A few weeks ago Jo asks me if we have room for a new hen. Theirs has lost her mate and they’d like to find a new home for her. I tell her we have a recooperation unit within our hen hospital and once Dot has moved out, her hen can move in. Dot was out on stress leave. She was over preening and had some funny jerking thing going on. A few weeks in the unit with a bit of counseling did the world of good. She looks as good as gold, and has started laying again. We all need a bit of stress leave from time to time… Reminds me of another story but I’ll stay on the coop for now. So on Sunday Jo & Issac arrive  with Freckles.

Shes beautiful and plump and lets me pet her. Tara trims her wings to stop her from flying and we add her to the run on the side of the other hens so they can get used to each other but not be aggressive. I give them all plenty of feed so there’s nothing to get cross about but on the second morning I notice Freckles is gone. Damn! I scan the orchard and hope Paddy hasn’t got her, when the hens realise I’m there, and rush out ready for their mash.

“Hello Freckles!” I say as she rushes out with the rest of them. “So you didn’t want to be by yourself any longer aye!” I bend down to fill the dish with mash and am amazed as the other hens slow down and let Freckles tuck in first…” After you”… I can almost hear them say. What the heck, I can’t believe she’s in top spot, so tonight I sneak in with a camera and flash them.

Freckles gets to topI step back from the door so my eyes adjust and there it is in grainy colour. There is no question who is on the top rung while the rest snuggle together on the next rung down.

Jo said she had the measure of their dog so I guess a few stupid hens aren’t going to throw her. I LOVE HER!

PS: She lays big beautiful eggs to boot….

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