Due to to the large number of predators in our area (after all, our house is surrounded by woods), we don't let our chickens roam free unless we are outside to keep an eye on them. Some days we don't feel like letting them out because it can be a pain getting them all back in the coop. On those occasions, Hayley and I will spend 30 minutes or so digging up worms for them. I know...we're crazy! My dad says that my grandmother (his mom) would have a hissy fit seeing me baby the chickens in such a manner ("make those chickens dig for their own dinner!"). However, there is just something cathartic about digging in the dirt and pulling up those big juicy worms to give to my little "Golden Plumps" (as I affectionately call the chickie girls). Hayley wears gloves because she doesn't like touching the worms (sigh), but I have no qualms about plucking the wrigglers out of the ground with my bare hands (although some of the really big, fiesty ones kinda make my insides flip flop). And, yes, some worms are fiestier than others...believe it or not! I draw the line at grubs, though. Even though the girls like them, I just cannot bring myself to touch a fat white grub that resembles a maggot. Bleh!
On the particular day that I took these photos, the kids had gone out and were digging for worms for the chickens. Since it was such a nice day, we decided to go ahead and let the girls out to roam around the yard. The kids continued to dig to uncover worms for the chickens...which the girls appreciated, but between that and foraging for themselves among the brush they got full pretty quickly!
Hayley's chicken - Aurora - is the most tame of the four chickens. She will let us pet her and carry her around. She is the one in most of the photos below. The others are pretty much "bird brains" and Kirk's chicken is actually a mean little thing....pecking at my hand viciously whenever she gets the chance. I will have no qualms about putting her in the stew pot should the need arise!