What you say about your hens

Well they certainly seem to be a mischievous lot based on the some of the comments from our re-homers!

They follow my boyfriend around the garden encircling him and getting under his feet so he can’t move in any direction. They stand there looking up at him expectantly. It has me in stitches.

One of them, Hattie, occasionally breaks away from the group when free ranging in the garden and will come into the sitting room and watch TV (prefers cartoons)

They troop into the kitchen and tap on the cupboard door that contains the cake tins!

Steal biscuits from innocent bystanders, peck varnished toe nails and lay eggs in the cat’s bed

Our oldest ex-bat who is now called ‘Old Girl’ likes to come and sit next to you in the garden, and nudges your arm until you stroke her just like the cats.
Drink my coffee, my wine and sit on my lap eating whatever I’m eating. There to greet me as soon as I get in from work
Snuggle up to us and have a snooze with their heads tucked into our armpit. Have had 3 or 4 hens all in a pile on our laps at the same time!
Towards evening they gather at the patio door to be ready for their treat. Our neighbour thought they were watching TV!
Queuing up for a cuddle at bedtime
Come into the house in the winter and curl up in the dog beds with the dogs
They come into the house, climb up onto the lounge windowsill and go to sleep next to a photograph of my mam who always wanted to keep chickens. It’s as if they know she’d have loved them.
We had one (Spud) live in our bedroom for the first 4 weeks of her new life and now when we go out and sit in the garden she jumps straight on our backs and makes a happy noise
Love to spend time on the sofa watching TV, eating treats and sleeping. When they see its dark outside they rouse themselves and go to their roost.
They love to sit in the workshop when my husband is working, snuggled down in the fresh sawdust
Chicken chat
Talk to you like you’re one of the flock
Talk! They have a spacious run but have access to multiple acres under supervision – they have become very adept at talking me into setting them free! They couldn’t be more friendly or lovable
Talk to me in cluck language then answer me back
All come in the house when I’m poo-picking or collecting eggs and tell me their news
They shout at me, follow me about, generally help with everything and do excellent Road Kill impressions in the sunshine!
Gossip when they’re settling on their perches in the evening. I often stand and look and listen and have a giggle to myself. Anyone who thinks hens don’t have a language should come and listen to my lot!
Children love that hens talk to them and peck at the spots on their wellies
Holly coming into our kitchen and conversing with our cheese plant in there!
One hen has an amazing range of sounds. She can give a danger signal a low purr if she hears a plane. At times she is raucous and loud but when she spots nice food makes the most delightful ‘kissing’ noises.
They like chatting to us, if we say hello they respond
Therapy
Interesting rather than funny, I love watching them learn the world when first released
They’re good listeners. Clucking away when I’m having a moan
We have a five acre field they roam in and if I am over there they all follow me in a line. I am like the hen pied piper. I love my ladies. I have a stressful job and they are pure and natural calmers.

Gymnastics
Gymnastic hens

Play slug rugby or spaghetti tag
They’ll do anything for mealworm; they run as fast as their little legs will carry them as soon as they see you coming with the mealworm bag, and then crowd your feet and jump up until they get their fix.
They jump onto my knee, onto my shoulder and then onto a high fence into next door…all for Rice Krispies from the kids
Hopping up for Grapes!
Fighting over my lap, Roz climbs up my wellies, Pippa takes flying leaps at my back if I bend over and Gertie jumps and flaps around my waist until I pick her up. The polite ones will queue and wait; well they haven’t really got a choice!
Run around the garden like Usain Bolt if one of them spots a worm or a slug, and tap at the back door when they think it’s time for a treat 🙂
Run to meet anyone who looks like they may have food
Airplane running when they are called
Platty has the ability to take off and fly like a Harrier jump jet, straight up and out in one movement!

Chickens thinking they are other pets

chickens thinking they’re other animals

Totally co- exist with our alpacas, lay eggs in the hay mangers whilst they eat, steal alpaca feed from the troughs as they eat. Snuggle down in the barns with the alpacas in bad weather – race the alpacas in the field when I throw in carrot peelings.
Chase our very large cat, who is terrified; he has seen off foxes in his time, but won’t mess with the chickens
Sneak into the kitchen when I’m not looking and get on the dog beds looking for crumbs, even if the dogs are sleeping!
Ginga is an escape artist and will leg it to the kitchen and devour the dogs biscuits, the dog knows his place
Chase the cats, peck the dog tail; try to take your biscuit when having a cuppa in the garden
They come in the house and eat with the dogs sharing the bowls of food with the dogs who don’t mind in the least
Play with my Cocker Spaniel – Hermione pecks his feet through the fence and when they are together she chases him – he loves it!
Molly was proud Mum last year … to 7 ducklings
Peck at my 2 Newfoundland dogs, then sit on them!
Pull fluff out of my chocolate Labrador when he is moulting
Dolly used to perch on my shoulder when I entered the run – I suppose she should have been called Polly!
They have stand-offs with the cat (which they always win as the cat is a scaredy-cat!)
They all line up and follow our smallest dog around the garden. It looks ridiculous. If he stops to look at something they all crowd round and do the same!
Their funny little traits are endless but the coming in through the cat flap is the funniest
Jump in between our free ranging rabbits when they “fight”
Get underneath our Labrador
Our rabbit is madly in love with Betty, the ex Bat we have had the longest, he follows her everywhere – funniest thing – everything they do – they are a constant source of wonderment and fun, we just love ’em
Follow my Schnauzer up and down the fence every morning when he goes out to see them. Chooks on one side, dogs on the other. They have a chickeny/dog eyeball every day
They argue with the goats
Steal the cat and dogs dinner, particularly when they are still eating it
Chase the ball when I throw it for the dog
Gang up on the dog
Given half a chance mine race into the kitchen to eat the cat’s biscuits as quickly as possible before I get there and pick the bowl up.
My hens chase cats out of the garden and won’t let our dog through the gate unless they want to. The poor dog never knows where he is allowed in the garden as the hen’s squawk at him if he doesn’t do as they want. The dog is a big dog but he knows the chickens are in charge
Chase the cats
Jump into the feed bin in the morning and they “allow” themselves to be rounded up by our dog in the evenings, whom they love to sit on when we’re out in the run with them.
We call them ‘team chicken’ it’s when they are at the far end of the garden and spot you putting your shoes on, they’re as fast as greyhounds the way they come running and flapping towards us to see what yummy things we have!
They are very much like pet dogs in that when we eat outdoors they will come over to the table and watch each mouthful with a wistful look until they get a piece fed to them

Chickens and children

chickens and children

They impatiently flock around my granddaughter who feeds them corn, 1 kernel at a time!!
They adore our 8 year old daughter and love to gently peck and pull at her hair when she sits with them. They compete to sit on her knee and stand on her wellies – which is amazing considering we have only had them for 2 weeks!
Follow me everywhere – it’s like having toddlers!
Follow me EVERYWHERE! Escape into the school grounds next door much to the amusement of the students
Follow our little toddler around the garden like she is the pied piper of hens!
Get through the back door as often as they can and make for the lounge. “Mum there’s a chicken in the lounge” is a regular cry from the kids!!

Family Life

Just the way they make it a mission to have fun following being made redundant from the battery hen factory. Their day’s mission is to scavenge treats – whether it’s the rattle of the horse feed buckets, sitting most of the day under the bird table to catch seed as it drops, jumping up on to the wall and eating the bread and fruit put out for the crows, or running up to the car when I arrive home so that I will give them some corn.
We call my husband Mr Tweedy from the film Chicken Run. Doesn’t matter how much or what fencing my husband puts in place. They always find a way out. It’s hilarious
All try and get on my lap at the same time
They dig up the chews my dog (Tinky) has carefully buried, and then chase each other all around the garden snatching it off one another 🙂
Dirt baths and running directly at my terrier on purpose and chest butting her
Holly and Ivy are both very terriorial. As soon as a blackbird lands in the garden and starts pecking at the ground, they’ll both charge at the bird, flapping their wings angrily to scare it away! Also, as soon as Ivy hears the back door open, she’ll run full-speed at you. If you’ve got grapes in your hand, she’ll mug you for them.
Escape from their run, through an overlap of fence which I filmed! They are so clever!
They are just comical, inquisitive, gentle, charming, and when they break into a run or follow us it is so sweet
They stand on the tiled kitchen floor and peer round the corner into the carpeted dining room, without daring to actually stand on the carpet as if they were polite visitors. They could be left unattended for ages and still never go into rooms they’ve never been allowed into!
One of my hens went for a sleepover in the hen house next door
Trying to pinch our sandwiches if we picnic in the garden!
Tapping the windows to get attention
Edwina loves watching TV and will creep into the house to be found on the sofa arm watching anything going
When I’m picking out the poo each morning in the coop, they all bundle in get in the way and madly scratch up their bedding – they seem to think I’m foraging
Steal my Breakfast – even when I’m eating it
They can spot my partner from the bottom of the garden through our dining room window approx. 30 feet away. He’s the one who gives them all their treats and as soon as one of them spots him and starts shouting, they all run to the top of the run and join in. They see anyone else and we may hear a twitter, but they spot him and all hell breaks loose
Arrive before staff for tea break when “tea up” is shouted in the yard!
Pecking anything on me, finger/toe nails, rings, flower tattoo!
Team dirt baths!
Jump up for treats; try to stop each other getting treats. run to me when I call… always in same order Polly-Dawn, Darwin, Penelope
Following us around the garden and then when we go in for lunch finding they are in the hallway waiting for us
Jump on my husband’s back when he is cleaning their coop, compete for worms, love dust bathing sometimes both try to get in one hole
We have an older hen called Scraggley, who frankly has seen better days. Now she’s too old to lay, she still goes into the coop every morning and meticulously makes her nest, lays her imaginary egg then comes out and shouts about it
They sometimes dust bath in a large plant pot – you can’t see the hen, just the dirt flying out!
Sit and tap on the living room window in the evening wanting to come in. Or watching the telly when they get in!!
Gracie travelled up from Surrey to Lancashire in a cat box on the train for Christmas (as she was too fragile to be left with the other hens as I’d just got her and she was tiny and nearly bald) – she was so good (as long as I kept the sunflower seeds coming in!). She adored humans, but wasn’t so keen on hens, she ended up staying in Lancashire and after some careful initiation she settled in and grew her feathers back and carried on loving humans (especially if they bought snacks!)
Come into the kitchen if the door is left open
Run down the garden after my husband if he has a spade they know digging means worms are a possibility
One hen managed to sneak upstairs to the bedroom, and I found her calmly admiring her reflection in the full length bedroom mirror
Come into the kitchen and preen and snoop around our indoor rabbits home
Run-around with cherry tomatoes on their beaks. I need to take a picture for Comic relief
Jump in my car while I’m getting my shopping out and chase me to see what goodies I’ve got
They recognise my car and run to the gate
I love to watch them dust bathing, with clouds of dust coming up, they so enjoy it. I have to make sure the back door is shut though as more than once they have come in and then had a good shake! It’s amazing how much dust and dirt can come off one dusty hen!
We love it when they all sit together on a branch. It looks particularly funny when they are all facing away from us. The most wonderful thing about them all is the different characters and personalities!
Knock the door for corn at ‘bedtime’

Bling

They try to remove my ear-rings when I’m bending to clean the hen house
Peck my watch – it’s sparkly and has magnetic beads on it!
They also rather like a ring I wear and my Pandora bracelet
I’ve had a diamond stud earring pecked out by one of them (thankfully she didn’t swallow it!)
Try and eat my rings!

Gardhening

Hens with character

I don’t know if it will sound very funny but it made me laugh! I spent ages weeding and woodchipping a long border bed – it had never looked so pretty. The chooks systematically started one end and kicked all my chip pings onto the path. They were having so much fun it was like taking them to the funfair!
Try and take part in the Great Escape every day. It is now a ritual to see who can get out of the gate before me to roam the entire garden…a no go whilst new shoots and plants are coming up!
Nothing stops them getting to where they want to be usually in my planters or even better in the house!
As I type this, Angel is dustbathing on the sofa next to me while the other 8 are tapping their beaks on the patio door indignantly digging up the daffodils I just planted!
Tug of war with worms in the garden!
Help with the gardening
We’re doing a lot of work in our garden at the moment and the girls always dig where we’ve just dug. They all stand in a row doing the same thing; it’s as if we’ve trained them.
Dig massive holes and disappear in them when they sit down
One or two get in the wheelbarrow when I am weeding the garden and then are very content to be wheeled to the compost bin
Follow the lawn mower as local take away!
Help with the compost heap!
They make me smile even when it is dust bathing in a pot of bulbs or digging up my newly planted flowers to check for goodies
Synchronised digging – all digging together with the left foot, then all digging with the right!
The funniest thing is when they ‘help’ in the garden
They dig up a plant as soon as I plant it
They jump on the spade when you are digging the garden to get the worms ASAP!
When you are digging in the garden it becomes quite a dangerous occupation as there are generally 10 hens all trying to get the first worm You pick your fork up and hen is sitting on it! Then as someone spies a juicy worm and runs off with it she is closely followed by another hen who tries to steal it as she tenderizes it on the ground

HENCAPSULATING

Hens with character

No matter what they are doing or how far away they are as soon as they see someone with a plate or bowl they are off after them and is the only time you’ll ever see them move so fast
I love their hilarious run when they see me coming. They look like four ladies picking up their pantaloons and running towards the potential of corn!
Each hen is as funny as the next they have a great sense of humour and never fail to makes us laugh from what they do to the noise they make
I’m sure they think they are dogs….. Always greet you with excitement, always follow you around & always pleased to see you & compete for your affections….
Take a long run from the top of the garden and do a half run, half fly attempt. A poignant moment was when we had to bury our dog…and they all stood absolutely still as we walked past.
My hens run the garden and allow my cats and dog to sit in it until they find them offensive. They will then bomb them, wings out and down 🙂
Peck my feet the whole time I’m with them and cluck abuse at me if I’m late with lunch time treats
When I try and clean them up and sit them in my lap, they will return the favour by ‘preening’ my hair and clothes intensely.
Troop into the kitchen on the scrounge!
Strutting their stuff after they’ve pinched the dog’s food!
They most definitely have a high sense of entitlement! Lottie sits in the armchair and watches TV, Jess plays chase with Alfie (the Cocker Spaniel) and they both drink out of the dogs water bowl with the dogs Dottie and Lola!
When I let them out in the morning, it’s a race between me and them to see who gets in the house first.
I have six supervisors (under my feet and totally in the way) who like to check on the quality of my work when cleaning them out
Climb on our garden furniture so they can peer through the kitchen window
Hilda who came to us with a dodgy pelvis (she walks like a lame duck) barges the other hens out of the way for worms, as she has a low centre of gravity. For an injured bird she can move fast!
Getting stuck head first down a hole after spotting a worm – legs kicking and worm fully clasped in beak she was retrieved!
Blow across the patio with their skirts in the air!
Run around with spaghetti hanging from their beaks
Jump up on window ledges and look in the window at us!
Fight the other birds at our bird table for seeds, follow anyone with a bag in case it’s food and sit on each other even though they have loads of room!
We have a very small banty cockerel who loves the big girls, but looks like a little jockey.
There’s something about the way that they run that reminds me of Les Dawson.
Since we feed them from a pink bowl they associate anything pink with food – nail varnish, logos on clothes …
Try to ride the goats
Chase after me if I run around with a piece of string!
When they pinch a large food treat and rotate in circles trying to keep it from the others!
Chase our very large cat, who is terrified, he has seen off foxes in his time, but won’t mess with the chickens
There is a hole in their run from the dog digging before they came and they all stand around it with their heads down it
They all love to come inside mid-afternoon and sunbathe in the conservatory. Hester however comes in first thing in the morning and wanders upstairs to check herself out in our full length mirror
They get all ‘uppity’ when the cat sits in with them!
Run round the garden with Cherry Tomatoes
Sunbathing – we looked out and thought there had been an incident!
The new birds learnt how to open the grandpa feeder – by standing on it 2 at a time!
When the sun comes out and they do their stretches. My kids call it Chook yoga!
When I whistle they look like they are lifting up their petticoats and running to see who is the fastest to get to the treats. They also look like they have a smile on their faces.
Pushy, my latest rescue hen chases the dog. She stands at the back door and won’t let him come in. She’s not nice to the cat either!
Jumping on the garden table to help themselves to tea or food. They love to drink the dregs out of a cup of tea!
Standing on top of a cake meant for visitors, with cream spread from ear to ear.
Last year they found it enjoyable to play hide the egg amongst the tomato plants.
Hens running are so funny.
I gave my German shepherd a small (mouthful) of pizza, she put it between her paws and one of the chickens ran in and took it from her 🙂 The look on my dogs face, priceless!!
They Jump onto our arms like birds of prey and run like little old ladies in petticoats when wild birds spill their feed onto the lawns
Chase each other when one’s got a slug! (think Keystone Cops)
All sunbathing in line each with one wing stretched out looking like a line of chorus girls
Love their escaping antics – it doesn’t matter how good a run I build, blink and one will be trying to get in the cat flap
One hen will find a nice spot to sunbathe, and another will come and lay on top of her as if to say, “yes, it’s nice and comfy here; I can see why you chose it.”
Plan ways of getting over the fence in to our part of the garden. We have a hen called Ginger, because she’s Head of the Escape Committee.
Silly walk, amusing noises and shakey shakey dance.
Wacky races when one gets a treat and they all want it!
Heidi thought she was a Parrot and would fly to my outstretched arm and stay there for ages
They have learnt to answer a whistle so when it’s time to shut them in or to give them some treats we whistle and they come running and flapping down to their house
Share the ponies food and peck the dogs when they try and eat their food.
Cilla tried to get friendly with my stuffed chicken doorstop; also she would tap on the patio window with her beak to be let in to the lounge. I miss her so x
My last hen became mates with a guinea fowl, they walked and pecked together everywhere
Help us clean their coop by sitting on us, pecking our buttons, jumping over us and kicking soiled bedding out of the bucket as fast as we put it in
Attack my wife if she doesn’t bring any nibbles
Peck through the holes in the children’s Crocs
Chase the dogs
Visit neighbouring hens
Come into the kitchen and even into the upstairs shower on one occasion when someone was in it!
Mine all line up and tap on the patio door. They will happily do this for ages if they want to come in
They steal my lunch if I am eating it in the garden, turn your back and your sandwich will be gone
Stand on our feet to let us know they are there!
Sit on my rescue pigs back and sleep
I have a garden table where the hens roam; they like to jump onto the table and sun bathe. The table has a black glass top so it’s very warm; then they try to have a dust bath on the slippery glass top and generally slide off!
Demand grapes with menaces!
Dorothy must supervise all coop cleaning personally…Dora is always the last to be found, often hiding under foliage or next door…Violet pecks my feet if food is not prompt!
One of them hops over the fence to visit our neighbours daily; we didn’t know until the other day – she’s been going round for treats for months
They shout at me, follow me about, generally help with everything and do excellent Road kill impressions in the sunshine
Keep ‘popping’ into next doors garden (the fences have come down in the storms) by stealth – one in, all in.
Sunbathing on the ramp to the house – 6 bottoms facing the sun.
They make us laugh the most when they chase cherry tomatoes and grapes around their pen, or when they are running around with a pasta bow in their beaks. They are constantly comical and endearing though… they make us smile and laugh a lot.
They all have their own quirky ways. At night when I go to tuck then in, Cranberry jumps out the hen house and sits waiting for me to pick her up and pop her in again.
When they have their “daily brunch”, when we go into the woodland and we call “brunchtime everyone, everyone over to the whoopsie area” they all come running out from the laurel bushes/trees /beds and congregate in the feeding area awaiting their brunch!!! they all know the sentence now, and love their treats!!!
They act all innocent when cats get into their half of the garden; but I can tell they’re watching…. Then, all of a sudden, it’s a squark and feather fest as they flap their wings and chase off the poor, unsuspecting feline. Then it’s back to pecking / scratching as normal, as if nothing has happened.
Chase each other around the garden if one has found something juicy and the other ones want it
They often do a ‘Benny Hill’ and chase each other around the garden especially if a treat is involved!
Most things they do are funny”! Running to get treats & their bathing antics are hilarious
Come in the house when the doors are open, spy on us when they are closed!