Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Going To Bed With The Chickens

Chickens -- indeed, most birds apart from owls and other night hunters, are hard-wired to turn in early. I went down last night to close them up and they'd all put themselves to bed -- or to roost.

It was quite dark inside the chicken house ( the pictures were taken with a flash) and some of them had lapsed into the coma that comes over birds in the dark. This is, of course, what makes them so vulnerable to possums and raccoons and foxes at night -- they can be dead before they wake up.

We have two more hens who want to be mothers and rather than roost, they stay on their nests. As we really don't need any biddies, we remove the eggs they are sitting on -- generally eggs other hens have laid as once a hen turns broody, she quits laying. Try this in the day time and the one on the left will give you such a peck ---- but at night she's like a rag doll.

The banty hens and rooster are up in their snug attic.

Early to bed, early to rise is the chicken motto. It was about eight pm and still quite light when I took these pictures but the chickens will be up in the morning with the sun -- long before eight am.

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Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

LOL! Just call me Chicken Carol!
I've got to where it is barely dark (8:30 ish)when I jump in and grab my book,It seems to be my only available reading time lately.
I am also UP at daylight just like your hens!
Loved the pics! We are making plans to build a "yard " and get a few hens ourselves.

Margie said...

Hi Vicki,I saw you comment on Vicki Archers blog and followed you here, I love your blog, your chickens in this post remind me of ours, who are getting very old now, some are ten years old, they do however go to bed quite early. Please visit me at "Margie's Crafts", I will add you to my blog roll and pop over to visit often. Margie in Ireland.

willow said...

I'm having some serious chicken envy now. I always wanted to have some. Fun pics!

Vicki Lane said...

Keeping chicken hours like you, Carol, is how the folks who lived here before us managed to raise four boys in a tiny t room cabin -- if you were inside, you were sleeping or eating -- otherwise you were outside.

Welcome, Margie! My chickens weren't at their best in that photo, having been rudely interrupted in their beauty sleep. I visited you blog Margie's Crafts and am consumed with a desire to visit Ireland in person. Such lovely pictures!

You've mentioned chicken envy before, Willow. Maybe there's room at the Manor for a chicken tractor and a few banties!

Miss_Yves said...

Your title is funny, because a french expression "going to bed with the chickens"means "going to bed early "
Sorry, I'm late to answer to you :
thanks for your visits and sweet words .

Vicki Lane said...

The expression means the same in English, Miss Yves -- for good reason!

Tammy said...

Enjoyed the chicken pictures. It is kinda of interesting how strong their instinct is to go to roost for the night, and how easy it is to train them to a house for safety. My Grandma had about a million chickens and most of them roosted in the trees. I'm sure there were casulties but don't remember. I was shocked the other day when I went out to the chicken house at about 9:00 a.m. and there where three of the older hens just hanging out on the roosts. They hadn't even gotten up yet! Shocking. And I notice too, as they get older they go up earlier at night. :-)

Vicki Lane said...

Back when they used to drive great flocks of turkeys to market along the Drovers' Road, one of the big concerns was to get them to a stand where they could be contained before evening came. Otherwise, they'd fly up in the trees to roost when the time came.

I too, as I get older, have mornings when I postpone getting up. :-)