chicken keeping · Off Topic

The Persistent Hen

I am learning a bit about the personalities of chickens.  They actually do have some personality.

I tend to think of them as a flock and to that end, deal with them as a group, lately, giving them regular “pep talks” about the benefits of them actually laying me eggs regularly.  They have been in a serious molt this year and gone down to 2 eggs a day for a few weeks now.  From 22 hens, that is not good.

The newest batch has begun to lay, so they seem to be the ones covering for the rest.  Their eggs have been so cute and small.  Occasionally, I get a nice big egg.  They are not used to laying yet, and the old girls don’t like to let them have a nest box all the time, I suspect, so I find eggs laying in the bedding very often.

I wanted to tell you though, about one of the chickens.  She is quite the persistent hen.  I have been letting them out of the coop in the afternoon because they really like to forage.  It is really their favorite activity.  Most of them head back into the coop at dark to roost.  A few like to try to roost outside of the coop on top of the run.

This one flies high up into the apple tree above the coop.  She will not come down no matter how many times I remind her of the fox that will get her one of these nights.

The other night we tried pulling the branches and making her uncomfortable, she held on tighter and flapped her wings at us.  We tried climbing up on top of the rickety old run, and poking her with a stick to get her down.  We just broke a board.

She is very determined to stay there in that tree.  Then she wanders the yard in the morning until I go out to feed the rest of them.  Sometimes she will go back in.  Other times, nothing can make her want to go back in.

Yesterday, she came up to the patio door.  Apparently after 3 days out of the coop, she wanted to go back in.  Seriously.  She pecked at the glass and paced back and forth.  A little later, when I went out to feed and collect my, now 4 eggs for 2 days in a row, I couldn’t have kept her out.  She headed right back into the coop as soon as I opened the door.

It seems she knew right where to go to tell us that she was done with freedom and wanted back into captivity.  Food and water is a good incentive I guess.

I wish I had a picture of her up in the tree, but I usually go out without my phone and generally its too dark to get a good pic anyway.

And I thought chickens were dumb.  It seems they are smarter than I thought.  I have to remember that they are indeed God’s creatures and not some inanimate object.  This experience has served as a reminder to me.  I pray I can keep this lesson in mind and adjust my care of them accordingly.

Has an animal in your life taught you a lesson like this??  What was it??  I would love to hear your stories!  





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