Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Mother Hen"

Last year, we had an Old Mother Hen. She had NO interest in going into the chicken coop at night but decided that sharing stalls with ewes and lambs was much more to her liking.

Why compete with a bunch of chickens when all you have to do is fluff up your feathers, the ewes will back down and you can eat all the grain you want with no one bugging you?

The Old Mother Hen was very tame and was a pet at one point in her life.....she was quite old by the time she came to us and we let her do as she pleased. Her egg laying days were over so she just hung out with the sheep.

Spring came and the other hens were laying on eggs and so she took up the Lamb duty. She was very serious in her duties and would cluck to the lambs and pick up grain for them and soon the lambs would eat out of the grain bucket with her. The ewes were not allowed to share.

She soon began to think of each new lamb as her baby and at night would sleep next to them and cover them with her wing. As the lambs got older and all went outside to the pasture she would wander out with them.

Woe to any Border Collie that came near her lambs, they were driven off by an angry hen. She loved her lambs and the lambs would all sleep next to a tree with Old Mother Hen standing guard while the ewes went off to graze, She took great pride in raising the lambs and they still would run to her at 90 days of age when she clucked to them.

She would go into the stalls at might with the lambs and sleep with them and it was one morning when she did not leave the stall. She had died during the night surrounded by her lambs. We miss her as she was a chicken with a personality.

Old Mother Hen with a week old lamb

Sleeping next to her *lamb*

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