I call our hens “Valentine Day Chicks” because our box / bundle of joy (all 52 o’chicks) arrived the week of Valentine’s Day, 2006 from McMurray’s Hatchery. That week, Ben was away on Oahu for a business trip. I was rearing 52 hungry baby chicks based solely on Gail Damerow’s “A GUIDE TO RAISING CHICKENS”. I sure was anxious. What if a rabid mongoose ate my little plump darlings? What if a stray ferocious feline ripped off their downy peeping heads? What if some freak Kona wind blew down their coop? Fortunately, nothing dramatic happened. So, the hens are now at 31 weeks old. Ben and I have successfully managed to raised a variety of 45 plump, happy hens. I am proud to say we are the only people on the Big Island of Hawaii to provide organic feed to our flock.
Over the last three months, one particular Plymouth Barred Rock hen who I named Ophelia bonded with me. She knows she can usually find some scratch [cracked corn] from me if she leaped up onto my outstretched arm. She’s on my left arm snacking on some scratch. Ophelia’s earned her keep as a tame, egg-laying hen. Ophelia is the one hen tame enough to leap three feet from the ground onto me. I can pick her out of the whole flock because she has two distinctive markings: one completely black feather on her chest and one on her back. I’ve examined this anamoly and found the two feathers have no barring [black and white] stripes at all.
I’ve spent a lot of time in “Hen Zen” with my 45 hens because I wanted tame birds. Monst of ‘em will eat right out of the palm of my hand. Heck, if my palm were made of fresh corn, I’m certain they will devour it. I happy I’m not allergic to chickens.
In the nest box behind me which my step-father-in-law [a.k.a. yoga guru], Jimmy constructed, you’ll see two chickens. On the left of the nest box is a silver-laced Wyandotte conferring with a buff Oprington, plotting their next move. “How we gonna get summat dat scratch from that two-legged human?” Will they become tame enough to attempt to jump on my outstretched arm? Perhaps, one fine day.
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