This white hen is on a mission, a determined chicken, a chicken who knows what she wants, where it is, and who will give it to her. This chicken hangs out in our garage/shed, waiting for me. When I appear, she follows so closely on my heels that if I stopped suddenly she could look straight up my skirt. Good thing I never wear one.
In the garage/shed there is a blue bin full of black sunflower seeds that we feed to songbirds in the winter. She knows that if she follows me, I will say amusing things like “Go away. Leave me alone. Stalking is a crime.” She does not give up. Finally I sigh heavily, then shuffle over to the blue bin, the chicken skipping with excitement behind me, thinking triumphantly: Once again I have made her do my bidding.
Here’s a warning about a bin containing seeds or feed: One must first peek inside the bin to make sure there are no mice in there, since a mouse who gets in usually can’t get out. When you stick your bare arm down into the bin, you don’t want it to become an escape ladder lowered down to a desperate mouse.
Once I’ve determined the bin is mouse-free, I sprinkle a handful of sunflower seeds on the ground, and the white chicken pecks happily, willing to leave me alone, at least until the next time I enter the shed.
Even though we have over forty chickens, it’s only one chicken who does this, and it’s been going on for years. Melissa obviously taught one chicken about the blue bin, but that chicken has long since died. I imagine some sort of deathbed scene, perhaps from The Godfeather, in which the aging matriarch passes on the Secret of the Blue Bin to a younger hen.
Our hens are free-range, which means they take dirt baths in the driveway, and they eat grasshoppers off the lawn.
It also means they are free to range right into my garage and strong-arm me into giving them treats.