The mother hen and her little baby are doing quite well! We’ve been bringing little dishes of food and water to her and she seems to appreciate the room service. Today was very unseasonably mild and when I went outside in the afternoon I saw that she had taken her baby outside. She was scratching about and clucking to him and he was hopping all around pecking at what she found. (I say he, but good grief I hope it’s not a rooster-we have SIX!) Listen, and you can hear him peep:
And here’s a zoomed in picture that’s not great, but I didn’t want to rush over the first time he was outside of the garage.
Listening to the distinctive clucking of a mother hen to her chicks is just delightful. If you don’t have chickens you might not know that a rooster also has a special sound he makes when he finds food. When he finds something he does his special clucking that tells the ladies he’s found food and they come running. This afternoon Tabby and I were outside and the chickens were merrily scratching about (enjoying the defrosted mud) when the head rooster started his “I found food” clucking. To our amazement, who should come running over but PIPPIN!! Yes, just like the hens he has come to recognize that sound means food. And since he hears them make that sound when we feed them treats and he likes to get in on bits of bread and stuff, it stands to reason that he has learned it.