25/3/2020 0 Comments
It can’t be good for hens to eat nothing but strawberry muffins, and yet we have so many, so I thought I’d take some to the hens at the Tapu Te Ranga Marae, where we often walk the Manawa Karioi tracks that Simon helps to look after. I’ve stopped to poke bits of grass through the wires of their coop before and found it hard to get away, with all the hens so eager for a blade of grass, and always still one hen who seems to have missed out, waiting. So I brought a bag of old salad leaves left over from the café as well, too old for us to want now and of no interest to my own hens who have free range of all the weeds on all the slopes of our section and the sections on either side. But when I got to the Marae the hens were out free-ranging after all and were certainly not interested in the grass I had picked them heading up. They weren’t very interested in the muffin, either. They did like the barley I’d brought along, but were much keener to get into the bag of salad leaves. I thought it must be a misunderstanding, that there was something else they really liked they were used to getting in bags like this one, but no, when I brought out the salad leaves they were overjoyed, and called all their friends over, and seized on every leaf with cries of excitement. I wondered whether in fact there was something special about these leaves, and even tried a few on my own hens when I got home, but they just put their heads to one side and gave me that “really?” look hens, at least my hens, all hens I have ever owned, are so good at. When I brought out their strawberry muffin they relaxed and settled in to some contented squabbling, until I tried to stroke them, that is. The hens at the Marae were very nice about it when I tried to stroke them, and raised their wings and crouched low in a well-behaved submission posture. But my own dear hens, being fed on strawberry muffin which the other hens mightn’t have liked but which they like better than anything else, acted as alarmed and indignant as they always do when I try to be too intimate. My hens do have softer feathers than the Marae hens, though, and a lot of character, not all of it bad.
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