One peck of a talent

Edgar's Mission Lolly with Paula Jewell. Photo: Shawn Smits.

By Jessica Micallef

Forget Albert Einstein – Lolly the chicken is the new Macedon Ranges mathematician.

Edgar’s Mission communications officer Paula Jewell said Lolly was one of 15,000 hens facing depopulation after a free range egg farm went bankrupt in 2016.

“We headed down there … it was a matter of grabbing all the hens we could.

“We saved around 400 … and Lolly was one of them.”

In two years, Lolly has become a firm favourite with staff and visitors to the animal farm and she’s shown she’s got talent.

“She actually has learnt to count,” Ms Jewell said.

“I say a number and she pecks a badge that number of times.

“We train them … the same as you train a dog or any other animal – clicker training.

“What I am learning is they have so many more abilities that even I realised.

“If Lolly could speak, I’m sure she’d tell people that the next time someone calls them a bird brain, just say ‘thank you’ – it could be the greatest compliment they’ve ever received.”

Lolly and her counting ability were star attractions at the farm’s recent 16th anniversary celebrations.