The Hen Pen

In case any of you are interested, this is the coop, complete with its new occupants:

Naming

It’s unlikely that when I go out to them today, I will recognise them by sight. Mostly, now, a hen is a hen is a hen.

However I sat quietly in the coop yesterday, to be honest I had forgotten just how absolutely blissful that is. No phone, no noise, no outside world, just watching them starting to forage, something that they will never have done before but which is normal chicken behaviour. I saw three very different personalities:

  • One of them is an adventurer. We erected a barrier to keep them close to the coop for the first few days, and she not only circumvented this but came across the garden and found the house. When I shooed her out, her instinct was to peck at me rather than to retreat. (A chicken’s peck delivers a short, sharp, shock but does not otherwise cause damage.) So, she is feisty, which I like. She has fight in her. Her downside is that she is also feisty with the other girls. You know the term “pecking order”? This is where it comes from. They are establishing a hierarchy and this one definitely sees herself as top hen. In our place, where there is ample space for all of them, it doesn’t matter, but when they are used commercially, these birds are kept eighty to a cage, so it becomes a problem. Even though the UK introduced legislation to outlaw battery farming (but only in 2012) this lack of space means that the birds can become unnaturally aggressive toward each other. They’ll relax, given time.
  • One of them is a thinker. Chickens will often move their heads in a very jerky motion, but she sat for ages, absolutely still. I like someone who thinks about the world.
  • The last is the tamest. She thinks nothing about coming close enough that we can easily pick her up. Mostly, chickens will allow you to pick them up, but all the same, they’d rather you didn’t. I like that she doesn’t fear us, because there is no need for her to fear us.

My worst fault is that I overthink things. Do you think I might be doing that here? 🤣

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

21 thoughts on “The Hen Pen”

        1. I’ve just been told her name is mow Pecker. If you go near her, she goes or you! I have known women like that.
          They are still not used to the coop environment and need to be removed in the morning and replaced at night, but they’ll learn.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. If the Internet can be obsessed with cat videos on a daily basis, I don’t believe you’re in danger of overthinking anything! 😀 You should see my cousin with his ferrets he consults with on everything from television viewing to what he wears. He swears it keeps them “calm and focused.”

    And they don’t contribute fresh eggs! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s a good thing you’re doing by rescuing the chickens! I love chickens, too. We’ve never had any, but my cousin raises them, regular ones and exotic ones. He gives them all names, and they are great egg producers which he sells locally (in Colorado). They pretty much run free, and are friendly so he can pick them up, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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