Short background: we bought four hens last year about this time of year. Eventually, one proved to be a rooster, which we are not allowed to have in our area.
We stopped having a rooster.
A year later, someone else in the vicinity has a rooster. We hear him now and then.
Today I came into the backyard near the chicken run, which usually gets the girls running about either scared of the big thing or looking for treats.
Today they were all three standing together staring out across the neighbor's yard - and trilling softly. Sounded for all the world to me like chickens' version of purring.
Yep. Staring longingly in the direction of that new rooster, and 'purring'.
They can be a serious hoot. I was surprised at how much my hens attitudes changed and seemed to lighten up when they got a rooster in their life. My main rooster right now is quite a comedian too with all his posturing and antics, so they really make a ridiculous set of birds. My rooster will follow me or my wife to see what we are doing and when we turn around to face him he will turn and start walking away as if he was not following, tricky little guy.
Chickens are not only hilarious to watch, but they can be downright clever too! Way back about a million years ago when, as homestead newbies, we raised our very first batch of chicks (and gave them all names -- that's how new we were to raising chickens. I can't imagine trying to think up new names for all the hens and roosters we have raised since!) Anyway, back then we had one particularly clever little red-brown hen named Chipmunk for the dark stripes down her back when she was still tiny. She got up to more trouble than all the rest put together.
One evening when I was trying to herd the flock back into the hen house so I could lock them in for the night, I couldn't find her. I looked everywhere and kept walking round the hen house, when I suddenly spied her head peeking round the corner of the shed. As soon as she saw that I had spied her, the head darted back around the corner out of sight. I walked over and looked around the corner -- no Chipmunk to be seen. So I walked around the shed expecting to see her waddling along on the other side. No such luck. Then it occurred to me that she was simply running around the shed keeping out of sight by constantly keeping the shed between us. Each time I rounded a corner, she was already gone. Figuring that it wouldn't occur to her that I might turn around and go the other way, I did just that -- but very quietly. I peeked around the corner before making the turn and saw the little miscreant flattened against the shed wall with her head twisted around the opposite corner watching for me. When she realized I was now behind her, she jumped straight into the air with a loud squawk and hightailed it back the other way. After that I never could catch up with her because she refused to move all the way round the shed until she actually saw me coming around the corner. She was making sure of the right direction to travel! I had to get my husband to walk the other way until we managed to trap her between us -- at which point she calmly walked into the hen house as if that was her plan all along.
I loved that hen! She lived to be 16 years old before finally succumbing to old age.
Just introduced a new pullet to my other two girls (number 3 was taken by a fox, sadly). They're all like at one end of the run, talking about her and complaining to ME about her, while she's at the other end sulking. Hopefully they become friendly soon. Hey, chickens, don't bother ME with your social issues! Work it out like good avians! [Currently, 23:00, all snuggled up in the coop. Success?]