens roosting in your horse's stall. Twelve years ago, one of my mares developed a virus in her eye and the vet said it was from chickens roosting in her stall. It was nasty but she recovered.
That said, I did board for a short time at a farm where they had chickens. The hens (no roosters, thank god http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...s/icon_eek.gif ) had a roofless chain link enclosure that was a "coop". There was one Dominecker (sp?) hen that was a regular escapee. Fortunately, she was also a sweetie; if you walked up to her slowly, she'd stand still and let you pick her up and put her back in the pen. I actually got quite fond of her, and would carry her around and pet her like I did the barn cats (who, incidently, never had the stones to mess with the hens).
This is the best thread. I like my chickens and I do eat chicken but I can't eat mine, no heart for that. Besides, mine are for eggs only. I can't believe it, I think one of the so called hens turned out to be a rooster, he crows a little, does anyone know? He's very quiet He's cocka doodle doos very quiet but he's very young unless the hens can do that, I just don't know. The chickens are about 4 months old.
I am missing one chicken in broad daylight so far. I'm glad the horses aren't afraid of them, they seem compatable.
J Swan - "Never turn your back on poultry or goats."
OMG, how true!!! I was asked to "chicken sit" for 3weeks and gained my first exposure to the beasts. They would chase me to the chicken chow bucket then practically attack me while I was trying to dump it their stupid little trough. I finally started bringing my dog with me to run interference so I could get through this horrible job without being bombarded.
The day before, one met me in the drive way--I have no idea how it got out. And yesterday one was roosted in the horse barn? It's been fun trying to get them back into the coop area without freeing the others.
Hi, my name is Phaxxton, and I'm deathly afraid of chickens.
The very first barn I worked at as an instructor (in college) had a barn yard filled with chickens and roosters and goats and some other animals as well. The chickens used to FREAK me out, but I always pretended to be brave so I wouldn't pass on my chicken-phobia to the kids.
There was one nasty rooster in particular. Not sure what type he was, but he was black with a shiney, greenish tint to him. He's have been beautiful... if he wasn't Satan incarnate!
He used to chase me, try to get into the tack room, peck at me, and I swear he just had it in for me.
One day, I'm alone in the tack room. The tack room is a free-standing structure, a dark little wooden room up about 3 steps from the yard. It was a BRIGHT, sunny NC summer day outside and inside the tack room was shady. I had my back to the door, trying to find something. A chill came over me and I turned around slowly. The lights outside are blinding and out of nowhere (I swear in slow motion) that d@mn black chicken comes up the stairs, wings flapping. I was frozen in fear. It was like something out of Hitchcock's The Birds. I screamed and ran out of the tack room away from the stupid bird.
I was so embarassed... I think I had chicken for dinner that night on purpose!
There are chickens where I am boarding now. Most of them saty in their little home, but there are about 3 that feel they have the run of the farm. They are nice chickens...though they do ind of creep me out...like little fluffy dinosaurs. My mare is terrified of them. Looks at them like I took her to the circus (she looks at mini's the same way)
THey are definately up to no good with that chanting...it is definately time for a little barbeque at the barn...or at least KFC with a friend. Let them know you have the upper hand and you're not afraid to eat them.
Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.
Wnen I was a wee young rider. Well maybe not so young, I used to keep my horse at Melanie Smith's Mother's farm. They had LOTS of chickens and mean roosters like nobodies business. Those deranged picnic basket escapees (as in should be lunch) had it in for Melanie's sister, Sunday Smith and used to lay in wait for her to come around. Ooh could she run fast. Mrs. Smith loved her chickens and always seemed to have one in her arms or sitting on her head.. Thanks for the thread..
The three you are referring to are actually running the farm on purpose! They are peeps, ok, so they are fairly large at this point but they are still young and the big 'uns will beat 'em up if we put them together. They will be in with the group soon though-they need to finish off their chick food first.
I have learned to rather enjoy that "chanting". I think it's a neat sound and truthfully, it can be soothing. Now the full blow crowing thing that they do...yeah, that can get to ya after a while but the little "brk, brk, brk, brk, brk" noise is kinda cute-even the "brKAWK" that usually ends the little series of "brk" noises. Yes, I said an icky chicken is cute. Now, I don't get all silly with the chickens like I do the umpteen baby bunnies we have but I do talk to them and interestingly enough I think they listen!! Or, maybe I just spend too much time alone at the farm and am losing my mind http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...n_rolleyes.gif
I'm not a fan of chickens at the barn. I boarded at a place once that had them and the thing I remember most about chickens was the mess! Yuck! Chicken poop everywhere.
My trainer has peacocks and I can say that you are right about loud birds being a good thing to be exposed to... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...n_rolleyes.gif The big guy just about had a heart attack and fell over on the spot the first time he heard one 'go off'.
I love my 'finely feathered friends', lol. I have had some pretty "special" poultry-type-friends over my lifetime...
Chickens AND Goats are great to "desensitize" horses. I had one goat that would climb onto my young mare while she was laying down and just stand on her back. That goat and her momma were what "tamed" this mare---she was a "B^t(h" from the time she was a baby, refusing to be handled, so my goats wound up handling "imprinting" on her, climbing on her, jumping on her, walking underneath her and between her legs, etc, lol. Chickens helped too by "riding" her, though she usually bucked them off. This mare's dam however was much more tolerant of the chickens, as this picture shows: Chicken Broke
One of my pheasants escaped and she would always come up and eat with my stallion...think the fox finally got her. Some of my Bobwhites escaped as well, and there's a couple of them that still come up and eat with my gelding whose paddock is closest to the quail pen. And my dearly departed Turkey always hung around that same gelding when I'd turn him out into the backyard to 'mow' for me---Turkey would "cluck" to him trying to get him to come share a particularly tasty blade of grass he'd found--he also would pick grass out of the gelding's mouth...gosh I miss that Turkey! Aside from the quail I still have in their pen, I'm down to only two chickens now, both roosters (thanks A LOT danged foxes http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...s/icon_mad.gif), and they too go eat with the horses, picking up what they drop. And of course feeding the BOSS, I have all kinds of wild birds always hanging around the horses at feeding time, lol. One of my roosters, appropriately named "Cowboy" (he's a Game rooster X Buff Cochin hen, and his feathered little feet and legs look as though he's wearing "batwing chaps") rides my pygmy goat---rooster is just OBSESSED with that goat, lol, everywhere the goat goes, there's the rooster, otherwise the rooster chasing trying to catch up to him. I did catch him one day and put him on a couple of the horses, he stood there on them a little while, then hopped down...he prefers to ride the goat, lol. I have SO got to get a video of him riding the goat!
I used to board at a place that had chickens (I HATE chickens unless they're on my plate). One rooster was a real sweetie - except that he'd poop on my tack http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...s/icon_mad.gif . Good thing they make saddle covers. The other rooster, though, was a b@stard - he'd try to chase me...I'd give him flying lessons. Only problem was, he seemed to LIKE flying lessons and always came back for more. When we bought our own place, the first thing to come down was the chicken coop - I can't tell you how much mess I cleaned up - I still find feathers every once in awhile.
Our chickens live in a fenced off area. I have to say they are the most smell-less chickens I've ever met cuz their coop is kept clean and they are outside from just before dawn until they put themselves to bed around dark.
I would not suggest they be left loose. Raccoons will eat them along with other critters of the night and their poop being spread at liberty...ugh! The geese poo at the other farm is unreal. If I had to deal with chicken poo too...wow!!! that would be awful!! I also don't suggest roosters either. Unless you plan on raising little chickens you don't need 'em. They beat the crap out of the hens and tend to keep peace from exisiting!
I hear you knockin', Phaxxton. Not only am I terrified of them in all their jerky peckingness, but just their bodies completely freak me out. Have you ever held one? First, you've got this big puff of feathers. Then, waaayyy down deep you get to the chicken proper. So what the h@ll is going on in all that space in between??!! *shudder*
Well the friggin chiggins are up to no good and I think my filly is in on the whole thing!
I arrived at the barn early this morning to meet the farrier. I had left myself plenty of time to haul her out, clean her stall, pick the feet, etc.,... As I come walking around the corner of the barn to greet the beast, what do I spy but the karmic chanting-chicken hoards...milling about her feet. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...s/icon_eek.gif Now mind you, this filly is well-known at other barns for her ability to relocate lesser animals than herself to a more respectable and appropriate distance. So there I stand, jaw on floor, watching in horror as my filly willing cavorts with the enemy (HEN-emies??)!
I stand there, certain that said foul will shortly become "pressed chicken", but to my utter amazement, she allows them to cruise through her legs and carry on in fine feathered fashion. The HORROR!! *SHE* can tolerate them, but *I* can't keep it together??
At the very instant that I take one step forward to greet my filly with the obligatory "snuzzle the muzzle" the karmic chanting-chicken hoards cry, "FOUL" (FOWL!!) and begin running in every which direction. El Pollo Diablo steps out of the stall, shoots me a look of complete and utter confidence and begins his karmic chicken-chanting rally call.
I head to the tack room to get the trusty broom and head in the direction of the feathered masses, confident in my newly found "chicken for barn dummies" knowledge. Guess what?
Brooms really tick them off! El Pollo Diablo can move pretty fast on his feet, but not fast enough. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif Last I saw he and two of his cronies were heading off to the front of the barn to torment some unsuspecting soul. I'm certain he's planning some devious tactical offensive manuvers for tomorrow morning.
Mistyblue...shhhhhh!! That information should be classified. What if other chickens tip El Pollo Diablo off and tell him where to find tips in "ninja chickens" and "sniper chickens"?? Think of the consequences!!! There would be CMD's (Chickens of Mass Destruction) at every barn!!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...s/icon_eek.gif