Have you known a hen to answer to her name?


12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
My South American Araucana Michelle certainly knows her name and will come running every time I call her.

Michelle is around five or six and is adopted. She was originally adopted out after my friend Connie died in a tragic highway accident three years ago. I took two of her hens, never having chickens before. However, one of them died suddenly, and I was left with the one hen, which is a very lonely number. I coaxed and wheedled another hen out of the other person who had taken the rest of Connie's chickens. So it was that a very stressed and perturbed Michelle came to live with me.

Michelle finally settled in and began laying her wonderful, huge green eggs. However, she had a short egg laying career it appeared, since she stopped laying a few months later. She surprised me by coming out of retirement and laying eggs again about the same time my three young Brahma pullets began to lay. Then a few months later, she went back into retirement.

This year I raised some Wyandotte pullets, and as they started to lay, Michelle was once again inspired to come out of retirement. Again, it was short-lived. A few months ago, everyone's egg laying had slacked off, and I read on this forum about the miracles of cayenne pepper inserted into their feed. I was about to give up on it as an old-wive's tale when egg production increased. And Michelle came out of retirement and has been laying for the past three or four weeks.

Her egg-laying prowess takes a backseat to her ability to recognize her own name, though. It all began around six months ago when the Wyandottes were all coming of age, including my one rooster Stan. Stan was like any teenager, preoccupied with sex and trying it out on every hen in his path and chasing down any hen within sight. Michelle was absolutely traumatized by his attentions, and the few times Stan actually nailed her, she would spend the rest of the day inside the coop, hiding from him.

So it was that I started to call her to warn her if I noticed Stan zeroing in on her. She would look up, notice Stan sneaking up on her, and she would run to me, hopping onto my shoulder, lap, or back, whichever haven presented itself at the time.

Over the last few weeks, though, Michelle will stop whatever it is she's doing and come running if I call her name. Every. Single. Time. Not only does she run to me when called, she's always up for a snuggle in my arms. I have four other hens who are lap hens, but not to the extent Michelle is. Michelle even comes in the house sometimes and wanders around exploring until cleaning up her poops gets old. She's kind of like a dog with feathers. But alas, not house broken.

This is all the more amazing since Michelle was not hand raised, and had two owners before me. In the few short years I've had chickens, they never cease to amaze me. And of all my chickens, Michelle is the most amazing by far.


12 Years
Oct 1, 2007
Ophir, CA
We had a welsummer named Pocahontas, a black australorp named Chiquita and a light Brahma named Bitsy. Out of all our old flock of hens, these three always came when called. We also had an EE named Chloe who looked EXACTLY like your Michelle. She was the Original crop surgery success. And she was so friendly, but only came to her name about half of the time.


10 Years
Aug 24, 2009
Mine all answer to "WORMS!!"

That or they see the plastic container and cant run to me fast enough!

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