Get to Know Our Chickens…
October 12, 2020
Chickens are just like us…well sort of. They’re extremely intelligent and similar to humans, they enjoy freedom and prefer to make choices for themselves. The key to making our chickens happy and healthy is providing lots of options – to stay inside or to roam outside – so they have the space to engage in all of their favorite natural behaviors.
The Animal Welfare Act states that animals should be allowed Five Freedoms, one of which is the Freedom to Express Normal Behaviors. This specific freedom is ingrained in our mission at Blue Sky Family Farms, and it’s a promise we’ve kept to our chickens since day one. So, how exactly do we do this?
Well, we give all of our ladies 10 – 50 acres (per flock) of pasture to explore. When chickens have room to roam and explore, they get to act and live in ways that come naturally to them. These behaviors include perching, dust bathing, scratching, pasturing, and socializing.
Meet some of our free-living ladies below and see for yourself how they choose to spend their time!
Meet Betsy…her favorite past-time is Perching!
Chickens love their downtime, and free-living hens will roost on perches all night long. When perching is introduced to chicks at a young age, they grow to have increased muscle mass and bone strength, along with higher cognitive development.
Meet Mabel…she’s the biggest fan of Dust Bathing!
There’s nothing as luxurious to a chicken as a dust bath. Flapping around in the dust helps chickens cool-down, clean their feathers, and rid themselves of parasites.
Meet Daisy…during her free time, she loves Scratching!
When you see a chicken scratching at the ground with her feet, you know you’re looking at a healthy bird. Chickens scratch the ground in a backward motion to explore their surroundings. Scratching the ground also keeps their claws at a natural length and is a perfect stress-reducer!
Meet Ginger…she spends her days Pasturing!
Pasturing plays a huge role in the concept of chicken freedom. This is when they have the opportunity to make whatever choices are best for them – whether that’s foraging for bugs and worms, or just basking in the sun. Pasturing is all about feeding their curiosity and giving them time to explore.
Meet Trixie…she loves Socializing!
In the wild, there’s strength in numbers for a chicken, so they are inherently social animals. Socializing gives them pals to count on and to mimic.
So there you have it – chicken living at it’s finest. And when we do our chickens good at Blue Sky Family Farms, they do us good by providing us tasty, nutritious eggs.
Stay connected to our ladies. Learn more about the joys of perching from our girl Betsy in our next blog post.