I have the definitive answer to the burning questions, "Do chickens know us specifically and miss us when we're gone?"
Got home Friday around 5:00. The gals were already roosted down. It was miraculously warm--in the 50's. So I went outside on the porch with a handful of sesame corn chips and a cup of cappuchino.
Around me the flock flocked, munching happily on chips and chirping. OK, so I fed them, but they all hung around close to my chair, when nary a chip was to be seen. The Horrible jumped on my lap and started preening and actually ROOSTED! Yep, she missed her mama!
It was like she was marking her turf again and saying, "Where you been girl?" Amelia kept on looking up and starting to jump, but a beaky stare from the Horrible kept her in her place. Yes, it's true, the flock misses their mother hen :)A