Saturday, December 17, 2011

Having a Ball

"Skye's neck is naked!" Brie gushed, as she bounced into our kitchen, clutching a handful of eggs.

When chickens get bored, there can be trouble.

"The girls are picking on her," Brie lamented.

I rushed out to inspect the young, Splash Maran, whose neck was now plucked to the point of baldness beneath her beak. She didn't look too happy.

"Oh Skye," I cooed in my most motherly tone, "Your naughty sisters are really hen pecking you." Brings new meaning to the popular idiom.

So, at Wakeman Town Farm's Holiday Open House, Brie explained the dilemma to our friend, Derek Dasaki, owner of My Pet Chicken. Derek was kind enough to share some sage advice.

"Grab a ball of cabbage, tie it with twine and hang it in the run. This will give the girls something a little more productive to do than bully each other."

And so, we did, and what fun it was to watch the girls go at it. I think we've discovered a new sport: Cabbage Tetherball. 

We "helped" the situation along by setting the cabbage in motion, just over their heads, so they had to hop and lunge for it. 

Poor Nugget, our tiny Silky Bantam, was too diminutive to reach it, so Brie helped her out.

The girls had a blast with their new activity, and Skye enjoyed a reprieve from being the target of their amusement.

The vegetable was gobbled up in short order.

When I went out to check on the girls later that day, a small stump of cabbage lay on the ground. 

The remains of the day.

Perhaps, for chickens, anyway, cabbage is the new mistletoe this season.

Regardless, from our flock to yours, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!