Friday, September 28, 2012

Order of the day

Pecking order, that is. (Talk about my posts ranging from the magnificent to the mundane!)

It was high time to start integrating the Golden Girls into the flock. I was worried, because at least one of the Speckled Sussex has taken every opportunity to attack the pullets through the wire of their protective pen, bloodying Brassy's comb. So I did things in stages. Late yesterday afternoon, I shut the pop door with the Golden Girls inside and the rest outside so the GGs could explore the coop, check out the nest boxes, and find their roosts. After dark I put the rest of the hens in.
This morning bright and early, I dumped a bunch of very ripe pears in the hen yard and opened the pop door, hoping the goodies would keep everyone too busy to fight.

Unfortunately, one Speckled Sussex was bound and determined to make like a fighting cock and put the newcomers in their place, so she got put in a cage to cool her heels while everyone else got acquainted.
The guilty party is easily distinguished by her white stand-up tail feathers
Look at all the pretty colors in my little flock now!
I ended up putting Buffy, the white Easter Egger, in with the nasty SS as well, because she had it in for Goldilocks – and only Goldilocks. Interesting, that.

Periodically I sent Brian out to free the prisoners and watch over the interactions. Miss Nasty isn't getting any nicer. I'm thinking she may need a falconry hood!

That's it for today from . . .


Anonymous said...

Wow, normally when you integrate them at night you don't have problems in the morning, interesting that you have the two bound and determinded to fight.

Tombstone Livestock said...

I was going thru so many eggs for a time this summer I thought about getting chickens again, hmmmm, there is no way I could name chickens, let alone remember who is who. Had enough trouble coming up with names for Shetlands, glad Dorpers don't have names ..........

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Miss Nasty might make good dumplings!

Tiggeriffic said...

Didn't know chickens were so territorial.. Guess they are after reading your blog.. Miss Nasty needs and attitute adjustment.

farmlady said...

So funny. Until I had chickens, I had no idea that this "pecking order" thing was so important.
The Speckled Sussex "cooling her heels" cracks me up.
I know this can be serious. I'm going through the same thing right now. I did the 'sneak them in at night' trick too. It seemed to work.
So far the only one that is having trouble is one of the new ones. Maybe SHE is a he... but I don't think so. Just an alpha teenager.
Hope everything settles down soon.
Great post!

Susan said...

You never know with chickens. Some just need to be at the top of the pecking order, no matter what you do. Do your chickens free range, or are they in a contained area? Sometimes just have the space helps - the picked-ons have room to escape. My giant red rangers are at the bottom of the totem pole right now, but things finally seem to be settling down. They are all scared of the Guineas so steer clear.

Erica said...

Do you have places for the chickens to hide? I have found a few boxes or hides holes can help the weaker ones hide from the bullies. I also freelance mine and I think that extra space helps. Ms Nasty is lucky she liveswith you as she would be in the freezer at my house. I have about more than one hundred chickens however.