As usual this is a true story…
My Little Black Nameless Hen – Who Looks Like a Turkey Chicken
I really love chickens for some reason and typically don’t name my backyard hens because I think this is bad luck, but that’s just me. Recently I added three extra laying hens to my flockette to give my other hens a break from an overzealous rooster. I always pick the feisty ones that come running to me at the supplier’s and one of them was a speckled black hen that kinda looked like a little turkey. I picked her from amongst others, mostly due to her spunk, and left her sister behind. Unfortunately, my roosters won’t have anything to do with her, at least in daylight, and she is shunned by the other hens and pecked if she gets too close to them.
She is a strong little hen and instead of floundering, she is the only one that will come up to me and even walk ON and ACROSS my feet like I am not standing there. She lets me touch her without a chase (the white one lets me touch her too), is quite curious about the inside of my house (often peeking in from outside) and does not miss any of the delicious bread I cast their way as treats. She runs to the bread, grabs it and makes her escape before any of the other hens can peck her. She knows she has to eat and keep her strength up.
Even though Red, the chief rooster makes his, “there’s food over here” sound for the other hens, if she comes, he will run her off and this is odd behavior for this protective rooster. BTW, it is not bad luck to name a rooster, just a hen in my opinion. I actually have two roosters and one of them is Blacky (who use to be chief until Red challenged him and won), but Blacky works as Red’s security guard giving Red full control of the fertilizing so they don’t fight plus all the sex keeps Red quiet. Red actually has red hair and not feathers around his head! I thought it was odd that Blacky won’t touch the black hen either even though he is mostly black too, but I think he is gay. It is either that or they know something else is different about her besides her color…..hmmm.
I have four laying boxes that are elevated, but the other hens will not allow her up there. That first day I introduced the new hens, I got a total of ‘one’ egg from the lot of them (5), most likely due to the trauma of the move. The next day, all but one layed (with a little tender loving prompting de moi). The new turkey hen started laying on the bag of hay that I keep in the coop and then moved to a corner where her eggs were dropping on a concrete surface and cracking. I padded a laying box with alfalfa grass and put it in the corner for her and came back after dark to see if she was allowed to roost with the other hens.
I notice that if I try to interfere with the pecking order, she gets in more trouble after I’m gone and the head hen starts to make a sound like, “ah shit,” –no really It sounds like that. For this reason I try to leave them to their system, only interfering during major battles, and was glad to see that she was allowed closer to the inner circle after the other hens were stuffed with food.
After dark, all of the hens were roosting on their roosting chairs, however the black hen was in her laying box, alone in the corner, but she had a good attitude. She stretched her neck and looked at me like, “hey, thanks for the box, it’s quite comfy.” She looked quite satisfied and not sad like one of the “former” hens that my ‘bitches’ really lit into.
I have taken her picture and show it on the cover of this installment, and if this is a turkey hybrid, someone please let me know, ‘cuz I’m new at this. Her eggs are a wee bit larger than the other hens and the shells are much harder. You can see the comparison in the photo — her eggs have the specks on them.
I am the Chicken Goddess in their world so for her excellent attitude I reward her with the choicest pieces of snack bread (on the down low, of course), frequently refreshed bedding and ensure that she knows she is special to me…..just between the two of us. Raising chickens is a dirty job, but someone has to do it and it is better than being stuck in a cubicle all day. Please do not watch if bird poop offends you! She really does know this because when I enter the premises, she comes out and walks boldly!
I even orchestrated a reunion with her sibling and you can see the reunion in the video below. Believe it or not, later on when her sister went to the bitch hen’s food, my little turkette corrected her sister with a light peck on the side of the beak as if to say, “we are second class citizens here and you must respect that because I don’t want you to get hurt.” IKR! No comment.
Anyhoo, I have a sneaking suspicion they will be running the joint soon enough.
Today’s Lesson: Attitude is everything and sometimes it is more than color that causes discrimination, however we can all still get along and our higher power will assist us.
Everyone who knows #chickens knows they have #emergency drills for #aerial and #ground threats. The ever watchful #rooster notices the potential threat, makes the appropriate call and the hens go to high ground (or low ground) and don’t move. When I heard Red’s call, I went down to see if they would protect the black turkey hybrids.
Red’s fave reddish brown hens took to the plastic laying box on high ground. The second fave group were on the chair arms and the black-colored turkey hens were on the ground. The new black hen got on top of her little sister to protect her and they stood still, however Blacky stayed down there with them. That made me happy!
As of Nov. 16, 2015, the larger of the black hens is now sleeping near Red the Rooster on his roost, which means she has ascended to one of the higher ranks.