Sunday, June 6, 2010
Puffy Chicken. I have named this bird because of her odd behavior of puffing up her feathers, which makes her look a bit like a turkey. It's quite hilarious.
We had to boot Puffy Chicken from the general population and put her out into the yard, away from the laying boxes. Puffy Chickens main diagnosis is a neurosis boarding on psychosis. The primary manifestations of this diagnosis appear in her obsessive practice of trying to hatch eggs that have not been fertilized.
Here we see that Puffy Chicken after being cast out into the yard snuck into the garage and in a fit of either protest or madness has launched herself atop the coop, where she is displaying an impressive puffiness.
It is not uncommon for a single hen among a group of hens without a rooster to become convinced that the eggs they are laying will hatch. Hence, the afflicted chicken will lay on the eggs - almost obsessively. Some chickens will hoard eggs. We are still wondering how Puffy Chicken gets so many eggs under her! It's weird! I think about putting in a little wireless network cam to see this in action.
You can see how she fluffs up her tail and puffs out her wings. What we've figured out is that she is agitated about not being able to go in and sit on eggs, so she is pretty much saying, "WTF?!"
Here she is getting puffier by the minute.
Something happens and she springs for the rafter in the garage where, apparently, we store a lot of junk.
It was crazy to see her doing this high wire act. Reminded me a bit of the movie Man On Wire (highly recommended).
This was right before she finally slipped and flew down, where we evacuated her from the garage and back into the yard.
Katie thinks the origin of Puffy Chicken's disease stems from an evening where, somehow, she didn't make it in to the coop at night. That evening something got her. It was last winter shortly after a snow. There we're no animal prints to or from the place where Puffy was attacked, so we think it was most likely an owl. I do remember hearing an owl at night around this time. ANYwho, Jason (our future vet) nursed Puffy's wounds. It was after this event that Puffy Chicken actually became Puffy Chicken. Somehow, the trauma of the event fired the right sparks in Puffy's little brain to make her who she is today.
The problem is that Puffy tends to crack and egg or two. There are consistent pecks in one (and typically only one) of the eggs that she is laying on. The eggs are still edible, as the inner membrane is never breached. But we can't sell them or store the ones that get pecked.
Lastly, it appears that we have another hen that is beginning to behave like Puffy Chicken. Not puffy, but with the obsessive nesting. The idea floating around the house is that this will most likely end up providing the perfect opportunity for Jason to learn how to butcher a chicken. Sorry.