Saturday, May 7, 2011

The chicken that made a choice

It was so hard for me to end yesterday's post with that lonely image of Honey, forging off on her own, headed in the rather unlikely direction of the barn, with no clear statement as to what happened to her. But, the background of Honey needed to be told and to include both background and the latest events in one post would have made for an unbelievably long post.

Today is a new day, though, and *now* I get to tell the story of what has happened to Honey in the days following her injuries....

Ready? I think you'll like this.

Once Honey had made the decision that she was finished with the mean flock, she wasted no time in creating her new life. She started out by...

Taking a sun bath:

Introducing herself to the locals:

and wandering around the outside of the house...:

to determine which window she could see me through at which time of the day. Kitchen door?:

Deck door?:

Living room window? Though, really, she was probably lusting after my indoor seedlings in this photo and not looking for me:

If I open the door to say "hey", she tries to march right in, like she owns the place:

When I'm sitting at my computer, she'll post herself right outside the kitchen door where she can see me. She'll be patient for a while, but when she gets lonely and wants me to come out to play, the tapping starts...

Every day she has the option to return to the coop. But every day, when the main flock of chickens is let out to free range, she puts great effort into avoiding them. This is the first time that I've had a chicken not be anxious to return to the flock after a night or two spent indoors recuperating.

Instead, Honey has chosen to create her own new flock. I was the first one she recruited and, I'll admit it, I was a total pushover. No effort on her part was needed whatsoever.

Next was George.

I have to tell you, I didn't see this one coming:

George and Honey have actually become buddies:

At first, there was a lot of curiosity:

But now they just like to hang out and be close:

Can you see George to the right of Honey in this picture? That's how they will sit for hours sometimes - where they both can keep an eye on what I'm doing:

Even Clyde cat has decided that he, too, enjoys being part of the new flock that has formed:

Honey has also been granted entry into the goat club. Pete and Reggie don't do their ferocious "warning sneezes" when she comes around, like they do with George the cat:

However, probably my biggest surprise yet happened a few days ago.
It was morning and I had just carried Honey's crate outside, let her out, and fed her breakfast:

I was continuing up the path to the barn to feed the big animals when I heard this thump-thump-thump of speedy, flat-footed steps behind me. I turned to see Honey, wings slightly extended, running full throttle up the hill behind me.

Picture me, now, looking forward and backward, trying to keep up with what's going on....

Ahead of me, I see George and Clyde running, anxious for their breakfast up at the barn:

While behind me (thump-thump-thump), Honey takes up the rear:

Looking forward again, George-n-Clyde, are silently speeding up the hill:

and Honey, (THUMP-THUMP-THUMP!) tries to move faster to keep up:

Almost at the top of the hill, George turned to check on our progress:

Beau wasn't at all sure what to think the first time Honey walked past him on her way up to the barn:

But, like most things, he just took it in stride. I could almost see him shrug his shoulders when he looked at me:

Initially, she stayed outside the big-animal fencing. This seemed like an excellent choice to me:

But this girl, I tell you, seems to have a knack for pushing the boundaries and, a couple days ago, I guess she decided her new flock needed new members:

...because she just jumped right in:

Strangely, nobody seemed to mind:

Around late morning, she'll head down the hill from the barn and I will find her back in her crate for about thirty minutes:

When she comes out, she is cackling and squawking and making so much noise, Roopert the rooster, on the other side of the house and down the hill, starts to crow and squawk back. What's all the fuss? Well, in her mind, she's just laid the world's most perfect egg, of course:

And honestly? They really are exceptionally beautiful:

So, that's the latest on Honey, the chicken who decided to create her own flock.

I'm not really sure my little farm can hold too many more big personalities:

But you know, every time I think or say something like this..:

Another one shows up and we all do just fine:


  1. Go the Honey flock... 1 chook, 2 cats, 2 goats and 1 human.
    LiBBiE in Oz

  2. you know....i am thinking a children's book should come out of this. this is not only a wonderful story but everyone can learn from it. and with bully awareness at it's highest, this would make a perfect book. dump the bullies and find real friends! i hope you will tell us more honey stories!!!

  3. Honey is adorable! My lady likes to tell skeptical people that chickens have a great deal of personality! I think Buff Orpingtons have a little more than most! xoxoxo

  4. I love these two posts about Honey. I seriously believe it is the makings of a children's book! You should write it and get an illustrator.

  5. That is an adorable story. I love Honey's new flock.

  6. A wwwwwwww bless, so happy she's forming her own flock! My heart goes out to her seems like she's doing just fine though. What a sweetheart!

  7. I am serious about this comment - Turn this story into a children's book. The last few lines about "big personalities" is very precious and perfect for children.

    Wonderful, wonderful story! Worth the wait.

  8. You should write a book about Honey. This is an incredible story! I love it!

  9. And everyone lived happily ever after!!! I love it AND Honey!
    You've got an awesome children's book here!! All about Bullying and how to work your way through it!!
    I teach 3rd-5th special ed. and your pictures and even your writing style is excellent, with very few tweeks- you'd have an excellent book. You would have my kids on the edge of their seats!!
    Wish I knew something about the process and who to contact -- possibly Scholastics Books - if not initially, it would be great to have their endorcement.
    Hope you think about it--- it's a fantastic story to share!! In fact - our whole 2nd graders have hatched baby chicks in the classrooms and I'm going to share this blog with the teachers and leave it up to them to share with their classes.
    This is a blog about another chicken story that may give you some ideas!!
    Thank you Danni!!

  10. You just MADE my Mother's Day! I love your blog. Happy Mother's Day and thank you to you and all your critter children.

  11. Loved this story. Your animals rock. Let's hear it for all the strong, forward thinking hens of the world!

  12. Awww.

    I wouldn't want to go back with those mean chickens, either. Good choice, Honey!

    Love this chapter of her story! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  13. Thanks for the rest of the story; it was a good one. Happy Mother's Day!

  14. What a great story...expertly told and illustrated, too. Sweet, sweet Honey.

  15. What a wonderful family she's created. Chickens are such amazing creatures. I have one now, Hannah, who doesn't like her flock for some reason. There is no attacking or injury, she just doesn't like them. So she follows me around when I'm outside. It's good to have a separate coop or yard for hens that don't fit in. We all deserve a stress-free life as much as possible. Cheers to Honey. What a gal!

  16. Follow your bliss. And Honey has done just that. What a personality she has.

  17. Awww, what a sweet hen :) Great story, made me smile :)

  18. Yay for honey. Mean girls in the past and a bright future with new kinda girl. You go Honey.

  19. I love this! And I think a bullying book is a great idea.

  20. Northern AB galMay 8, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    First, I loved this story. It's so nice when someone tries to see the world through the animal's eyes and makes adjustments accordingly.
    Second, I really enjoy your blog. Came by way of The 7MSN Ranch and so glad I did. Both Carson and yourself obviously love your animals a lot and it shows.

    Have a happy mother's day!

  21. I'm with the others who said this makes a wonderful children's story and one for the kid in all of us. I felt so touched by the story and it is the perfect time with all of the attention being given to stopping bullying. What a beautiful family Honey has created and how inspiring she is and all of you are for being so accepting and loving.

  22. Yay for Honey! Yay for Danni letting her have her own flock!

  23. Way to go, Honey! Wish I'd have had her courage to change things when I was a younger hen!

  24. I love the story. I agree it's a childrens book for sure.

    We pick up our chicks this Tuesday.

    I guess it's time to get started on the chicken coop


  25. What a wonderful tale...I mean tail ... I mean tale. You GO, Honey! I knew that naturally the goats would accept her. We goats are magnanimous creatures. And, I had to laugh at Ruth's comment 'when I was a young hen'. :)I agree, there is a lot to be learned from Honey. Maybe she will start her own blog. I'm sure there's room for a Chicken Philosophy 101.

  26. What a wonderful story - this absolutely made my day.

  27. You just MUST send this story to a publisher, Danni . . . it'll be on the best seller list for sure! You are really a good writer, now all you need is a good illustrator (which I'm sure a publisher could recommend). Pioneer Woman just wrote a book about her ranch dog named Charlie, and the illustrations are adorable. Check her out.

  28. Thus proving that looks don't matter; niceness does.

    WTG honey!

  29. I totally agree... with the about posters, this is a children's book for sure!! Great story! I <3 your blog!

    Ann in WI

  30. Seems like a perfect flock to me!! Very cute - loved it. Enjoy the cinnamon rolls!!

  31. Absolutely loved reading the blog posts about Honey and her story. Fabulous. Such a delightful read!

  32. Glad to hear things are going well with Honey. :)

  33. Honey Takes On Life. This could be a best seller. I love her story.
    When life hands you lemons.. make... the biggest, best egg you possibly can.
    Oh yes, there's a lesson to be learned here.
    Great post!!

  34. Hey, farmgirl, are you listening? With all this encouragement for writing a children's book, don't you think it's time? Yes, get an illustrator, and yes, we know a publisher! (he,he)
    Fabulous story told in captivating, touching, funny words.

  35. What a wonderful heartfelt post Dani, Honey is a very lucky girl to have you for a chicken mama as are all the rest of the critters that reside there with you. Sending blessings from Maine and also Happy Mother's Day wishes!

  36. there are those in life that choose to be despondent with every little piece of crap that comes in life; and there are those, who like Honey, make the best of a situation and choose to deal with the crap in a way that enriches their life. I want to be more like Honey. So glad for a happy story and another bit of inspiration from your chickens :)

  37. You could always self publish using a site like blurb. (Blurb also has a feature for printing your blog as a keepsake. I for one would be first off the press to purchase it.
    So very pleased to hear that sweet honey has made some new friends. It threw me too when my trio of frizzle bantams became firm friends with my cat such an unlikely friendship.

  38. Best story ever! I thought it would make a good childrens book too. Honey is m hero!

  39. What a wonderful story. And what a wonderful job of capturing all the pictures along the way. Great job!!

  40. Yay Honey! Very cool story. Loved your photos too.

  41. I missed this yesterday so am starting my Monday morning with a great big smile. Thank you for this wonderful story of Honey. I hope this is the beginning of a whole series.

    This story just begs to be in a book that can be read to children. I know what I'm talking about, because that's what my old job as school librarian was all about!

  42. I just love your critters. Honey may just top them all. How lovely that she found her own friends and how unlikely that a couple of cats would be among them! That was a wonderful, uplifting story. Thank you. Honey is very lucky to have such a great mom.

  43. Buff Orpington chickens are my all time favorites. They have such big personalities and Honey proves that. I'm SO glad she's found that she doesn't need the other chickens to be happy. How cool that the cats have become her flock. :)

  44. what a perfectly delightful, feel good, make me smile all day story!

  45. What a fabulously smart lady! New flock of friends. The others will be so jealous!

  46. P.S. Little kids who don't fit in at recess in school would so relate to Honey! She found a way, hooray!

  47. This is the most endearing story about the most endearing, little chicken....EVER! And Honey's name fits her like bees and....honey!! :
    You go Honey girl!!

  48. I told this story to Zoey - no pictures yet because I think she will be upset. Her first response...she really needs to write a children's book! And I agree! I love this story!

  49. This is a wonderful story Danni-and yes it should be made into a children s book!! You can never have too many good children s books!

  50. I don't think an illustrator is needed, the photos are perfect.

  51. I've only had chickens for 8 months, but my favorite from day one has been a buff orp named Honey. She is docile and sweet, and I can pick her up whenever I want. She's never naughty, (jumping the fence, laying eggs under the porch, or God knows where.....), and she likes my kids.

    She gets picked on every so often, but nothing quite as brutal.

    I'm glad your Honey found a new flock. (Very smart of her to get in with the big animals...)

    Lovely story, thanks for sharing!

  52. We had our own Miss Honey - what is it with those Buff Orpingtons? Love them.

    So good to read this post. We lost our Miss Gertie over the weekend and I haven't been able to write about it yet. Glad you're enjoying your cast of characters and glad Honey has recovered well.

    Take good care,

  53. Oh my, you guys are the best. All of your comments made me so happy. Thank you. Seriously. And Honey wants me to tell you that she'll be laying an egg in each and every one of your honors for all your support. :-) (Can the word "honor" be plural? hmmm...)

    Special Msg to Mom L: PLEASE...I can't find your email address and I accidentally and very unintentionally rejected your comment. Would you please resend?

  54. I missed the first post...I think I'll skip it, because it might make me sad. This one is MUCH better!

    I LOVE Honey. She's the coolest Hen Ever! I love her moxie and her courage and, damn, she's a good looking little socialite. I absolutely love that she & George & Clyde are best friends now. What a character she is. She could become a real celebrity, you know. If she's laying, she's happy. And, that right there, is the absolute best part.



  55. P.S. I'm with the others who think Honey's story would make an excellent book. Honey could become the poster child for anti-bullying campaigns. I'm not kidding.

  56. Love this story - unfortunately this also happens in the adult world.

  57. Princess, they're right. Weren't you a writer of some sort before? Get yerself an illustrator or a set of colored pencils and go to it. If you don't, I'm stealing the story for my own. Hey... here's some colored pencils now... Once upon a time...


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