Adventurous hens

I got two more hens. Lehman brown classic. They are molting, so I got them for free. My two other hens Amrock wanted more company. Now they have two more friends. Much bigger ones.

our hens are allowed to run free in my orchard and kitchen garden with high beds (so far they have not discovered that they can fly into high beds).

I have never thought that hens could have such different characters. One newcomer is extremely adventurous. She immediately explored our garden, then neighbors garden, popped into our house, flew on top of the coop….

the other one is soooo sweet and calm. She is following us, does not go too far from the coop.

Towards evening they all come to the big window and knock on it. I do not know whether it is us, they want, or they take reflection as other hens.

i did not expect them to start laying as they are molting. But, they seem to love the freedom. On the third day since they arrived I have already got three eggs. Big. Brown.

now I can watch the hierarchy and relationships between them. Quite entertaining!


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Comments

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 848 ✭✭✭✭

    They are beautiful girls. It looks like you will be blessed with great eggs. I'm so happy for you for your new addition to the flock. They sound like tons of fun.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 953 admin

    Chickens really can have funny personalities. We had one red star who was a total escape artist. I cannot count the number of times I had to "rescue" her unwilling fluffy behind from our brambly hill after she had flown over our 6' fence. (I finally gave up on it and discovered that she was perfectly capable of returning to the coop once it started to get dark!) Then I had some buckeye hens who would always run up to me and "report" on the state of the flock. They were real sweethearts. Anyway, all that to say that before I had chickens, I did not realize just what individuals they could be! Enjoy your girls! :)

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @Merin Porter same with me. I did not even imagine that they are so interesting and all individual. Earlier I thought - a hen is a hen. You feed it, it lays eggs… What a change. I have also noticed that the adventurous one returns itself. By now she knows where she can get the food and, she has found out that there is much more to dig and find my garden. Not in the neighbourhood.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 1,392 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe What a handsome quartet. Natural art from those feathers would be stunning.

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 338 ✭✭✭

    Hi @jowitt.europe , hens can have such an amazing diverse personalities. Sounds like your hens have an amazing life.

    Free range is a bold move. Glad they haven't figured out the kitchen garden. Maybe put a piece of hose near it, so they think it's a snake and won't jump in it.


    We have one hen that gets on to the barn roof. Another hen that always gets into a closed yard. She is small and spry.


    love em.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @Hassena I totally agree. My four hens bring so much life into my orchard and kitchen garden. It is never boring. Interesting what you write about a piece of hose. The hose is on the ground all the time, but they seem not to bother. But a piece of it might look more like a snake. On the other hand, I do not know whether they still have any information about snakes in their instincts. They are so rare here. They are very much aware of the birds of prey and react very quickly.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl thank you for the idea! Never thought of that. But now the ideas start spinning.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It would be interesting to try to breed chickens for calmness.

    I've read that the breeding that has been done on commercial chickens has aimed at maximum egg production, and unfortunately selecting for high egg yield produces a high-stress chicken that is anything but calm!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @VermontCathy I prefer calmer chickens even if they lay less. If I extend my chicken family (I might as I am planning to develop a bigger chicken coop) I will read more about different breeds and choose the calmer ones.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 3,217 admin

    I also prefer a calmer chicken. Even the more stressful chicken breed in heritage breeds are calmer than the new Hatchery breeds bred for mass production.

    I also worked with my chickens more, particularly as chicks to help them like people more. I held them a lot and wold hand feed them at times, just to help them trust.

  • water2world
    water2world Sherry Jochen Sevierville, TNPosts: 761 ✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe Love you beautiful chickens! I must say that I did not realize that chickens have personalities. It makes me want even more to get moved and I will definitely have chickens!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @water2world moving into a country with all the animals around is worth a lot. It offers a real quality of life

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @Monek Marie they are almost like pets to me. They follow me everywhere in the garden, come to ‘talk’ to me. It is such an enrichment in the garden.

  • water2world
    water2world Sherry Jochen Sevierville, TNPosts: 761 ✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe I had not even thought about the improvement of quality of life, but I can understand how it would--- another source of joy!

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 972 ✭✭✭✭

    This is why I miss our chickens so much and long to get some more sooner than later.☹️

    Ours were hand-feed too, my kids held them all the time and they would even nap on my oldest.


    We loved them so much and were so heartbroken when they were killed after moving to our new property.😭

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina that is this other side of the coin. Since I have my hens I find it more difficult to eat chicken. Not to mention that I could not even imagine eating our ones.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm curious as to whether any of the posters on this thread are raising meat birds.

    I don't think it's a good idea to treat food animals as pets. You can enjoy them, but don't lose site of why you have them. Even spent layers can be turned into chicken stew.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 848 ✭✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy I have not raised any meat birds yet but I fully intend to especially with my ducks. They should start laying in the fall. I will be handling my meat birds differently than my laying flock.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 972 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 11

    @jowitt.europe Our chickens were all attacked by an animal that killed all but one. It was very upsetting. The kids really enjoyed getting the eggs and spending time with them. One of my older girls has changed her view on eating chicken meat and eggs since we started having them around. She still eats some but prefers not to eat it most of the time.

    @VermontCathy No, we have never had meat birds. We are hoping to get some animals for meat in time now that we are on our property. But things are moving slower than a snail's pace currently, it will be some time yet because we're still contending with renovations on the house and other basic things we're trying to get a handle on before we to the point of getting animals.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @VermontCathy you are right, but it is easier said than done. Of course, if I desperately needed food, I would.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 429 ✭✭✭

    A friend of ours won't eat fish after seeing my son filet his nice sized bass from the creek. That seems so strange to me.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    In summer we keep garden doors always open. This is what happened. I am already thinking of something to prevent this happening every day 😁


  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 848 ✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe of course you don't want them always in the house but isn't it so fun that she came to visit!

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 972 ✭✭✭✭

    Ours used to do that. With having young kids, of course, there's stuff all over the floor and the "ladies" would clean up for me. 😄

  • water2world
    water2world Sherry Jochen Sevierville, TNPosts: 761 ✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe Loved the picture! Made me chuckle and I needed that!!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @Michelle D I loved that. But … not every day. And she seems to wait for moments to be able to get inside. @JennyT Upstate South Carolina yes, “ladies” clean after kids, but sometimes one has to clean after ladies….

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 972 ✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe Yes, the trick was to let them in and clean up from the kids before we'd have to clean up after them. It didn't always work. 🙄😄

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Someone back in the 19th century patented bird diapers. I wonder if you could come up with a diaper that your hens would tolerate? That would make it less risky to get them wander in the house occasionally. :-)

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,309 admin

    @VermontCathy and for me that’s a problem. When I was younger & managing the family farm, we tried to be as self sufficient as possible. Chickens, eggs & meat. Cattle, milk & meat, goats-meat and I didn’t hesitate. These days, the older I get, the softer I get. I could not eat an animal I raised, like I used too!

    @jowitt.europe your “ladies” are lovely. It never ceases to amaze me how intelligent animals are, even chickens have their own personalities & are a wonder, to watch them do their thing!!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @JodieDownUnder I fully agree. One hen, in particular, is extremely clever. She wants to get in, so she discovered the cats flap and got in through it. And hid itself behind TV set.

    I wonder what it does next.


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