Hens Don’t Get No Respect!

They’re smarter than you think, and their rooster boyfriends protect them.

Debra G. Harman, MEd.
6 min readJun 13, 2022


Photo by Zosia Korcz on Unsplash

Salvador Dali was squawking his tail feathers off

Our rooster Salvador spun like a top, a kaleidoscope of color.

The hens were in an uproar, also screaming and squawking loudly.

This wasn’t the normal, “Hey, I laid an egg! How ‘bout that!” which hens are prone to do. That’s a high, long whistle.

This was a screeching chorus of “We’re in trouble! Help! Get out here, people!”

And I ran.

Out front of our house, a coyote chased the hens, which scooted and flew up in the air, just evading teeth.

That’s when I saw Salvador

A huge, colorful rooster with plumage to rival any peacock’s display, he flew up in front of his hens. He was taking the hit for them. He put his life on the line for his feathered females!

So much more than legs, breasts, and thighs, Salvador was a plucky, poultry powerhouse of “get the hell away from my hens!” He was more than his parts.

He was an Übermensch of roosters, willing to challenge adversity in its most horrific manifestation — a doglike creature with horrific canine teeth!

Salvador Dali put his claws first and the coyote backed off in terror. Salvador flew up again, tearing at the coyote. His flock, our ten hens, scattered and ran.

Their hiding places included under the grapevines

Under the Japanese Red Maple. Up over the coop guard and onto their tall perches.

Hens know who their enemies are, just as they know friends.

Side note: I’m a friend to the flock. The chickens come running when I call them, Chick chick chickchickchickchick chiccccckkkkkk!

For a good laugh, I’ve taught the grandson to call the hens in too. Well, I’ve taught him “the call.” Hens are smarter than most people give them credit for.



Debra G. Harman, MEd.

Memoirist | Publisher @ Parasol Publications | Kingdom of pubs on Medium--Narrative Arc, Wind Phone, In For a Penny, and more! | Traveler & Retired HS Teacher