I wonder if my chickens truly appreciate what a wonderful life they lead. I feed them high quality foods and I keep the hen house so clean that it looks as new as the day Dave set it up.
I am in Tucson, Arizona, visiting my sister Kathy who lives on an eight acre "ranch". Kathy raises llamas, goats, sheep, geese, Angora rabbits, cats, AND ten chickens. Now that I know something about chickens, I was interested to check out her set up. I was not impressed at all and this is no fault of my sister. She lives in the desert where you have to deal with bobcats, hawks, and rattlesnakes. She cannot allow her ladies to wander wherever they please. Instead, she has to keep them locked up with complete overhead covering. Kathy lives in the county so she can raise roosters as well. Last week her husband made dinner out of their two roosters because they were pecking the heck out of her hens.
I thought having a rooster would be fun, but now I am not so sure. Roosters can be so brutal when they mount the hen. Here are some photos of 'battered hens.'
And here is a photo of the chicken coop. The cages on the left are for the Angora rabbits. The rabbits are living in the mother-in-law's quarters as they were showing signs of being overheated.