I've noticed recently that the girls can recognize me from over 50 feet away.
As soon as I walk out the back door of the house, the girls rush to the front of the run and quickly pace back and forth waiting for me to come let them out to free-range in our backyard. Not saying they're sitting there waiting for me to emerge from the house, but I don't think I'll ever be able to sneak out to the back porch without getting their hopes up that it's free-range time.
I knew they were able to spy tender morsels (bugs or mushrooms or other goodies) in the grass that I easily missed, but this far-sightedness surprised me. I thought there was a trade-off to be made: you can be near- or far-sighted, not both. Take your pick!
Poking around the web a bit leads me to this article on Prairie Chickens as told by a hunter, and all he says seems to support the notion that chickens have particularly good eye sight. Huh. Go figure.
Moving on to eating matters: the girls are starting to gobble up their food as if there's no tomorrow. We went through the last seven pounds of chick scratch in just three weeks, and I know very little of it was due to sloppy eating habits. Yes, we've now got a bunch of other birds (sparrows, thrushes and the like) who've decided they like hanging around the outside of the chicken run to eat what the girls slop out of the enclosure, but they don't slop too much.
If I had a better understanding of just how voracious they'd become before starting to lay, I could get bulk food. But as it is, I'm just buying it by the pound out of a bulk bin instead of getting a big pre-filled bag.
I got twelve pounds of chick scratch this past Saturday, and I'm hoping that gets us really close to Time of Lay. By my calculations, we should have our first eggs shortly after Labor Day (hooray!).
I'm just hoping they learn to stay out of the nesting area and stick to the roosts before we get to the laying season. (that's another post entirely)