One of the pure stock Brown Leghorns hatched in Batch 1 is a friendly girl we call Tatiana (“Tati” for short). She has beautiful wild coloring and a funny floppy comb – just like her mom did – that hangs over her eye and looks like 80’s bangs.
We’ve found BLs to be good foragers and great layers, but Tati’s mom, LaToya, was a flighty hen, and at the bottom of the flock’s pecking order. She was also mean to the ducks, who probably thought she was crazy. We didn’t expect that one of LaToya’s chicks would grow into a hen who follows us around, pecks at our toes, and lets us pick her up.
Tati will come to us if we “cluck” at her, and she chats with us. She follows us around when we’re doing chores and gets into buckets and enclosures that she’s not supposed to be in. Sometimes she ends up underfoot, but it’s just because she’s curious.
None of the original flock were this friendly – one Rhode Island Red hen was friendlier than the rest of the group and liked team grasshopper hunting (we would flush and she would catch sometimes but mostly we would catch and she would eat them) but didn’t want to be touched. We respect that our chickens aren’t “lap chickens”, and didn’t expect any to be cuddly.
Our chickens aren’t pets, but it’s very entertaining to have Tati accompany us during our tasks, chattering away. She seems to enjoy being around us, too. Tati has reminded us not to paint breeds with a broad brush; each chicken has an individual personality, regardless of breed. We may not have another hen like Tati, and we’ll enjoy what a character she is every day.