I got a call from a friend a few days ago asking if I would take in a hen. It seems that someone incubated an egg for a school project, but could no longer keep a full-grown chicken. My coop can comfortably house up to six hens. Having only two fat, spoiled girls, accomodations wouldn't be a problem. But I've read that it's best to introduce a pair of hens into a coop with current tenants rather than just one. That way, the new one doesn't become "henpecked". Since no one else could take her, I agreed to give it a try, though I really didn't want the poor thing to be harmed.
I needn't have worried.
"Whaddaaya lookin' at!?!" Heh, heh...meet Mabel. When we put her in the coop, she made straight for the feed bowl.
My two bossy girls, Big Fat Hen and Crysantha-Bottom, took immediate offense, hopped off their perches, and began this low, gutteral, growly clucking. I was worried - they are twice the size of the newbie.
I figured Mabel would have scrambled to a corner to hide. Nope. Figure more like Robert DeNiro -"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Why I oughtta..."
"No, no, no, we didn't mean you, I mean, uh, welcome...um, you know, mi casa, su casa..."
"Yeah, dat's what I thawt you was sayin'. So now I'm gonna have me a look around, see..."
"Fine...fine..whatever you say, dear"
The guy who gave her to me said she was so friendly and liked to be held like a baby. Friendly my eye - she strode down the ramp, walked boldly up and pecked me on the leg. It was her way of letting me know she wasn't going to take any guff from me, either.
Later that day, I found the most beautiful greyish-blue-green egg in the nesting box. Mabel, you're a keeper.