Chickens – stupid or crazy?

I can’t quite decide whether our chickens are stupid or crazy but they’re definitely just a little bit bonkers. This makes for some entertaining times for us as relatively new chicken keepers but we’re still not completely sure what constitutes normal chicken behaviour sometimes.

The most likely explanation is obviously that this behaviour is not something unique to our chickens but as with most domestic pets (or even children perhaps?), it’s nice to think that yours have that something special, that distinctive feature or talent which makes them stand out from the crowd.

The mad rush out of the door in the morning is always good to raise a smile at 7am but I’m not sure whether I’d be rushing out just to peck wildly at some chicken feed or to scratch about in the grass. Of course, I could be underestimating the taste of chicken feed but I’m not curious enough yet to find that out for myself.

On the other hand, our chickens are obviously not completely stupid because they seem to have realised that when one of us comes down the garden there is a faint chance of a treat. That may possibly be just a few hours out to roam around the garden or maybe just a hand full of meal worms but it seems to cheer them up immensely.

However, they must be a little crazy because this weekend we witnessed a brief struggle between two of them over what we thought was a bit of twig or leaves. Closer inspection showed that it was actually a small frog with skinny legs (hence the twig mistake!). After resolving the dispute over ownership of the frog, we were very surprised to see that the winning chicken promptly pecked the hapless frog a few times (to subdue it maybe?) then apparently swallowed it whole.

I was quite sorry to see the little frog go although perhaps not as sorry as he was! I’m sure he was doing his best to keep my cabbages free of pests but it was a timely reminder that it’s a jungle out there and only the fittest will survive. In future I’ll keep on the good side of my chickens…

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