Richard is a Jersey Giant who was left at Farm Sanctuary with his buddy Marlon. Jersey Giants were bred to be food birds; on average they reach full size at six months of age, but commercially raised Jersey Giants reach full size at 5 weeks of age.
Richard much prefers life on the farm to becoming someone's dinner, and he and Marlon have taken on the very important task of supervising a flock of colored Cornish-cross hens.
Spring is in the air, and the snow is melting in Watkins Glen, NY. This makes for happy roosters and chickens because they can scratch through the topsoil to find some tasty bug treats.
We love seeing Richard's beautiful green and black feathers glowing in the sunshine. Don't they make him look so regal? The green band that you see on his leg is for identification purposes, although most of his human friends at Farm Sanctuary know him by sight because of the way he acts. Chickens have all different kind of personalities just like you'll find in people, and they typically are very social.
Like with many other farmed animals, people underestimate the intelligence of chickens. They communicate with their mothers through their shells before they hatch, and at 5 days old they can recognize numbers up to five. At two weeks of age they can navigate using the sun and learn much from their mothers about what's good to eat and what might be dangerous.
Chickens utilize as many as 30 different vocalizations, include different sounds for predators approaching by land versus from the air. The roosters will also tuck-tuck-tuck in a certain way when they find food to make sure the hens know how resourceful they are.
We love having Richard as part of the The Herbivorous Butcher family!
You can sponsor an animal at Farm Sanctuary, too! Click here to learn more.
Thank you to our friends at Farm Sanctuary for helping us out with the photos and updates, and be sure to click here to read about Liza in case you missed it.