A new piece of equipment

I have been having more and more of a problem with Ebony’s exuberance and excitement recently. When I give out the morning sunflower hearts and the bedtime corn she pecks my legs. I find myself trying to back away from her or turn my back on her but when I did this she recently pecked the back of my leg.

When I take in a dish of mash she jumps up at me and nearly knocks the dish from my hand before I can set it down.

Ebony also sometimes tries to go out of the gate as I am coming in. The other day I put out my leg to keep her in and she jumped over it. I ended up picking her up and putting her back in. She isn’t  making a bid for escape but just wants to peck at the shavings that have blown out through the gate. I could understand it if there was grass outside the gate but it’s just a patio area and she is just pecking at shavings which are plentiful inside the gate!

The main problem though is the pecking of my legs. I know it’s not malicious and is just over excitement but none the less it is not good and it was making it difficult for me to get in the chicken run. This is a problem I have never encountered before during my time keeping chickens.

I wanted a solution that would protect my legs but not spoil my relationship with Ebony. I don’t want to punish her in any way or put her off me but I want to try to stop this habit. My husband suggest shin pads!

I decided that I needed something to hold in front of my legs. I came up with the idea of using the a frying pan splatter screen. I found one in the discount store for the pricely sum of one pound and seventy pence. I decided to hang it besides the gate and just take it in with me holding it in front of my lower legs.

My new piece of equipment

I thought that Ebony would probably peck the screen instead of my legs but instead she hangs back at about two feet from me. I then lay the screen on the patio and take the corn from the storage cabinet and scatter it.

It works like a dream and makes it easy for me to go in now without being molested! I am hopeful that it may train Ebony to stop pecking my legs. I will try without the screen after about a week and see what she does.

Such a simple thing has made such a difference. Another problem solved until the girls manage to find a new problem for me!

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4 Responses to A new piece of equipment

  1. Sophie says:

    I had visions of you walking in the chicken run with crickets shin pads on!! 🙂 What a good idea! xx

  2. Carol says:

    I think that was Richard’s vision but I thought that there had to be a more simple answer. Ebony looks a little perplexed and hangs back a bit but the other girls, especially Speckles, take no notice at all and when I laid it down on the patio in front of the storage cabinet tonight, Speckles stood on it and marked it with her footprints! (makes a change from her footprints on my cardigan). I am hopeful that it may break the habit but we shall see. I hand feed Ebony spinach leaves to try to show her that nothing has changed. The complexity of chicken relationships! xx

  3. marion says:

    Good idea.like you say, if it stops her for a while, she will most likely forget about it.

  4. Carol says:

    That’s what I am hoping. That would be the best outcome.

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