Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fun in the Sun

Today was sunny with a high of 59 ˚. I looked out into my backyard to see my fowl having fun. My ducks were standing around grooming themselves and my chickens were either taking dust baths or sunning themselves.

Chickens instinctively take dust baths. It is their form of grooming and helps keep parasites out of their feathers. Even when my chickens were baby chicks with fluff and no feathers, they would practice taking dust baths in their bedding. Chickens also like to sit in the sun to soak up the rays of warmth.

Most ducks like to be clean. They usually will dunk their heads into the water, splashing it onto their bodies. After flapping their wings to spread the water, they run their beak through their feathers to groom. Dipping their heads in water also washes out their eyes and prevents eye infections. My male, Spot, is always dabbling in the water and grooming. Unfortunately, my female, Maxine, is not quite as fastidious as Spot. One good thing about her lack of grooming is I can tell them apart.

Seeing all the activity I couldn't resist going out into the yard. Needless to say my presence interrupted them, especially the ducks. The chickens came running to see if I had a treat. They definitely don't like missing any goodies I may have brought with me.

Little Red was the first to run to me. She is the most curious and feisty of my chickens. Goldie came second to see me. Rockett, who has recovered from her injury and living back in the coop, kept taking her dust bath. Twin 1 and #1 didn't have the time of day for me. The ducks, well they were their normal overbearing selfs. They came at me hissing, letting me know I was not welcome.

I walked through the yard and went into the coop to check for eggs. The ducks and Little Red hot on my trail. I grabbed the two eggs that were there and went out the other door. I came back around and surprised the ducks and Little Red. I believe I spoiled their fun of "chase and catch the human." Note bottom two pictures are the "chase" game.

Little Red



Twin 1

The girls sunning and taking dust baths under the work table.


Playing chase.

I switched my position during the game. 
What games do you play with your fowl?

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