For those of you who can’t get enough of CHICKENS! Another great post from our resident Chicken Diva, Cindy Neumann.
Chickens and Tiaras
Cinnie the Circus Chicken
We all have that one certain food that drives us into a food frenzy. We crave it. We can’t get enough of it. For some, it’s chocolate. For others, perhaps a gourmet delicacy. For me, it’s sushi. For Cinnie, the Cinnamon Queen, it’s mealworms.
Mealworms make Cinnie do every trick but standing on her head, but let’s not rule that out for the future.
It was quite by accident I discovered this. I bought a bag of mealworms as a treat for the entire flock, never realizing what a chicken would do to satisfy their food cravings. At first, I thought it was great that the chickens ate the mealworms out of my hand.
The simple sound of the plastic bag crackling when I picked it up created a mad dash to the chicken coop. Then the jockeying for a more advantageous position began, a push here, a peck there.
The behavior became a bit more aggressive. In all of this, Cinnie excelled and even began performing tricks to capture my attention and ensure her more than fair share of mealworms.
It wasn’t enough that Cinnie was first in the coop at the first crackle of the bag. Obviously, I was not opening the bag fast enough for her. Cinnie began jumping up for the bag.
Jump. Still not fast enough. Jump with a peck at the bag. Cinnie, I’m trying here. Jump, peck, hole created in bag. She could jump above my knees in an effort to bring attention to herself.
Who would not reward that type of chicken brilliance and reasoning? I’m certainly not above encouraging such trickery and Cinnie received her ample share of mealworms. Cinnie also taught Lacey, the golden-laced Wyandotte, to jump up for mealworms. Her legacy carries on.
I found that in addition to Cinnie jumping up for the bag, I could encourage her to jump on the ledge in the chicken coop. And then jump down from the ledge. She would follow me around the coop. All the time, I thought her actions were guided by her complete love and devotion to me. Silly me.
Just what exactly are mealworms, you may ask? Mealworms, yummy, are not worms at all, but the larval stage of the darkling beetle. They can be purchased either live or dried—I feed my hens dried mealworms. These are readily available at any farm and home or feed store.
The next time you’re out and about with your favorite chicken and stop in the local café, be sure to order a bowl of mealworms for her.