February 2011

Can A Hen Turn Into A Rooster?

Today I went out to check on my hens, give them a treat, and pour some hot water into their waterer to thaw it out. The first unusual thing that happened was that as I stepped into their chicken tractor (a sort of mobile chicken pen) Harriet, my Rhode Island Red, flew at my hand which was holding their treat dish.

Harriet is usually the first one in line for treats, and she might hop up and down once or twice, but I have never had her leap up and land on the dish! I turned my head away (her beak was a little too close to my face for my comfort) and dropped both her and the dish to the ground.

I sat for a bit to watch them and make sure everyone seemed to be doing alright, since we're having a pretty unusual cold snap out here. And that's when I spotted a strange growth on the back of one of Harriet's legs. In fact, as I peered at it closely, it seemed to be… a spur!