We recently added some backyard chickens to our garden and we’ve been loving having a supply of fresh eggs and fertiliser which is fantastic. We’re easily saving $60 a month on what we would pay for free range eggs, and the quality is far superior.
Along with the benefits of having backyard chickens, there come the challenges. We’ve already had to deal with a broody hen and our supply dropped considerably (in retrospect we wish we had of got 3-4 chickens rather than 2 to keep the supply up and share with friends and family when they were all on the lay).
So I must confess. I am one of those weird people who has an incredible fear of birds. I am not sure where it stems from, could have been the swooping magpies, the relentless attacks from plovers or perhaps the goose on the farm who used to chase me as a child.
I did have some exceptions to my fear – like flamingos and penguins. Chickens also weren’t on the list either, until just recently.
We raised two chickens from day olds. One of the chickens we won the rooster lottery and sent him to live on my parents farm (we’re not allowed roosters in the city). The rooster, Butter, a light sussex, attempted to attack my Mum – came at her all wings and talons. Luckily mum had a big stick on hand and was able to knock him out before he scratched her to pieces. After that Butter kept his distance. I thought perhaps it was a rooster thing.
The other chicken that we raised from day old, Pesto, an plymouth rock, was initially quite placid. You would be able to pat her which she seemed to love and she was quite friendly. She started to get a little too friendly when our daughter started crawling and would walk up to her and peck her. At the time it seemed quite harmless. She then started to always want to get in our faces when we were in the backyard. I thought she just wanted a pat or some attention, but it seemed to be a bit forceful so I would shoo her away.
Then one day the chicken attacked me. I was crouching down picking up a grasshopper to give her and she just started running towards me with her wings and talons out. I was in shock and stumbled backwards trying to get away but was too late. She gave me some nasty scratches and punctures all up my legs. I fell and cracked myself on a concrete slab so had extensive bruising all over my arms and legs. So now my fear of chickens begins and my husband just laughs at me.
I’ve read that this could possibly be a territorial thing. She thinks she’s the boss of me. Or maybe I just raise psychopathic chickens.
I’ve asserted my dominance now by always carrying a big stick whenever they are out free ranging but I will never trust her to be out when the kids are in the backyard. Especially when they are still quite young.
Have you ever had one of your backyard chickens attack you?