The avian residents of the Abbey are, shall we say, a tad spoiled. They know they’re loved, they know they’re fabulous, and they know that their well-trained human frequently brings them tasty things to keep their beaks busy on these snowbound days. The routine over the past ten days or so has been (1) treats in the morning when Housekeeping comes to bring fresh water and clean the coop; (2) some produce to play with when they go out in their chicken tractor (which is inside the barn these days — not terribly thrilling but it’s the only option with over a foot of snow on the ground); and (3) something extra scrumptious — usually mealworms, but occasionally other things — when they return to their coop as consolation for having to be confined so much. As George Clinton once said, “Give the people what they want when they want and they wants it all the time.” This principle also applies to chickens. If the human does not hand over the extra-scrumptious treats within 2 minutes and 30 seconds of releasing the crew from the tractor, reprisals ensue.
Being good trainers of humans, the chickens start with a small reminder before escalating things:
When looking cute fails to speed up the process, polite squawking comes next.
And oh yeah, if we wanted to, we could turn on a gene that would help us grow our teeth again! (Note from human: That’s not quite how that works, guys.) (Reply from chickens: Do you really want to try us?)
(Human: Not especially. Here are your treats, my avian overlords. I regret any inconvenience I may have caused you.)
(Chickens: (with full beaks) Not at all, my good woman.)