27/1/2020 0 Comments
Today Wilma was holding back as the little hens rushed to their food so much I am beginning to worry. She wasn’t very interested in coming outside with me, either, and halfway towards the bridge hesitated, called to the little hens (I suppose she could have been calling me back from the bush, or calling her blackbird, anyway, she was calling), stood still for a bit then uncertainly turned around and started wandering back. I wondered if she had an egg to lay. I had given the coop a serious clean out the day before and hadn’t yet replaced her nesting box, instead just giving her a cardboard box full of shavings and an encouraging egg from the supermarket. She didn’t take off into the garden though but returned with me into the coop, only coming out when Maude did. I decided to let the two of them share some time in the grass. They didn’t exactly follow each other around the way Mabel and Maude stick together inside the coop, or the way Wilma used to follow me, but I think they were both pleased to have another hen on the outside. I did have to go to work (how do I find the time) so left them back in the coop with the others, and when I returned in the evening Wilma was more deferential to the smaller hens than ever, letting all three eat while she hovered in the background, coming forward to eat some pellets only when the other three moved on to their mash. She always was the most deferential of the hens in her former flock, so perhaps she is quite happy to resume this position, but it seems rather soon to cede so utterly to the others when she is still so much larger than them and it was, after all, her coop.
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