Tag / Tilly

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Well, He’s Definitely a Roo!

He finally stood still and posed for me!

I’ve been back now for 4 days now and there are definite changes in the coop.  Chocolate is definitely a boy!  He has emerged a rooster- as the leader of his girls.  I feel proud for him.  He was the underdog when Peanut was around.

Now he is one of the biggest in the flock, developing a beautiful comb, wattle and streaming neck feathers.  I have not heard him crow anymore.  Is there such a thing as a quiet rooster?

Yesterday, I let them free range after 3 continual days of wind and rain.  They were so happy.  Like Pavlovian dogs, every time I walked back and forth from the coop to the garage, they thought that I had scratch for them.  Chocolate and Tilly were always the first to come running.  They are getting braver and are even considering entering the garage after just recently feeling comfortable crossing over the pea stone driveway.   I must have made that trip 8 times before I brought them that scratch.

The two of them make a great pair.  They seem to have mutual respect for one another.  Plus, he is not a bully.  My heart was touched when he came over and spoke to me.  We carried on a 5 minute conversation. Then I picked him up and nuzzled with him on my lap.  As usual, he snuggled right in making little clicking sounds of gratitude with his beak.  Although his feathers were cool to the touch, I could feel his little body warming up as I held him.  Then I smelled his back feathers and gave him a kiss before returning him to his girls.  I have to say, he is a lover not a fighter, and for that I am thankful.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Do they understand me?

I really do believe so.  Before I had chickens, I wasn’t really sure how smart they were.  I thought that they were cute and all and had come to the conclusion that would be enough for me to start raising them.   All the girls seem smart.  Tilly knows her name.  When they are free ranging outside and I do not see them immediately, I just have to call her name and she comes out from where she is.  It is so adorable because as head hen, wherever Tilly goes, the others follow.  They all run to me so fast.  Sometimes giddy in fact.  But contrary to belief, they are not looking for food, they are sometimes just looking for love.

Yep,  my chickens love to be loved.  They each take their turns.  Depending on their personalities, some like to be held and snuggled like little babies and some just love a good stroking of their sides, back and underbellies.  You may even think that I am crazy, but I love the way they smell too.  They smell warm, sweet and comforting.  Next time you are with your girls, give them a smell.  I promise it will warm your heart.

The girls also recognize their favorite treats.  I can put many different ones inside of the run but they always like broccoli, grapes and strawberries the best.  At first, I thought that it was the red coloring of the strawberry that they were attracted to but the other treats proved me wrong.

The girls also can spot danger.  Oyster Cracker always serves as the lookout.  When she sees something out of the corner of her eye, she lets out almost a low growl of a dog.  The chickens stand perfectly still and stop whatever they are doing.  I can pick them up easily when they are doing this because they are just like lawn statues.

They have their own language.  I am trying to decode it but they all understand it.  Some of their favorite chicken lines express happiness, I found something, don’t do that to me, come here, follow me, where are you,  let’s snuggle.

I believe that some of these things are born into them and they just being chickens know how to do these things, but I truly do believe that they experience emotions, have a pretty high level of intelligence and have social rules and orders.