This week, I allowed one of the original flock hens, Gertrude, to speak from her perspective in this article on seeing me around more often and the constant quest of the chickens’ search for food.
BA-GAWK! We’ve noticed that the lady that gives us food has been coming down to our barn more often and not bringing treats every time. She has concerned herself with cleaning our living quarters (why she doesn’t like the "art" that we’ve worked so hard to create on the perches is beyond us), and we’ve noticed that our food container is almost always filled to the brim these days.
We’ve also noticed we don’t see her carrying the big water container up the hill anymore. That being said, she still manages to fill it and very quickly now — something about water being hooked up now in the barn.
That must be a good thing because she’s not as grouchy when carrying the container back into our living quarters.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]
We can’t help ourselves and gather around her while she’s trying to work, oftentimes being nudged out of the way by her big black boots. The other day, one of us got in the way, and she stepped on the toes of one of my fellow coop mates. There was a lot of squawking that occurred, and I noticed the lady almost fell trying to maneuver herself out of the way.
She thinks our little cluckings and coos mean we love her, but really, they mean we’re looking for some kind of magical treats to fall from her pockets. After all, she’s always carrying big bags of food into the barn, so there must be some kind of secret stash on the other side of the coop door.
When she’s collecting eggs each day, occasionally she’ll leave the coop door open that leads into the rest of the barn. A couple of times, a few of us have tried to step into the big room to see what’s there, but we’re quickly shooed back into our coop — something about making a mess and not being protected. What’s a gal to do when you want to see what’s happening on the other side?
The lady carries a thing called a cellphone with her when she’s in our coop, and she’s always taking pictures of us with it. Sometimes, she does what we’ve learned is called a Facebook Live, and she tracks us with the phone as we move about our home. I’d like to say we’re famous, but we don’t see any of the royalties from such fame. How about some extra mealworms? Is that too much to ask?
Apparently, all of this extra attention is due to something called a pandemic, and it’s why the lady is around more often. I don’t know what a pandemic is, but if it’s not something I or the others can eat, we’re really not interested.
Somehow, I think if we try to trip her up again the next time she’s filling our feeder or our water container, the treats I know she’s hiding will fall from her pockets by the mounds. I just have to plot how to do that, and one thing us chickens definitely have is time. Just wait until the next time she comes to fill our feeders. BA-GAWK!
Stephanie Strothmann owns Purple Shamrock Farm LLC in rural Seymour. Read her blog at whattheclucker.blogspot.com. Send comments to [email protected].