Mrs. Pickles was a buff Orpington hen. She was the second-largest of the hens. She was called Goldie by her former owner and I called her Mrs. Pickles one day and it fit, so Mrs. Pickles it was.
I also called her Sweetie. She would follow me if Katy Pecky wasn’t with me. She wasn’t very vocal; she would try her best with a low growl to tell me she wanted to “play the game” (peck the foam die). We tried to find a better signal to let me know when she wanted to “play” because we were not subtle enough and 10 chickens would come running for treats instead of 1 playing a game. I tried to get the timing right with a slight glance to the left with a little tiny bit of head movement in that direction. I needed much more practice!
She was finally beginning to trust me and I was very pleased! She would snuggle up next to my legs and had put one foot on my leg, but she never stepped on and snuggled in for a nap.
She was one of our girls who was susceptible to contagious yawning. I’m happy to report that was not just me: I watched her do that with my step-daughter.
She was unquestionably the most intelligent of all the girls. She was like the child who isn’t challenged enough in the classroom: she would get herself in trouble if she was not kept busy. She was the only one who understood how to get the food out of the toys the girls got for Christmas. She would roll one toward her just enough to get a little of the scratch out, eat it, then do the same with the second treat ball. She would roll both underneath her like giant yellow eggs. Nothing was left for anyone else that way and it was very funny.
I believe most of our chickens are fairly intelligent, but they all paled in comparison to Mrs. Pickles. She was so very, very soft too.
When she stared at herself in the mirror, it seemed as if she is thinking, “Let me out of this chicken body. I’m not a chicken. Please, please let me out!” I’m not sure what she could be have been though.
I miss her and losing her has been very difficult for me and for Buffy, her hatch-mate.