The boys have named our free-range hen Pecky Jr.
We call her PJ for short.
We pulled her out because the other hens had decided she was the weakest link. They attacked her, bloodied her and I was sure they would soon kill her.
She now looks better than all of the other hens of her flock and she is much friendlier.
No hand pecking. No angry squawks. No vicious glares.
We haven’t done much to ‘domesticate’ her, but she comes running when we come outside and follows at my heels when I check for eggs.
She even eats right out of our hands if we approach her slowly and calmly whisper words of encouragement.
She has her own container of water, and we throw down a cup chicken feed when we are refilling the others.
That may sound mean, but she finds so much to eat in the pasture, yard and garden that we don’t feel the need to leave a dish of food out for her. The other hens eat less feed when they have new ground to peck and PJ’s diet is probably more diverse and nutrient-rich.
The only problem is…we don’t know where she is laying her eggs.
There have been times I thought she was gone. Taken by a coyote or raccoon. But when I head out to the coop to feed and water the chickens she suddenly appears.
I’ve started watching to see where she comes from but the moment I turn my back, she’s at my heels, waiting for scraps. She’s definitely coming from the pasture, so I am sure her eggs are somewhere in the wild grass.
Hopefully, a raccoon or other predator is eating them because I sure don’t want to find them by smell.
That is an experience I hope never to repeat.
Pecky Junior roams
Hoping for a tasty scrap
Circling our heels