Our new batch of chicks is now almost a week old, and we've been having a good time watching them. It's much more entertaining than TV, and better acting, too. There are seventeen of them, so there are always a few active ones, even if most of them are passed out with their beaks in the wood chips. Of the seventeen, sixteen are red ranger broilers, which have down in various shades of yellow and red. The other is a mystery chick, which has gray down, and is smaller than the rangers. (The rationale, in case you're interested, is that the minimum order from McMurray was fifteen chicks, there was a discount price per chick at sixteen, and they throw in a free rare-breed chick if you like. The idea is probably to encourage folks to keep the genetics of the rare breeds going, although our rare breed mystery chick is liable to be well-done long before it gets the chance to pass on its genes. We just wanted to get the most potential meat for our buck. Don't tell Murray!)
Today, we also had a first: chicken farts. We hadn't seen (or heard) it before, so we googled it. Sure enough, it's a fairly common phenomenon. As long as the chicks aren't showing other signs of distress (which ours aren't), it seems like it's not a problem if they learn to chirp from both ends. (The link has plenty of entertaining anecdotes about other livestock with similar talents.)
As long as we're on the topic of chicken digestive health, we wanted to pass along a couple helpful links related to the subject:
The famous illustrated (photographed?) guide to chicken poop. (Someone should probably organize those photos into a periodic table-type thing. Who wouldn't hang one of those on their living room wall?)
Chicken digestive system explained.
Do you have any chickens with unique digestive skills? Do you have any other favored links related to chicken digestion? Tell us about them in the comments section below!