Wednesday, April 11, 2012

on chickens and eating right

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I think he is a wild Red Junglefowl. But I call him Arthur.

Well I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but we have a bunch of roosters and hens in our backyard. Note, non-chicken people -- male chickens are roosters, or cocks (for some reason I just prefer calling them roosters okaay). If they're under a year old, they're called cockerels. Female chickens are hens, and if they're under a year old, they're called pullets. So don't be saying "chickens and hens", 'cause that would just be uncool.

Anyway, these roosters and hens have been hanging out in our backyard for years -- we've literally seen generations come and go. We don't know where they came from, they just appeared one day and stayed. Needless to say, we've gotten rather fond of the little things (well, not very little really), and have gotten to know their various ways and idiosyncrasies over time. Knowing them personally does pretty much mean that we'd never dream of touching them for any part of their... um... bodies; happily, the whole neighbourhood does seem to feel the same way.

Well obviously, one of the big challenges for wild chickens is eating right. Everyone in the neighbourhood helps feed them, but I'm sure it doesn't really help when well-meaning people throw any leftovers they have at them. Man, I even remember my Mom asking me one time if I felt it was inappropriate to give them her leftover chicken rice (this is made with rice cooked in chicken stock, so um, yeah) (we didn't).

So I'd give them the sort of things which I felt was ok for them -- birdy things, like bread, oatmeal, sunflower seeds and rice. But then I started wondering what healthy treats I could give them, since sometimes they did look like they could do with some. I was curious if they could eat bananas, cheese, and well, yes, cat food.

And wonderfully, I found this awesome page! Isn't it great? An entire chart of chicken treats, as well as what not to feed (and yep, it included cat food). I especially like what the author had to say about feeding chickens cooked chicken: "They may like it and it won't kill them, but it just seems so...... ummm......... wrong"... hahahaha...

And then, in the list of what not to feed: "Candy, Chocolate, Sugar". Why? "Their teeth will rot… No, it’s just bad for their systems..." hahaha... Well I thought I'd share this great site with any of you backyard chicken feeders and breeders out there -- you know who you are ;)

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O! And just as I was running out into my backyard to take a picture of our rooster, I saw this lovely yellow bird fly down into one of the trees. Unfortunately, it only stayed about two seconds, and I could only catch its back, but it's still very pretty non? Anyone know what type it might be?

9 comments:

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I love this - wild roosters and hens. And here I thought I had an interesting assortment of critters hanging around my backyard. We are allowed (by law) to have chickens in our yards if we'd like, but I don't know of anyone in this neighbourhood who is doing it. I have thought about it myself, but I'm not sure if I'll ever attempt it.

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

We have monkeys and snakes too lol.. I'm glad -- it's a sad sign when wildlife starts disappearing.

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

Very interesting post! I'm glad to know that my Henny character is a pullet :) ! As for the yellow bird-- maybe a yellow finch?

Rebecca said...

Hi! Thanks for following my blog as Ive really enjoyed reading your this morning! The chicke info is great as my mum is just about to get some, good timing!x

AntiquityTravelers said...

wow - very cool. this Easter we were out in the yard and had a new visitor .. a wild turkey (not the whiskey kind :) So now you have me wondering where in the world you live (literally) ... monkeys? only place I've been where there were monkeys roaming was India?

Beth said...

Wild chickens...how wonderful! I had to laugh at the idea of feeding them chicken. It does seem wrong somehow. Good to know that eggs (at least, cooked eggs) are okay. :-) Just curious, does anyone ever collect the eggs they lay?

Rag and Stone said...

This is awesome, and just in time, since we have added 6 new (now I know their real term ) pullets, hopefully. They are still babies, and I dont know when you find out which one's the rooster....but we got them for eggs too, and I can't wait to build 'em a little coop!

Dawn said...

Janice, I loved this story about the beautiful roosters, hens, chickens, etc. I will check out the sight. I would love to live around such beauty. Dawn Suitcase Vignettes xo

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Thank you for sharing this post with me! So sweet that you wanted to give them treats. And I have referred to that treat chart many times myself! :)

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