Besides their early morning demands to be released from their coop, my hens are pretty quiet. With one big exception. Whenever Cleo (our red hen) goes up in the nesting box to lay her egg, Gloria comes over to our window and squawks like MAD. It always scares me a bit at first, like something has come into the yard and is attacking her. It’s THAT loud. Cleo, on the other hand, never does this when Gloria lays her egg, and I wonder why. I’m pretty sure that they have established Gloria as the leader of the duo, based on my observations of their friendly face-offs as pullets. I’ve never seen them peck at each other, they are the best of friends, but there were a few weeks that they would arch their necks and get beak to beak until one of them backed down (Is this why they call that game where you race head on at your opponent, until someone veers: “chicken”?) Almost every time, it was Cleo that veered. And it seems to be Cleo that generally follows Gloria around. So what’s the deal with Gloria’s squawking episodes? Is she lonely? Is she trying to tell us that Cleo has abandoned her? Is not submitting to her leadership? Needs protection? I’ve also heard that hens will often squawk after laying an egg… to show off? Mine don’t do this, so maybe Gloria is taking it upon herself to show off for Cleo? She is, after all, an exceptional egg layer, even providing us with easy-to-peel fresh hard-boiled eggs.