Hello my name is Korlia.
I am a stay at home mom to two sons, three dogs, 1 cat, 1 hamster and three chickens.
Where in the world are you?
George, South Africa.
How many chickens do you have?
Three. They were all named by my sons (aged 7 and 2), we are Afrikaans speaking so I hope everyone will understand! Strepies van Leeuwen, Pot Hoender and Herfsie.
How do you spend quality time with your chickens?
My most favorite thing in the world is to just sit and watch them. If I could, I would watch them for hours! Time with them is like my “sanity/unwind time.” I love hand feeding them treats and having them sit on my lap for cuddles.
What has surprised you most about your chickens?
Their intelligence and personalities! I know, I know, shame on me!!! I should have known better!
Strepies van Leeuwen is a real diva! She watches her figure and will not just gobble up her food, she savours every bite, or should I say peck. She loves to stay in the dust bath a little bit longer than the others. A lady needs her beauty treatments, but then again she hates being alone. Whenever the other two have moved along she will stand there making a huge noise, until I come out to carry her to where the other two are scratching away. I am telling you she has trained us well!! She will stroll into the kitchen where her favourite pastime is staring at herself in the reflection of the oven in total awe.
Herfsie on the other hand will not be fooled by trickery! She knows in which hand you hide her treats, and I am sure she can count! She will not stop until she knows they are all finished, even if you hide it in your pocket!
Pot Hoender is our curvy lady and she takes her sweet time in the nesting box. She does not mind to gobble up all treats and snacks to Herfsies’ total disgust. The only time you will ever see Pot running will be when she chases the doves away from her food. It is ALL hers after all.
What do you want to tell people out there (who don’t know chickens as a species) about chickens?
They really are highly intelligent beings. Give them a chance. You will be amazed. Their antics will keep you entertained and they each have their own personality just like you and I.
How do you know that your chickens recognize you over and above other people in their lives?
My girls will come running when they hear my voice, chatting and clucking away. I am still busy unlocking the security gate and they are already there waiting. They know the sound that the blinds make when I pull them up in the morning and will come running to see if it is me. They will follow me even if I am inside the house by jumping on the windowsills and pecking at the window of the room that I am in.
In your experience of keeping chickens as pets, what 10 non-negotiable factors do you believe need to be in place to give chickens a life that is physically, emotionally and mentally healthy?
Unconditional love, quality food and snacks, clean drinking water, ample space, mental stimulation, safe and warm house to sleep in and dust baths.
If you could say one thing, on behalf of chickens in the world, to the decision makers in your country, what would that one thing be?
Shame on you!! Start with change for the better, even if it is just baby steps, but please just start.