Do Hens Dream?

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary,  Thursday, 30th April 2009, page 1 of 2

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White Star hen

A  WHITE STAR hen has her head tucked underneath her fluffed-out wings, as if snuggled in a luxurious eiderdown.

She seems to be sound asleep, but she stirs slightly, like a dog does when it’s dreaming.


Do hens dream?


If so what would this one be dreaming about now?


Strange adventures in the chicken run?


Anxiety dreams about the pecking order amongst the sisterhood? (there are no cockerels ruling the roost here).

Amber Link hen

It’s not just the appearance of hens that makes them fascinating to draw; it’s the way they move and interact too. I’m struck by the intensity with which they observe - constantly tilting their heads in quizzical examination. They examine potential treasures, finding something of significance to them in the most mundane of environments.

Blue Belle hen

It’s hardly surprising that they bring these survival skills into our farmyards and allotments; in evolutionary terms its not so long since they were interacting with the rich but potentially dangerous possibilities of life in the jungles of south-east Asia.


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In fact, in their considered movements and their imperious, direct gaze, I’m sure I can see something of their dinosaur ancestry!

Drawn at Armitages Garden Centre, Shelley