Every once in a while we decide it’s time to clean out our fridge. Anything that’s on the verge of mutating into a moldy, bacteria infested monster gets tossed in the compost or goes to the chickens. They love to take care of our wilted lettuce, squishy tomatoes, and ripe dairy products.
We had a container of ricotta cheese in the fridge that had been sitting for a few weeks. One whiff of it was enough to make my stomach turn. It was clearly days away from mutation and not fit for human consumption. I put all of our chicken friendly foods in a pile. We had the ripe ricotta, some squishy brown bananas, a container of meatballs (which is very curious because we haven’t eaten meatballs in months) and some Brussels sprouts with dry and yellowing skins.
I always get so excited about giving snacks to the chooks. When I walk out the door with an arm full of grossness they go INSANE. They know what’s coming. They know it’s going to be the best day of their lives so far. They all crowd around the door to the run. They push and shove each other. Each one wants to be closest to the door when it opens. As soon as I open the door I’m bum rushed by fluffy butts. They jump to waist level and try to grab what’s in my hands. They crawl all over each other to get the best spot directly under the food. When I drop it down it’s complete mayhem. Each chicken grabs what they believe to be the most glorious morsel and jets off to the corner of the run. Any chicken that ends up with something sub-par takes off in pursuit, yanking the morsels from other chickens beaks and trying to eat while running for their lives.
I had to grab my camera and capture the ridiculousness that was the ricotta cheese consumption. Our two leghorns did not leave the container even once, they just took turns dipping their heads inside and coming out with cheese coated faces. The other birds would lick the cheese off their beaks and they would go back for more. The whole carton of cheese lasted about 5 minutes before it was licked clean, and over half of the birds had the cheese all over their faces.
Little Carl was obsessed with biting the ricotta off of Tweedle Dees face. She didn’t seem to mind, as she was getting her face cleaned, and Little Carl was getting a nice cheesy treat. A true win-win.
Frank could hardly get his giant head inside the carton. Every time he dove in his huge comb scraped all the cheese from the sides and came out dripping with nastiness.
The birds love bananas. They methodically eat the meat out of the center then pick away at the peel until nothing is left. Little Carl, being the head hen, took charge of an entire banana and wouldn’t let anyone else have any until she was finished. She ran from snack to snack, shoving hens out of the way so she could get a taste of everything. If she was a fellow human I think I would want to push her down a lot of the time.
Frankie was NOT too happy that I was in the run taking photos of his harem of hens. He kept a close eye on me and followed me all over the place flapping his wings in indignation.
Mokey wanted nothing to do with the insanity that was snack time. As the resident on the bottom rung of the chicken power ladder, she would have had a hard time getting any of the goodies for herself. She was content to just watch from above.
Tweedle Dee, who I think I’ll rename Ricotta Comb, ended up the messiest out of everyone. At least her feathers are white so she could hide some of it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed uncomfortably close photos of our dirty chickens!