I have a small farm. I have two goats, about 25 chickens, (including a blind rooster named Foghorn), a dog and three cats.
My chickens are a motley crew. I have several different types and they are very dear to my heart.
One particular hen named Hattie is my favorite. She's an Araucana who lays green eggs. Hattie seems to like me. Whenever I'm in the yard, minding my own business, she's right beside me, singing her little chicken song. When I least expect it, she'll fly up upon the top of my head, dirty feet and all. Perched atop of my mop, she talks to me. Of course nasty, dirty chicken feet in my hair doesn't make me happy. However, knowing she wants to be near me, does.
Hattie's desire in hanging out with me seems somewhat self-motivated. She gets close when she thinks I'm on my way to the chicken feed. Once we’re at the feed and there is just a few other hens around, she'll fly close and hop over into the feed can, head first. After all, she is a chicken.
Hattie isn't alpha hen but she's not the omega either. The alpha distinction belongs to Thelma. Hattie has some authority in the flock. She hangs out with Salvador, the alpha male and gets to roost beside him at night. This means she's higher up in the chain of command of the flock. She's not a bully like the other Buff Orpingtons in the henhouse; she has a nice disposition.
Hattie has three other sister Araucana hens: Jewel, Ruby, and Alma. If Hattie could speak, her first sentence of the day to me would be, "Good morning. I'm hungry but you're really nice. Do you have any bread? Can I stay outside of the pen today and eat bugs? Foghorn can't see. The dog is annoying and the cat chased me. If you feed the goats first, can I eat their food, too? I may lay an egg today, would you like that?"
The point of this column is kindness goes a long way, even if you're a chicken.