Chickens are anxious creatures by nature. If you change even the slightest thing about their surroundings, they go into a nervous panic.
Sometimes it's just fun to screw with them.
I changed their waterer tonight. I got sick of the little jar-topped waterer constantly being filled with food, newspaper bits, poop, and whatever else they could manage to fill it with, therefore rendering the water undrinkable. I've been changing their water four times a day, and tonight I finally got sick of it. I ditched the silly half-inch-high chick waterer for a plastic tupperware container with higher sides.
This change, of course, invoked immediate panic.
What is this strange contraption The Woman has placed in our cage?
Will it hurt us?
They all scurried to the far side of the cage and huddled there, staring at the Mysterious Thing, tilting their heads and watching it ever so carefully.
Hmm. It's not moving.
Grammy, being the outgoing and brave one, came in for a closer look. She sat pecking the plastic on the side of the container for a surprisingly long time before it occurred to her to see what was in the container.
Ha! It's water! And clean water, at that!
She tweeted her excitement to the rest of the scaredy-cats. Err, chickens. Goldilocks ran over and promptly climbed into the water and stood there. And continued to stand there, until the water soaked through her feathers to her skin and she realized that she was, in fact, getting wet. Egads! More panic, a frantic fluttering of wings, and tremendous chicken-squawking.
Each of the silly chickens came over, pecked repeatedly at the plastic (why?) and finally each took a drink, proving to me that they were at least smart enough to recognize water. Kind of.
These chickens really are entertaining little things. Eh, well, not so little anymore. Poor things are going through their "awkward stage". There's absolutely nothing cute about a half-feathered-out chicken. But there's plenty that is humorous, so at least they're good for something!