Helen is my highly strung chicken who wants what everyone else has. Treat feeding time must be very traumatic for Helen.
When we arrive home from work, the chickens hear our car come up the drive and that is their queue to crowd around the glass doors, make lots of noise, try to look cute and and watch my every move inside the house until they see me with their treat tin.
When they see me coming towards them with the treat tin, they get very excited and try to climb through the glass doors.
Once I get the glass sliding door open, Helen and Hilda are right by my feet watching me put on my outdoor shoes (the ones that I don’t mind getting pooh on). Once I have my outdoor shoes on, they start to walk right beside my feet, criss crossing in front of me, looking up at their treats.
Hannah Hen plays it a bit more cool and walks ahead of us to where she knows I will throw the treats.
The five teenage chicks are also waiting but they are not allowed to wait at the glass door. That is Helen’s space and so therefore the chicks are not invited. But they are not far away and they hang back and wait patiently for their treats, which they know they get last.
So today I had scratch (lots of yummy mixed grains), kitchen leftovers and cracked corn. I threw a handful of scratch (their favourite) in front of Helen and Hilda and throw a handful to Hannah who is always standing a little further away. Helen pecked furiously at the scratch trying to eat a much as she could, glaring at Hilda in case she was eating too much.
Then Helen caught sight of Hannah eating her little pile of scratch. So Helen ran as fast as she could over to Hannah’s pile and started pecking furiously at hers. Hannah is top hen and she was having none of this and gave Helen a peck and a growl and so off Helen ran back to Hilda’s pile.
By this time I had given the chicks some bread, some little bits of tomato and other leftover goodies. I feed the chicks a few metres away from Helen because she chases them.
But suddenly, Helen caught sight of the chicks and their treats, so she abandoned Hilda and the scratch and ran towards the chicks. I quickly threw her some bread of her own so that she wouldn’t bother the chicks. But no, she slowed, briefly looked at the bread I had thrown her and then continued on to the chicks. She chased them away from their food and around the table and chairs a few times and then went back to eat the chick’s bread while the chicks huddled under the table waiting for her to go away.
Then Helen spied out of the corner of her eye, Hilda eating the bread that I had thrown for Helen to stop her from going near the chicks. So Helen abandoned the chicks’s bread and ran after Hilda, who by this time had gulped down the last of that bread.
So then Helen ran over to where the scratch treats hd been and found that while she was chasing the chicks, Hilda and Hannah had eaten all the scratch.
So back to the chicks to see if she could steal the last of their bread. But alas, the chicks had seen their opportunity and had come back and gobbled it all up.
Poor Helen. It must be a very unsatisfying life wanting what everyone else has. If only she could work out that there is enough for everyone.