The boarders have a few books about the labor relations between a farmer and his livestock. The first one, Cows that Type, details a labor action started by the cows but ultimately including the ducks and chickens as well. After refusing to deliver eggs or milk, the workers settled on an agreement that gave them electric blankets at night to keep warm.
In a follow up book one of the ducks begins a career as a politician public offices by running for farmer. He does a piss poor job. Chickens similarly show little aptitude for agriculture.
Last summer my chickens formed a syndicate with the neighbor’s chickens and attacked our side garden where I have Alpine Strawberries. They dug through the mulch and kicked it into the driveway. Despite this, they didn’t rip up a single weed. WTF chickens?
I had to repair the damage this weekend. The aforementioned neighbor with the chickens has a pile of mulch. Three or Four wheelbarrow’s full of mulch and some heavy duty weeding took care of the problem. It looks much nicer now and the little Alpine Strawberries look great.
Aggravating this situation, one of our chickens, Tiny, likes to fly out of the run and dig in the garden. Again — not good farming practice. This has led to a lot of frustration on my part. I re-planted the peas and have fenced them off a bit, but I kept finding one or two ripped up plants.
She forced my hand. I clipped one of her wings and now she stays put. It was a remarkably calm operation. Once the wings are fully grown they are essentially like hair or fingernails. Clipping them caused her no pain. Once I had released her into the run she behaved as she usually does — but no more flying.
You only clip one wing because it puts them off balance. Apparently if you clip both, they’ll eventually figure out how to fly, but they can’t adjust to just one. In case you are wondering, I clipped her right wing. Really I’m always opposed to the right wing.