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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Patsy Cline Is So Confused

 "Oats," says Patsy Cline (left). "Perfect."

She seems to be a sweet hen and catches on that she can follow me to the porch, mount the steps, and I will say, "Okay, okay, just a minute, just a minute, I will be right back." She goes to the grass and waits. I throw something to her and Thelma.

When Patsy Cline quit laying, I was stymied. Maybe she is not getting enough protein? Maybe there is something wrong with her?

Every morning, I give the two girls regular  Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats right from the same box I use for my breakfast. Plus, they get any kitchen scraps. For a few days I have been watching closely at what each eats when I go out in the morning. Thelma goes straight for meat scraps, while Patsy Cline devours the oats. Hmm...

This morning I decided to give them meat first and leave the oats until later in the morning, a few scraps of baked chicken with Mrs. Dash Chicken Spices on it while baking. I opened the pen gate and they eagerly came around my feet, looking up at the saucer in my hand. I sprinkled the pieces I had diced up for them. As the diced pieces landed, Thelma was pecking quickly. Patsy Cline went forward also, looked down at the chicken, looked around, looked back up to the saucer in my hand, looked at me, ran around frantically, and just seemed confused. Thelma ate all the chicken except for a few pieces when I just gave up.

A little disappointed that Patsy Cline got no protein, I left. She ran to the last tiny piece of chicken and just looked at it, looked around again. Suddenly, she darted out, following me, making little begging noises. I turned and looked at her. She stopped dead in her tracks and looked off into the distance as if to say, "I'm not following you." Each time I started walking, she did the same thing. Finally, I got dizzy from whirling around to catch her. Well, I did not whirl, just whipped my head around.

Patsy Cline followed me all the way to the house! She sounded so pitiful. In about thirty minutes I went back with oats. I think I saw a chicken in ecstasy. She was so happy. Later, I threw frozen carrots out the back door that had been thawed. Thelma and Patsy Cline pecked at a few pieces and left them. Later, I threw the bruised half of a banana and the peel into the yard. They ate all the banana. Of course, when I closed their pen. I had to clean up the peel and two pieces of carrot from the ground by the steps.

Feeding her what she likes means she would just eat oats! This is toddler behavior. The only thing I can think of is to put half the food outside the pen while Louise comes out to get it and put the other half of the protein in the pen and lock Patsy Cline inside until she eats. They both eat out of boredom when locked in. Or, maybe they are just hungry and desperate.

The sight of her running after me, frantically begging will be with me forever. Thelma got a double ration of protein, so she will continue her giant egg habits.

The wisteria recovers the fence, unfortunately. sigh

Your turn
Have you ever had a chicken so wild about oats or one food that she just refused to eat unless she got her "regular" food, her favorite?


  1. It has been many years since I had hens. I am wondering what type of calcium your hens are getting? Do you give them oyster shell or something similar?

    1. Egg shells. My problem is not soft shells; it is not eggs at

  2. I've never had chickens, as you know, but when The Hurricane was a toddler she went through a phase when she ate nothing but grapes. The thought of Patsy Cline following you and begging made me laugh.


    1. Janie,
      I guess this is her toddler phase. funny. I was laughing, too.

  3. Ours just get chicken ration with various kitchen leavings and garden thinnings. I wouldn't have thought of giving them meat.

    1. Jane,
      Chickens eat meat--chicks, mice. Your ration probably has protein. My hens do not get chicken food.

  4. I have never given my chickens oats. I know that oats are great for rabbits if you want them to put on weight or stop having diarrhea. Oats are great for horses (except mine who tend to eat too much anyway). Oats are a great food for me too. I have oatmeal with taspberries in it, but what I would rather have are homemade oatmeal and raisin cookies I make myself ! If I have a sick chicken, I will try a few.

  5. Jane,
    You will try a few cookies for your sick chicken. Are you wanting cookies? lol COB was what I was told to feed them, that I could mix it, buy it mixed, or just feed them each individually. They get my oats and corn. So far, I have fed them no barley.

    I think the chickens would stand and eat corn or oats until the just fell over. People say horses like oats, so maybe that is why they just get a ration everyday.

    Animals don't seem to need sugar and butter on their oats like I need it. Raisins are yummy in oats, too.

    Now, I want to make oatmeal and raisin cookies!

  6. Mine love oatmeal! For protein I just throw an egg from the coop into the pen. They gobble it right up, even the shell - all of them, even Charlie the rooster eats them. Evil Ethel is getting old and sometimes she lays those funky rubber eggs (no shell on 'em) and they get those too. They never eat an egg unless I give it to them. I also feed mine leftover veggies from dinner. Hate to admit it, but mine love pork chops. Yup! They pick the bone clean. They are more like little piggies than chickens! They also like (horrors) chicken diced up in little pieces, celery, lettuce, tomatoes and raisins.

    1. Chckenmom,
      Yes, mine love all that. I never throw them and egg; I just fumble the egg and it crashes to the ground. Isn't it amazing how clean they can get any bone? I am in awe.

      Oats are just the first "meal" of the day. In the winter I give them warm oatmeal with salt. And, mix in whatever, sometimes an egg sort of scrambled.

  7. Good grief. Patsy is a movie star and has requirements. I wouldn't be able to stand her pitiful cries and would cave in too.

    But like anonymous said, trick her with little bit of oats mushed together with protein. If she wants the oats, she will have to take whatever is glommed onto them.

  8. lotta joy,
    Yes, she does have requirements. Why do I always get divas? I make a "brownie" in a 9x10 inch pan that has eggs, cream style corn, cornmeal, and egg shells. So, they get the eggs, enough protein. I slice it into pieces, store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and give them some each day. Oh, no chocolate in the "brownie." I think I will just continue to give plain oats in the morning and feed them their protein later in the day.

    However, I have some molasses that I may mix into the oats, maybe not. Molasses should be good for

  9. Hi, Linda! I've had so much fun reading about chickens and looking up chicken forage to plant after reading the comment from Anonymous (which had now been deleted) last night. permies(dot)com is almost always my go to site for information. These folks think outside the box...sometimes, waaaay outside the box, as in 'there was the box?', and it's good. I can get lost for hours reading in there. If you would like to do some research or just have fun reading the ideas go to the website, click on 'critters' and then 'chickens' and pick a topic you see that interests you. Hope you are doing well, my friend. xoxoxo


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