A Kindred Pair…

One little hen from our livestock auction purchases was acting a little odd.

She didn’t like the other birds and she was getting pecked a lot.

She hid most of the time and was just not really interested in the social aspects of flock life.

When we were putting in the nest boxes, she walked right up to Maggie and got in her lap. Like she’d been doing this forever. Maggie was thrilled. The little buff orphingham was content and fell asleep, finally safe.

I have no idea about her past. All I can figure is that she was a pet hen, or at least a very human-centric hen. The last batch of hatchlings that I hatched in the winter and were in the brooder on the screen porch are SUPER attached to me. They would see me and all get excited and want to be held. Now that they are out in the lil’ coop, they flock around me and all jump on my lap and want to be petted and held. That is just what this older hen did to Maggie.


It was a little heart wrenching to put her back in the coop and see her rush and hide from the others.  She was clearly the low man on the totem pole.  But we didn’t really have anywhere for her to go.  She was the buff hen that we wanted and have been trying to get, hoping to have a broody girl of our own some day.  Well, I went to go do some other chores and then make dinner and left Maggie and the hens to their own putzing.

When I called her for dinner, grilled hot dogs and salads out on the screen porch… she brought a dinner guest.  Perfectly content to sit on her lap and get fed little bits of bun and potato salad.  She was one happy and much relieved hen.  And Maggie had a new best friend in the chicken world.  I know she had been missing Lucky, the little banty roo that we ended up selling because we just had too many banties and he was not fitting in with our other roos.  Well, within a few minutes she informed me that her new BFF was named Buffy.  Clever you know, being that she was a Buff Orphingham.  Sometimes a good simple name is best when you have like 100+ critters.  Easier to remember.  We already have a Goldie.


Well, there was no way Maggie was putting her back in the new coop.  And if I didn’t want to find her smuggled into Maggie bedroom, we made the decision that come roost time, she would be slipped in with the bug patrol… the free range flock.  There at least, she would be free to follow Maggie around and she would have a lot more room to hide and stay out of the way of those that might treat her rough.  The bug patrol already has a low ranking hen, little Patty Ann that never can grow her tail feathers out.  She is a happy hen, but everyone pulls out her feathers!  So Maggie slipped Buffy into the roost lineup late that night and we waited to see what might happen.

The next day, she was doing fine, staying in the barn and tentatively checking out the new digs.  She wouldn’t come outside and she was super shy around the hens.  Even the roosters were a little put off by her awkwardness.    Maggie took her outside and gave her a tour of the yard, all the while that hen was almost smiling.  She was so content to be held and in someone’s arms.  She just needs a lot of loving.  Never squeaky or weird about handling, just settling in and content.  Happy. Relieved.

I believe that Maggie and Buffy are kindred spirits.  Maggie feels a little outta place, not part of the flock at times.  And yet she loves to be hugged and just wants a place to fit good.  They will be good pals.

Buffy is doing a little better, she’s venturing outside a bit, and the other girls seem to be leaving her alone.  She spends a lot of time resting in little out of the way places, just watching and staying out of everyone’s way.  She is such a lonely gal, it’s just so sad to see her just sitting and pining.  She really does look like she’s depressed.  Your mind starts to wander, was she the pet of some little old lady that passed away and her family sold her at auction?  Was she a runaway and just got mixed up at some farm and sold for being a little off?  Did her family have to move?  Was she kidnapped?  Hmmm.    Too many Disney movies perhaps.  But it’s certain, something is just a little weird and I wish I could talk to animals and find out what her story is!  But for now, she’s got a forever home and a new little old lady to take care of her for a good long time.

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


A Kindred Pair… — 3 Comments

  1. I don’t know how you find the time to write such wonderfully detailed accounts of the farm but I really enjoyed it. I read it out loud to my son. He agrees it would make a wonderful children’s book. What’s one more chore on the list? :) Thank you once again for sharing.