Smart old hens

Teresa Lundquis

In the Brooder
Jul 23, 2016
This is the first time I have owned chickens and only spent 6 mos with my land lady's chickens along with 4-H kids stuff about 10 yrs ago so I have a story.

My hens are 3 yrs old and I wanted them for grasshopper control and to just try it out. My HOA rules say know but the president says if he doesn't hear a complaint he has no right to intervene. Just the same my hens stay in their semi out door coop part of the goat barn, hidden from public view. !-2 x a day I "catch" them and put them in a med sized dog crate and put it in a wheelbarrow and trudge 200 ft to my fenced garden to eat grasshoppers. I can only do short times due to 95 degree heat. I won't leave them alone out there.

I 'm proud of myself to be able to catch the 3 girls with out to much flapping. Well to night while in the garden at dusk one hen starts pacing and clucking around the dog crate ( door was closed) like she just had to get in. I usually have to run around the garden to coral and catch them to put them in the crate to get them back to the barn. She went right in as soon as I opened the door. I thought she would lay an egg the way she carried on fluffing the bedding. This crate is available to them in their coop too so they are familiar with it. She went in fluffed, settled then out a few times. The other girl saw her and decided to walk into the crate too. So 2 hens put them selves to bed by them selves. Now the third was a bit upset no one was eating bugs with her. I did have to catch her.

When I got the 3 hens from my friend 2 weeks ago they had not been handled much. It was a crazy time for the man to catch them. Because her flock stopped laying they decided to process the flock but left me 3. We are having a fun time talking in the garden and they are doing their job eating bugs. They do make me some eggs about 2-3 eggs every other day but the time and place the eggs appear are irregular. They are making some nice manure too.

So my hens have learned the dog crate means time to go to the garden as well as it's their portable night time place. I wasn't sure how I would round them up at the end of the day if I would have to clip the wing, if they would hop the 4 ft fence. Knowing they use the dog crate as their roost place I can let them roam further than the small garden as long as it's close to dusk.

I know hens are smart but I wasn't sure if they could learn new tricks and considering I wasn't their when they were little I wasn't sure they would see me as the nice lady.

So for 2 weeks on my farm the girls seem happy.


Mar 31, 2016
Yep! Thy learn quickly the steps involved in getting what they A real pleasure to watch them learn. :D

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