Hens, pigs, and my nature talks

Stories of hens, pigs and me, parallel lifes

January 30, 2021


There are plenty of commonplaces, some of which are about the intelligence of hens.

As a matter of fact, our consideration for other beings also depends on our attitude.

I am on the way to change a bit my life. From the first lockdown, last spring, hens appeared. In the beginning I reluctantly believed that could be possible. I was in Cesena  and the hens  were in Manarola, taken by Sara. Them, when I could be back, then hens were just there, with their brand new house. Young hens, needing care and not making any eggs. And I was wondering: “but who made her do it, to take hens ?”

Jumper hens, when food arrives

I obviously got involved. They started making plenty of eggs, almost one each day. They are creatures of habit. Between them, there is a hierarchy, but finally they are all the time in a flock. They are not satisfied of a bit of feed; they eat impressive amounts; better to bring a lot since, when food is scarce, the latest in the hierarchy can stay fasting.  they love fresh plants, but accurately select. They also select dry foods: see this old pasta, simply left: it is not natural, and they do not recognise it. If they can, they escape from their fence, to hang around; they also stayed out at night, but always returning, always in a flock. When they understand that escaping is not allowed, they give up.  They welcome with apparent enthusiasm, but especially when something good to eat is coming.  They hear the sounds in advance, so they are already fully excited well before seeing their food. Hens also jump ! It seems that they are consciously loved and take advantage of that: every now and then, it happens they hit with their beak. It seems they are well aware that they will die of old age.    

Frequenting them, generated a positive attitude, to a point to of about commonsense about hens’ intelligence. However, without any doubt, they are not like dogs;  they are little reactive to caresses, they di not show a high level of affectivity. They must be accepted as they are…

Hens eat a lot

… but discard what they do not like


In Manarola, especially now, during this lockdown, there is time to exchange some words. Talking about edible herbs, the conversation shifted to hens, then pigs, that are not in Manarola, but are still grown not far. A talk about pigs’ character, very intelligent animals, but also somewhat rough, to be taken with care, at least because of the strength of their bite.

Here the story of a pigs, taken when it was a baby pig, with an unsaid, but implicit purpose, but that finally had the same destiny as hens: it is now five years old, and will die of old age.  When its master goes out with the dog, he wants to go as well. And the dog wants the same; they became good friends. The pig uses to lay on its back, asking to be scratched on the belly. It clearly has a different affectivity, compared to hens. However, I did not have a direct  experience of this.

Happy pigs, but not the ones of the post


Contacts with nature belong to my life. These are however rather unconventional aspects.  Sometimes very little is enough, to see things from a different perspective.   Okay, a bit of good luck is also needed, and places help. What is important, is not to neglect anything: if the great nature is missing, let’s stay with the minor one.