I sometimes think that the only ones who benefit from behavior modification
are we humans!
You might remember that we did a bit of re-arranging two weeks ago.
We moved the turkeys from the barn into an almost empty henhouse
and moved those few hens into our main chicken yard that has two henhouses.
In order to reinforce that this new area is their new home,
we kept the chickens in their yard for ten days.
Certainly 10 days would be long enough for them to understand that
they now live in a new home.
Of course not.
Yesterday, as soon as we opened the chicken yard to allow all to go outside and free-range...
the chickens that had been moved immediately ran back to their old house.
Birds do not forget!
I had heard this about crows... that they are highly intelligent and have
a great memory.
And now I am a believer that chickens are the same.
As for the turkeys...
they still follow us around during morning chores,
and hang out with the chickens during the rest of the day.
And at the end of the day?
Yes... we have to walk them back to their new home.
It's not that they remember their old home...
it's just that they don't seem to remember much of anything.
Tom remembers that his Saturday mission is to always chase our
poor neighbor Anna (who helps us out on Saturday mornings.)
You see... it all started when she was pregnant with her first daughter...
Tom and Chuck (Tom's deceased brother) started chasing after her and threatening to flog her.
Curiously, the same thing happened to our daughter-in-law after she gave birth to Mackenzie.
I am thinking it must be a hormonal thing.
It's definitely weird... these two gals are the only people to whom this has ever happened.
Normally, these turkeys are completely benign and non-aggressive.
Ask Anna... she'll tell you..."Turkeys never forget, either!"