Elaine has a new best friend, Tallulah, one of our five hens. Elaine has always enjoyed talking to our chickens since they arrived last May as day-old chicks. Of course, in the summer we purchased Tallulah, Dot, and Violet from the local Southern States because six of our eight chicks turned out to be cockerels.
The three new girls, as Elaine called them, had a little difficulty being accepted by our resident birds. But now, I think, Tallulah has become Elaine's favorite chicken. About a month ago, Tallulah started visiting Elaine when the chickens were let out into our front yard every afternoon to forage. Little by little, Tallulah became bolder and bolder as she first would feed close to Elaine, then come to her and whine for food, then finally Tallulah began hopping up the steps to stand besides Elaine as she sat on our stoop.
But Tallulah was not done yet with her overtures. Eventually, she learned to hop up and sit on Elaine's lap and whine for food. Now, every time Elaine sits on the stoop, Tallulah comes running to Elaine, hops up on her lap, begs for food, and allows Elaine to stroke her chest.
Our alpha hen, Ruby, one of our two original hens, is also our smartest and most athletic hen. Once Ruby saw that Tallulah was receiving food from Elaine (and all she had to do was sit on my wife's lap), Ruby likewise began sitting on Elaine's lap. Ruby, though, seems mostly interested in the food, not visiting. Tallulah seems to actually like to linger awhile with Elaine.