Yesterday was our last day babysitting our neighbor's chickens. Can I share with you how much fun it was? I mean, we didn't have to clean out the hen-house. We didn't have to even give them extra food. All that was required of us was to clean out their water every other day, let them out in the morning (only if we were so inclined), lock them back in at night, and collect their eggs. Not difficult.
But every day, my girls and I looked forward to seeing them. The girls could not keep their hands off of them, and by the end of the week, it certainly seemed like the chickens were familiar with us and more willing to allow themselves to be picked up.
One morning, right after letting them out of their coop, we got to watch them take a dust bath. None of us had ever seen that, and we stood there, transfixed, for at least a half an hour, watching them kick dirt around.
Another morning, we collected 3 eggs and wanted to wait around for the 4th hen to lay her egg. Wait and wait we did, but no egg came. She settled herself into her nesting box, but I think didn't want to drop her egg until "those noisy people" left. When we came back in the afternoon, it was there waiting for us, in the box she had nested in.
One afternoon, we decided to come over early to check on the chickens and we noticed two hawks circling above. The hens weren't acting like themselves, so we ended up putting them back in their coop. Talking with my librarian friend about it afterwards, she said that was probably a good thing we did.
We're now by no means experts with chicken-keeping, but I think this week has increased our interest in tending chickens, and we feel more comfortable with interacting with them.