My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

Hannah Hen is a free spirit and doesn’t belong to me (yet)


Since getting my two Barnevelders, Hannah Hen has loved spending each and every day with the new girls.  She toddles off each evening about 5:15 to wherever it is that she sleeps and appears back at the coop to greet the girls the next morning. She is tolerated and she is the boss, even though she is only a bantam and much smaller than the young barnies. She has experience on her side. She is about four years old and they are only five months.

SInce Hannah Hen turned up at our house many months ago, I have never been able to work out where she sleeps. Until two weekends ago.

About 5:15, as per her usual bedtime, she leaves the barnies and furtively walks into my garden and hides in there for a while.

I have never noticed her come out the other side of the garden and had been starting to wonder if she slept somewhere in that garden – until two weekends ago. I saw her make her way slowly out the other side of the garden.

Then she made her way across the lawn.

Over to the shelter of the next garden.

Then she turned left and wandered along the edge of the garden, disappeared down the bank and into the toi tois and manuka.

I sneaked up behind her to find out where she went next. I got such a surprise. I actually thought that she would be sleeping in amongst the bushes in my garden. But no!

She flew, yes flew, over the toi tois and the manuka, onto the road. Wandered across the road, under the neighbour / friend / farmer’s gate on the other side of the road and disappeared under the wooden stockyards. So that is where she sleeps!

That was a few weekends ago.

She had been coming over later and later in the mornings until last week when she turned up just before lunch and left after a quick meal. She didn’t seem interested in looking for the barnies who were in the bush quite near and I haven’t seen her since. She was making strange noises that day and my brother who was visiting (and who has lots of chooks) said she sounded as though she was broody. So Hannah Hen is being all mysterious again.

What this has proved to me is, Hannah Hen isn’t mine. She is a free spirit. Maybe she knew I was in the process of buying another coop and was going to catch her and put her in for a week to get her used to sleeping at our place. That way I could say she is mine and I could keep her safe at nights.


13 thoughts on “Hannah Hen is a free spirit and doesn’t belong to me (yet)

  1. OMGosh, how interesting. As much as I would want to, I don’t let my four BO’s free range. There are too many dangers and I would worry so. You surely have a couple of ‘free spirits’. I’m enjoying your blog and the countryside looks beautiful!

    • Hi Maryann, I think we are very lucky to be living in New Zealand as there are no real predators for our chooks. Hawks do take chooks and ferrets but we are just out of the range of our local hawk’s range and I haven’t seen any ferrets yet. I hope I don’t end up being wrong but a lot of people in New Zealand free range their chooks outside of a run.
      Thank you for leaving the comment. You blog is amazing.

  2. I love it how you papparazzi’ed Hannah Hen 🙂 I hope she comes back soon. I am glad that Graeme was there to tell you that the noises meant she was broody, otherwise you would have been sad and not had any idea why she went AWOL.

  3. She is such a pretty little thing! Clever as a devil too by your story!

  4. Ha, I love Hannah Hen stories! If only they could talk – I would really love to know where they go on their adventures. Kudos to you for your amazing chicken-tracking skills! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Free range chickens and heavy rain « My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

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