Thursday, April 7, 2011

Small space chicken football

I've always called it chicken football when one chicken finds an especially delicious morsel and takes off running, blocking the other chickens with her body, switching back and forth as the others try to snatch the food away. She can't stop and eat it until she finds a safe corner. The official, scientific term for this activity is "worm running."

Continuing with the indoor entertainment theme because it's miserably wet and cold outside, I offered the chicks meal worms today. Some people think snakes are gross? Take a look at meal worms. They have segments and bunches of wriggly legs and are just plain yuck, much worse than garden worms. To chickens they are filet mignon, carrot cake, potato chips--name your sinfully delicious fave and you'll get the idea.

Please take a moment to appreciate my heroism when I tell you I offered those horrid things in my bare hand.

Only people who are dotty about chickens make wild claims about their intelligence.  Chickens operate on hard-wired instinct and they are as smart as they need to be in order to learn to live a chicken's life. Some, I'm afraid, are slow. Like a normal chicken, Bazooka pecked at that object in my hand and ran with it while Maewest took a while to figure out (1) there was a food object (2) Bazooka got it and (3) she should try to get it. The next time I offered a meal worm to Maewest, Bazooka ran over and gobbled it while Mae was still considering what to do. After Bazooka ate three, she slowed down a little and Maewest got her treat.
So here's chicken football in the guest bathroom.


  1. I love it when my chickens play that chasing game. They give themselves away when they run like that. I have a hen whom I call my "simple" hen. She is the last to catch on to everything, but is sweet and loving. Her name is Emma and she is my favorite hen. I had to show her how to eat and drink when she was only two days old. Another chick in the brooder with Emma, took her under her wing, so to speak, and has looked out for her ever since. Her name is Jezabella and she is the head hen of all nineteen in the flock. Jezabella makes sure Emma gets her fair share of the goodies. I love chickens, as they are a hoot to watch.

  2. Chicken football is a good description for it.

    So funny when mine caught a mouse and the chase that ensued.

  3. You are my hero, Sherry, for even going near the worms and then touching them to boot! You are too kind and compassionate to those adorable birds and I admire you for that! Birds need stimulation too and I am glad you recognize that!

  4. I never heard of this before - thanks for sharing. And I think you should use tongs the next time for the worms lol

  5. Yummy!

    Next weekend while I'm playing on this hop, I'll also be hosting one at my blog. I'd love to have you join in to help homeless bunny friends find furever homes. Check it out