January 25, 2013

Personal Chicken


I appear to have my own personal chicken. Not that I want a personal chicken. Nor that I think of chickens as pets, I don't. That doesn't mean I don't like chickens, I love chickens. Given our lifestyle, it just doesn't make sense to become emotionally attached to our animals.

This chicken however, seems to have attached herself to me. In fact about the middle of the afternoon, she usually comes looking for me. I'll look outside the kitchen window and there she is, at the bottom of the porch steps, looking up at the house and waiting for me to come out.


If I'm already outside, she'll come running right up to me. She'll stand at my feet, cocking her head to look at me with one eye. Then she'll cluck as if to say, "I found you." After that she'll follow me around. In the event that she doesn't find me, she busies herself by scratching up anything I've mulched.

Technically, she's not even supposed to be on this side of the fence. She's a fence hopper though and has defied every wing clip I've given her: one sided, both sided, even, uneven, lopsided, you name it. She still makes it over the fence.

The other day she saw me raking leaves, hopped the fence, and came running. She happily scratched down all the leaves I was trying to rake up. I don't deny that this is a tad annoying, but as friendly as she is, she won't let me catch her.


This hen is one of my original 19 hand raised baby chicks. She is an Ameracauna, and was my only green egg layer. I say was, because she hasn't laid an egg in forever. She doesn't even have a name because we don't name our chickens. But I don't reckon that matters one iota to her. Nor to me for that matter.

Personal Chicken © January 2013 

33 comments:

Mary Ann said...

If you've had her a long time and she hasn't "laid an egg in forever" and you still have her... she's your pet!

Michelle said...

I had to snicker at Mary Ann's comment; sounds like a pet to me, too! :-)

And in her defense, maybe she lays her eggs in hiding, since she obviously isn't confined to the coop.

Everstuff said...

I love it when animals around the farm have little quirks like this. Makes me smile.

Jacquelineand.... said...

As my old Pa used to say: "yahuh, we don't have animals we'll be eating as pets but sometimes they make themselves your friend anyway."

Looks like you have a hen-friend!

Carolyn said...

Nothing wrong with an occasional Chicken Buddy! And the laying-a-neat-green-egg can be a liability as well as an asset; it you don't have other green-egg layers, it's pretty obvious when you're NOT laying (ask me how I know this!).

Jaclyn Hicks said...

Now that is the sweetest thing!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

And this, dear Michelle, is how they worm their way into my heart and I'm feeding a bunch of critters until, natural, death do us part.
She live to be old around here because she's clever -grin-.

Stephanie said...

Hahaha, that is too cute! She thinks you are a kindred spirit.

Farmer Barb said...

We have a former laying Ameraucana, too. We don't name our food, either, but she was so mean to the incoming chicks, we started calling her Frau Farbissena after the screaming character from Austin Powers. She is currently in isolation from them in the pen next door so she doesn't rip all their feathers out. Her days are numbered. When the weather warms up, the scalder will be turned on. I just can't face butchering when it is 4 degrees out!

Leigh said...

Mary Ann, LOL. It would appear so whether I use the term "pet" or not.

Michelle, she has been known to hide her eggs, so what you say is true and I keep looking around to see if I can find a stash somewhere. My chickens have all recently come off their moult, so I may get a green egg yet. Here sister Ameraucana just laid her first egg of the year yesterday.

Everstuff, that's what makes it so fun, doesn't it!

Jacqueline, it's true, some critters are just like that. :)

Carolyn, that's so true about egg color. My original flock gave me white, cream, light brown, dark brown & speckled, and of course her green egg. Now we have mostly Buffs, so the eggs aren't as interesting in the carton anymore.

Jaclyn, the remnants of my original hens are all pretty friendly, I'm guessing because they didn't have a mama hen, they had me. All the others are mama hen raised and a little leery.

Sandra, it does happen, doesn't it. :)

Stephanie, certainly appears that way!

Barb, your Frau Farbissena sounds like my Mrs. Mean! She's another of my originals, and originally on the bottom of the pecking order. She was darned determined to not remain at the bottom when the new batch of chicks arrived. The bigger problem is the last single chick, Chicken Little. Turned out to be a roo and is reeking havoc in the hen house and with Cowboy, the flock rooster. All we need is a warmer day too!

Sandy said...

Leigh,

Nothing like trying real hard to be your friend to prevent from being the next hen in the freezer, lol

Silly but cute little hen.

thewovenspoke said...

It looks like you have a "friend" I've had a few of those over the years and find their present kinda comforting.

Tina G. said...

One of your first 6 chickens was an Americana too, and she is the friendliest chicken I have ever met. She too seeks out our company. She will stand on our feet, jump up on things to be petted, and has even jumped up into my arms. She is definitely a pet! We named her Annie, and we hope she lives a long and happy life with us. We have others who can retire to the freezer, but I couldn't bear to think of eating her.

Mama Pea said...

We had a little bantam hen like that who wiggled right into our hearts. There's no way anyone could put a chicken like that in the stew pot. Ya have to wonder if they know what they're doing . . .

Nina said...

Check around 'cause I've got one who won't lay in the coop. Whenever I find her stash, she moves house.
I do agree, she has chosen to be your pet. I had one of those and she was a constant source of amusement. She even decided to try my tea one spring day when I was knitting in the sunshine. I would have been hard pressed to eat that gal, due to her antics.

Doug Pitcher said...

My kids name our pets. Most of the time it's brown chicken or silver chicken. Somehow our steer was named Monkey. After we butchered him it was funny to announce that we loved monkey meat.

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

Leigh, your little chicken girl is a real cutie patootie!

Brenda said...

I'll guarantee the day she stops looking for you...you'll go looking for her! Admit it, your hooked. Anything with a brain and a heart can love something. Your it!
\

Quinn said...

I think there's a place between "pet" and "must produce eggs indefinitely or die." It seems to be where my friendly hens live!

Renee Nefe said...

Like Sandy, I think she might be trying to avoid the freezer.

Although if you find her nest she might redeem herself.

bspinner said...

Not everyone has a chicken that loves them. Just enjoy it. I think its cute.

Madness, Trouble, Squish and Milkbone said...

Ahwm that is just so sweet. I thik it's time to name her. :-)

a view from a brown dog said...

Oh my gosh what a great story Leigh. I think you do have a pet though haha. I love how you describe her, i'd say the feeling may be mutual especially if she hasn't laid in forever...

3 of my girls just started laying again and I am so happy about that. Happy Friday!

Leigh said...

Sandy, she's just a sweet gal. :)

Thewovenspoke, it's ones like this that really make it fun to take care of animals. :)

Tina G., when I first read about Ameraucanas, I read that they aren't very friendly. My two have been the friendliest chickens we've had. It's true, some are just more special than others.

Mama Pea, LOL. Who knows? Some animals are pretty smart. :)

Nina, this one is famous for stashing her eggs! I haven't found anything yet, but I'm still on the lookout.

Doug, too funny about monkey meat. I had friends who named their beef cattle things like "Hamburger" and "Stew." The kids still got to name them but always knew what they were for.

Martha, she's just got that look about her. So sweet.

Brenda, my Buffs mostly run away if I get near. It's nice to have at least one chicken who's always glad to see me. :)

Quinn, nothing is black and white. :)

Renee, I still have hope for more green eggs!

Barb, and probably never again!

MTS&M, I've tried "Goldie" and "Golda", but nothing seems to stick. Dan calls her the ugly chicken(!)

Jen, thanks! And isn't it wonderful to start finding eggs again! I actually found 3 today.

Rosanne said...

I will be the first to admit it: I love my chickens and they all have names. When they see me outside, they all come running, hoping for a snack. I still have nine chickens in the freezer from October and haven't been able to cook a one. lol
We have nine hens and 2 roosters we raised. We have been getting seven to nine eggs all winter, which surprises me. My husband loves all the angel food cakes I've been baking.
Enjoy your little hen "friend", they can be very entertaining, can't they.

Farmer Jen said...

She is beautiful! And obviously she wants to be near you and be friends. I keep hens for eggs. I eat meat, but could not kill or eat someone I've loved and cared for. I name my chickens and do consider them to be pets. That's just me. Anyway, I figure that if a hen is old enough to stop laying permanently, then she would be too tough to eat anyway. Might as well keep her as a pet and use her manure for my organic gardens. My current flock of hens are all Buff Orpingtons with one all white Auracauna who gives me beautiful teal blue eggs.

Your hen friend is a beautiful blonde girl! Name her Blondie!

Leigh said...

Rosanne, lucky you to get so many eggs during the winter! I hadn't thought about making angel food cake with extra eggs. I do freeze extras though, in case of egg drought during moult, etc.

Jen, it's true that an emotional distance is needed for raising meat animals. Not naming animals though, is more than just meat issue though. We've lost a number of animals to predators and illness, no matter how hard we try to protect them. Some animals we've sold or given away, to keep our numbers manageable for us. The ones I've developed an emotional bond to were the most devastating losses. Hence I tend to not give everybody a name.

Nancy po said...

I have my only remaining first batch girl, Rosie, she's such a sweetie. She's in retirement, hasn't laid a egg in a couple of years. She's a real sweetie :)

Laura said...

My little girls always pick "favorite" chickens. They would love your personal chicken. They tend to pick roosters though and those don't last too long around here....unless they are a personal favorite and their dad takes pity on them.

A Wild Thing said...

I got one too, follows me everywhere, but she is not a pet, just a smart chicken who knows the hand that feeds her. I have a squirrel that's the same way, when she sees me in the kitchen window, she patiently waits for me to bring her some peanuts...but would never call each a pet, they're my lil'friends.

Leigh said...

Nancy, funny how animals can vary so much in personality. This gal really is sweet. I have another chicken, who's sweet to humans, but mean as all get-out to other chickens!

Sharon, I think that's more how it is, they know a good thing (food) when they see it. Too funny about the squirrel.

Lisa said...

I smiled at this as well. May you don't have a pet, but your unnamed green egg laying Americauna does! Lovely story. A good reminder that animals we call "ours" have a life of their own--and much personality when we take the time to notice!

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Oh my goodness...SO CUTE! I think you need to make an exception for this cute little hen. She loves you :)