Lenna was 6 months old and used to being out with the chickens by the time her first Christmas came around. She has never injured a chicken. She enjoyed her growing freedom around the farm and during chores could choose to do her own thing nearby or come with me. Usually, she chose to come with.
On Christmas morning I was doing chores and Lenna followed. I started with the buck pen - the furthest out in the woods. Lenna opted to stay outside the fence and sniff around rather than go in to greet her favorite buck, Zouk. As I was in the barn refreshing the hay and water I hear a rustling in the woods. I poke my head out of the barn and see a deer.
Lenna is about 50 feet away from me, on the opposite side of the fence. I watch her intently, unsure of what she will do. This is her first encounter with a deer. She stands and stares. The deer stares back. At the exact moment the deer begins to move our youngest layer announces to the world she's laid an egg. Her exuberant clucks sound like a siren. Lenna, without hesitation, sprints to the coop. Sits by it. And barks her big girl bark towards the deer, who takes off as fast as a bolt of lightning, leaving with a quick flash of her white tail.
Although a small act, it displayed a big step in her maturing process. Our Christmas gift from this young girl was showing us she will defend the birds that we have been teaching her to value. Merry Christmas Lenna.