Hi, my hubby & i are both retired, living on his family farm(also retired.)
We raised a Rhode Island red hen from her first week after hatching. After 11 years in our backyard pen, She passed away March of '08. Now we're trying to build a small flock. Of course, hubby is busy with other projects "first". This first hen was never my close friend, she was an independent bird, content to be left alone. She did enjoy those grubs and hot dog bites I would offer to her, never allowing me to pat her back. "Just drop the food and leave." seemed to be her motto & our understanding.
My job is to learn as much about chickens and their daily care as I can find.
I am constantly fascinated watching myBlack Australorp mix hen she's grown from hatchling to her present 5 months. She has become my gardening companion. She's always monitoring and tasteting my debris, as I toss each clump onto the compost pile. She insists that she MUST peck my snips after every clip and chop. I hope she won't get hurt, with her beak in those blades so often! Well, at least I'm getting plenty of Vitamin D with the extra time needed due to the intrusions from my lil' helper. Chicky has discovered my flower box beside my back steps, she spends hours, digging and scratching in that potting soil. We have to pick her up to get her out and into her pen before sunset. Spring will be another problem with this lil' free spirit. she just wants to investigate every moment she can, not go home to that pen.