Chickens come in all colors, shapes and sizes. One of my favorite chicken breeds is the Mille Fleur. This is a Bantam breed with feathers that go all the way down their legs. Mille Fleur is translated Thousand Flowers. They are a colorful bird. We have a number of these little chickens on the farm. Dad calls them the perfect garden chicken because you can turn them out and they do little to no damage in the garden.
There is a rooster that has shown amazing dedication to his little hen. They are older and she is blind. In the morning he will make noises and lead her out into the yard. All of our chickens are free range – they freely roam about the five plus acres of yard, garden, and small lots. They could go out into the pastures but don’t generally roam too far from the hen house. Dad pointed out a specific pair on one of my visits. The rooster stays right with his hen. His communication method is to cluck around and she will follow him. When he finds a bug or piece of grain he will lead her to it and he makes sure that she eats. He also takes her to the water and at night he does not go in the hen house until he is sure that she is in front of him. I am amazed at such behavior in the chicken kingdom! The rooster has not added to his harem or taken interest in other groups. Dad has taken to hand feeding the little hen. The rooster appears to know Dad and will allow him to approach the hen and feed her a bit of “canned dog food” or some other small morsel. The rooster stands guard and makes sure that she eats. Here is Dad feeding the little hen with the rooster standing guard.
Post Script: Have witnessed similar animal behavior? If so, I would love to hear the story.
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