Thursday, August 2, 2012
Penny the Hen update
The first night we had Penny the shelter pullet we put her in the chicken coop and she roosted with the other chickens.
The next morning all the other chickens left the roost, but I found her still sitting on the roost well after daybreak. She didn't realize she was supposed to go outside with the other chickens by herself. I showed her how to walk out of the coop.
That first day she spent out in the chicken pen and she loved it. She rolled in the dirt and ran around the large outdoor area. That evening she didn't know to go in the chicken coop, so she stayed outside after all the other chickens went into the chicken coop to roost. I gave Penny some fresh chicken food out in the pen, and she enjoyed the alone time with me before it got dark. I showed her the chicken waterer. Evidently she didn't know what it was, as she was very thirsty. I guess because she was a house chicken she had some sort of different waterer. She loves the Menonite chicken food we get. All the chickens love it, actually. I showed her how to walk up the ramp into the chicken coop and put her on a roost and she slept the night.
The next day was today. She made it outside this morning by herself. She's learning. Tonight she put herself to bed ----in the guinea keet coop. We have 2 coops, one is used by chickens, one is for guinea keets. Both have a little door and ramp going into the chicken pen. The birds know which is which and all roost in the proper coop. Penny didn't know. I went into the guinea coop to check on the keets at 8pm and found Penny standing tall on a roost, beside 18 guinea keets. Penny was talking her jibberish, quite proud of herself for putting herself to bed in a coop. The guineas all were making their guinea keet songs, which is quite different from a chicken and definitely quite different from Penny sounds.
Guess she didn't realize there's a difference between guineas and chickens. I guess poor Penny doesn't understand either of their languages, does she? She doesn't know where she fits in. The guinea or the chicken languages, that is. She was never around another chicken. When the roosters cluck to tell the hens there's food, the hens all come running. Not Penny. She doesn't pay any mind to them. I bet she doesn't understand their language. Or do all chickens automatically understand one another? She's definitely not deaf or anything.
The other chickens really don't pick on Penny too much anymore. Some of them are old and moody, so they peck at her if she gets under their feet. But mostly no one bothers her. All in all, she's learning how chicken life should go. Maybe this weekend I'll bring her in the house for some house time. I bet she misses people. I bet she's used to children. I bet she misses human interaction and attention and human voices. Maybe I'll like having a chicken in the house. I think I have a chicken diaper already from when a chicken had a broken leg and was brought in...
at 8:58 PM