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The Playhouse and Pecked Eggs

June 28, 2009
An Americauna taking a dust bath.

An Americauna taking a dust bath.

I haven’t written much about the girls for a while, so it is time for an update.

First, an update on our girl who passed away a few weeks ago. I wrote that we thought she had broken her neck. What I didn’t say, was that she also had been pecked on the top of her head. On our last trip to Linnton Feed & Seed, where we bought our chicks and I get lots of advice, we told the folks there what we thought happened to our girl. They said, no, it would be highly unlikely for a chicken to break its neck. All the symptoms that made me believe she had broken her neck, would also result from being pecked in the head. Her brain was damaged enough to impair her body movement and cause her to die. We were reminded that chickens are animals, not anything else that we might think.

The cds are not tacky decorations: they are meant to scare the jays away.

The cds could be tacky decorations, but they are meant to scare the jays away.

Back in May, Steven built the girls a mobile coop we call the “playhouse.” It gives them a good place to lay their eggs and get some protection from wind, rain and sun when they are out around the yard. When it was ready, we moved it and the girls out by the blueberries and currants. After a few weeks, we started finding eggs with holes pecked in them. At first I thought the girls were doing it. A couple times I even caught a Dominique eating the pecked eggs. But then, I noticed some jays flying around the playhouse. It even looked like they were flying into the nest boxes. On Friday, Paige and I hung some cds around the playhouse to scare the jays away. (I had heard about using shiny, flashy things to scare birds away from cherry trees and blueberries.) The rest of Friday and all day Saturday, there were no pecked eggs. But, Sunday morning, there was another one.

One of the Dominiques, eating what she should and not eating eggs.

One of the Dominiques, doing what she should: not eating eggs.

I am still not sure if it is the jays or the chickens who are pecking the eggs. (Though I do hope it is the jays. I don’t want my girls to do that sort of thing!) I think we may need a camera to find out what is really going on.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 10, 2009 7:00 pm

    Learnt something today. Thanks! 🙂

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