Sunday, March 23, 2008

Supporting the Songbirds

An unintentional side benefit of having the chickens is that we are also supporting, to some degree, the local songbird population.

The way the roof of the coop yard is designed, the local small birds can fly in and out. I have seen lots of these smaller birds come into the chickens' space to drink from their water bowl or snap up a bit of seed or bird feed.

One of our favorites is the cardinal. We love their color and their personalities - both the males and females. We often use cardinals to represent our home.

We're fond of all of the local birds and make sure to keep shrubs for them to hide and nest in, as well as keeping the bird feeders filled all winter long. Because of this we get all kinds of blue jays, robins, doves, chickadees, finches and woodpeckers. Many of them have become used to us and don't fly off when I am sitting outside letting the chickens free range.

Some things you can do to support local birds are to provide cover (shrubs and trees), water and keep your cats indoors. Not only is this better and safer for your kitty, but it will prevent many of these birds from getting killed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Saving Face

One of the things I've noticed with Napoleon is that he is very aware of his surroundings and how in command he is of the area.

I've mentioned that Napoleon does not like men. At all. Especially the hubby but really any men, or strangers. When we are alone out in the yard, he is totally fine. And he can be down-right cute and almost affectionate (at a chicken level). He hops in my lap, hangs out and, sometimes, even falls asleep. And he jumps up onto my hand every chance he gets.

But when a man comes around, forget it. He herds the two girls away from the new person and absolutely will not jump onto my hand for anything. I think it's because he wants to feel and appear more in command. Even though he would be higher up, he is effectively within my control at that point. And I don't think he likes that in front of the others. With the hubby, at least he can charge at him but a male stranger is an big unknown.

I'm not sure if this is all roosters or just my Napoleon. And it's kind of hard to find out from the few other people I know who have chickens. Nobody really has their rooster as interactive as mine is.

I think it's a male thing.