There’s little I enjoy more than driving home new hens. Usually in some ersatz container – sheet over stock tank, random boxes. Today my coat over a box with no bottom.
I like carrying them hugged in my arm for the first time, telling them they’re going to a new home now, their heads bobbing around looking at everything from 4´ higher up than usual. Sliding them into the carrying container du jour. The quiet that falls once we get on the road, broken by a few questioning little chirps from the backseat, some shuffling on tight corners. I sing to them, or play the radio
Today I picked up three hens I hadn’t known I would be, leftovers from the year’s laying flock that were hanging around as outlaws in the barn. I can’t resist a good hen, especially when it’s otherwise doomed.
They’re nice. Low hens, tame and easy to catch. Curious, as they always are, but laid back. In the dark I carried the broken-bottomed box of birds on my forearms, with their feet sticking through and grabbing onto me, from my truck to the greenhouse to tuck them into the coop, their new home.
Tomorrow they will meet the rooster.