The Brahmas aren’t getting enough water, since their water nipple keeps freezing up. (Also having just one nipple per bucket isn’t working out. I’ve got more coming.)
Those of you who have raised chickens know that you can’t just pour water in a bowl for them, because they’ll just shit in it. (Oh, yes. They will.) But Landlady’s hens are so starved for water in the morning that water in a bowl doesn’t last long anyway. So I’ve been pouring some of the chunky water from their bucket into a big dog food bowl. This always starts a riot. They’re really thirsty.
There’s only so much room around a dog food bowl, and Brahmas are big chickens. So there are always outliers who can’t get to the bowl, and they don’t accept this passively. If they can’t jostle their way between their sisters, they’ll go over or – hilariously – under. Yup, I watched one determined bird lower her head and tunnel her way right between the legs of a flockmate. The bird in the process of being displaced didn’t even seem to notice until the usurper stood up and power-squatted her right the hell away from the bowl.
I’m expecting Landlady to show up here any minute, and she’s bringing an aquarium heater we’re going to try in the watering bucket. I’m not convinced it’ll solve the nipple-freezing problem, but it’s worth a try.