There are times that we’ll be with the hens, something will happen, and we’ll say to each other “Why don’t we have a camera with us?!”, and today was one of those occasions.
Fifteen minutes into one of our five minute breaks with the girls, we were sitting on the chairs in their run, giving them treats of grains, and we were doing some clicker training with Ruby. She was getting the hang of things and moving from one of my legs to the other, each move rewarded with a click and a treat. Eve realised that there were treats around and jumped up onto my other leg, and for a few minutes the two of them were perched on my legs, quite happy and relaxed.
They left after a little while, and out of the blue, Ivy decided to jump up onto my leg. She didn’t wander around like Ruby does, using her beak to turn my hands over to see what I’m hiding, or poking around my pockets to see if any treats are hiding there. Instead, she settled down, and fell asleep. Without motive (food!) she’d jumped up, found a nice safe, unthreatened place to sleep for a little while in the afternoon sunshine, and stayed there for several minutes whilst we looked on with happiness and delight.
In general we find that the ex-commercial hens are friendlier than other hybrid hens that we’ve bought point of lay, but we deliberately spent a lot of time with Eve, Ivy and Merry when we got them, and picked them up most days for the first few months so that they’d get used to us, and not see us as a threat. As a result, they’re just as friendly towards us as the other hens, and with the exception of Laurel, no other hen has jumped up onto my leg and fallen asleep – let’s hope more of the girls start to do this!
I wish we’d had a camera to capture this moment, but this post will ensure we never forget it, and hopefully Ivy will be back snoozing on my leg when we do have a camera nearby.