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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Nice, Little Homebody Hen

last year

Thelma is five years old. She is a huge hen. (Ask Slugmama.) Patsy Cline is a year-old, smaller hen, but not a banty. The two little ones are almost four months old. Thelma is part of the group of four that I trained to stay in the yard. Patsy Cline came from a place where she could just roam at will with no fences or boundaries. The little ones are being trained by the older two.

That is not working out since Patsy Cline leads them all astray. Isn't that always the way? The juvenile delinquent leads more kids than the good kid? You remember the trials of my searches? However, in the month or more I could not post, I had to go find hens many more times than I posted!

Today, I heard a ruckus from a hen, hard to hear with the window ac running. I ran out with a bagel to find out what was going on. Once again, a horrid squawking sound and I hurried to the back yard faster. After the attack and loss the other night, I am more vigilant and frightened for my hens. Thelma was standing in the back yard in the great expanse of green that is there, looking all around. She would let out a squawk and turn to look. She had lost the rest of the chickens. She does this quite often when they all go away. Then, she calls out to them. Patsy Cline will call for the others, too.

The bagel torn into two pieces, thrown in the shade near the pen calmed her down. I talked to her a bit and she seemed fine. Soooo, now I am wondering if I must chase chickens and search this block to see where they are. I was really too ill to handle the thought. Oh well. In my nightgown I went to the mailbox. I decided to call "Delilah" to see if they were around or might return to the yard. The other three were in front of the oak in the middle of the yard.

Oh, how they ran. So, I called again and started back to Thelma, not going to the mailbox. They jumped on the half of bagel she was eating. Thelma just walked away as they crowded her out. I am not sure if she is patient or getting old and bullied. Of course, she gives all three a sharp peck if they get in her way...usually. So, I showed her the other half of the bagel and she pecked it all by herself.

Her looking for the others amazes me. Her calling for them amazes me. There is a definite query in her voice.

Your turn
Do you ever see a lone hen calling for her friends? Have you learned to differentiate your hens or chicks sounds?


  1. I am not at all surprised that Thelma likes to know where her friends are.
    Our cats certainly call for each other - and look for each other as well. They don't like each other very much - but they do have to know where the other one is. And if one is outside and one in, the one in house frets until the wanderer returns.

  2. EC,
    Your cats--keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

    When I kept some hens in the pen and let others out, neither group was happy. They just all want to be together and then peck or get pecked.

  3. You don't worry about the neighbor's cat during the day??

    1. The cat tried to snatch one during the day. They put up a fuss and I came out and chased it away. The night attack was when they were in the dark, could not see, and when they were asleep. Chickens see nothing in the dark. I do worry a bit, but not much.


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