We take great pride in how we raise our hens. I think most people who have never been around chickens assume they are "not very smart" animals. This could not be farther from the truth. Scientific American recently released a study on the intelligence of chickens, I think you'll find it really enlightening. The original twelve girls moved here with us from Arizona when we bought the farm. People thought we were crazy—but we couldn't imagine moving to this lush green paradise and not letting them get a "taste" of it as well. So we packed them up, fopur to an animal transport and they rode in the air conditioned comfort of the front seat of the 36" foot Penske mving trucks for the 3 day trip. Each night when we stopped for the night, they got to stretch and eat grass on the laws of the hotels we stayed in—and were quite the talk of the town.
All but one were raised by our grandchildren—chicks they had gotten from their parents for Easter. They had all been handled, cuddled, dropped, picked up, nurtured and loved. They each grew into distinctly different hens, some traits according to the temperament of the breed—some because of the children—all were wonderfully funny, sometimes clumsy, little dinosaur descendants that won their way into our hearts. Friends and acquaintances alike are often shocked to see our hens run "to" us and not "away" from us whenever we enter their secure home turf. You see we LOVE having them; some of the girls are now in retirement—living out their years eating pill bugs and worms, flapping drunkenly in the sunny, warm dirt, picking out the sweet young clover and dandelion leaves—a life well earned for all the eggs they gifted us with. We have now since doubled the flock size with young laying hens—all keenly aware of the pecking order but welcomed into the flock none the less. Our neighbors stand in line for our ORGANIC, truly FREE-RANGE eggs and say they can really taste and see the difference in eggs laid by happy, well-cared-for hens —doing what Nature intended them to do. Two of the girls even insist on laying their eggs in a nest by the front door—delivered fresh each day.