Sam, this scrappy little Ameraucana has won me over. She's proven to me that a chicken can not only hang with her farmer, but become a sidekick. Sam's probably become my favorite because she runs to me for solidarity. As the lowest ranking bird in the coop, my presence means safety. No one can peck on her if she's in my arms, so my arms is where she likes to be. It is a splendid thing to hold a laying chicken you raised from a 72-hour old hatchling, that actually likes being held. You can't help but think, "Hey, I pulled this chicken thing off. She trusts me." A homesteader right of passage.
Her place at the bottom of the chicken social scene is proven by her back, which is nearly naked of feathers. Chickens peck at each other, and if you're the outcast of the clan, you get picked on a lot. So maybe it's her underdog status, and maybe I'm making to much out of a pathetic little bird. But I can't help it. She's such a sweetheart.
When I go into the coop for morning feeding or post-office egg collecing—Sam is right there at my feet. She looks right up at me, and jumps onto my hand or shoulder when I pet her head, and she stomps around the yoke of my shirt looking for the correct placement of her little dinosaur feet. When I carry out hay to the sheep she follows behind. When I come into the coop she flies right to me, literally. Tonight she launched perfectly from the roost to my left shoulder. I was so pleased with her I grabbed a fistful of layer mash and fed her right from my hand. What a gal.