Anyone who lives with ex-battery hens will know how super inquisative, tame and entertaining they are. Mine is called Harmony. Amongst her other attributes she has an Attachment Disorder, she thinks I'm her "Big Chicken". She follows me wherever I go. In fact she follows me very very closely. She hasn't learnt to back off, despite being stood on a number of times. If I appear whilst she is out and about in the garden instead of inside her run with my bantam Drew, she races towards me and boy can she get a speed up! She is always there to "help" when I am cleaning out the chicken house and the run. I fill the trug with the old bedding, she kicks it out again. She gets depressed if she doesn't see me and stops laying. She starts again as soon as I spend time with her. She recognises the sound of the car, answers to her name and knows which window to stare through if I am indoors. More spookily, we have a communication system which we both use to attract each other's attention - welcome to my world!
Harmony is also the living (fortunately) proof that chickens and ponds don't always mix well.......
Harmony loves hanging around by my small wildlife pond, especially if I am there keeping it tidy. Even when I am indoors, she generally makes her way to the pond to potter around. This year is Harmony's first winter with us. On the day she discovered the pond frozen. I glanced out of the window to see her gaily skating all over it, occasionally having a good peck at the pond plant leaves that poked up through the solid ice. Plants she had never been able to access previously. She was having loads of fun.
Sometimes we can all see into the future. I actually said to my hubby "when that ice finally starts to melt again, there'll be trouble".
It happened a few days later when the day was milder, the sun was out and the ice on one side of the pond had melted. Unfortunately Harmony hopped onto the still icy side. It was possibly not such a good move on my part to dive out of the kitchen door to try to shoo her back to the bank, because she set off skating toward me...and ran out of ice.
She squawked, flapped and began to sink like the proverbial stone. Luckily she was within reach and I hauled her out. Actually she didn't seem to mind at all being brought indoors and wrapped in a fluffly towel to be dried off. She simply stuck her head under my chin and started making happy little cooing noises. She was much more upset at being put out again once she was warm and dry and she kept knocking at the kitchen door to come back in. My hubby was at work during this little drama. I sent him a short text. It simply said "Chickens can't swim".