Chicken watching for Labor Day weekend August 29, 2014

In addition to visiting with family, grilling food, having a picnic and so on… don’t forget to enjoy some chicken watching this Labor Day. It’s good for the soul, and good for your chickens.

Reggie the dog chicken watching

My little dog Reggie watches over the girls as they enjoy some watermelon on a hot day

We’ve talked about the benefits of chicken watching before. More than once. Some people refer to chicken watching simply as “chicken tv.” Some people even gear their coops and runs with closed circuit cameras, so they literally have chicken TV where they can enjoy chicken watching to their hearts content; others have chairs set up in the midst of the flock so they can enjoy tea and chicken antics surrounded by ranging chickens.

We say the more you engage in chicken watching, the better. And this Labor Day, while you honor hard work with a little relaxation, spare a moment to think about the chicken “workers” in factory farms. In contrast with battery chickens crowded into cages or warehouses, your chickens get to forage, preen, dust bathe, sun bathe, lay eggs in nests and so on. Enjoy watching them while you relax this weekend.

And remember: chicken watching not only provides benefits for you, but it also benefits your pet flock. After all, if you know your flock’s normal behavior, you’ll better be able to identify when they’re acting abnormally, and there might be a problem.

  • Are they nervous? Are they hiding? They might sense a predator nearby: keep an eye out! Check the coop to see if there is something hiding inside, or a way in and out for nighttime predators.
  • Are they listless or lethargic? They might be suffering from an illness, an infestation of parasites or some other issue.
  • Are they squabbling? They might need more space–or you might doublecheck to make sure food or water containers haven’t been overturned.
  • Are they panting, and holding their wings away from their bodies? They could be too hot–make sure they have shade, and plenty of cool water.

Please share what sort of things you’ve noticed when chicken watching. Has your vigilance paid off for your flock?

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