Friday, March 15, 2013

Chickens Are Bigots Fowl Doings

Chickens are strange creatures...everything is going along fine, and then all of a sudden, they turn on each other! These New Hampshire Reds have had the same living dynamic for about 6 months-no new members, same coop, etc. I went down to feed them a few weeks ago, and found one of the hens hiding under a layer box, with her side picked bloody...
So I caught her and put her in a kennel and brought her into the mudroom to recuperate. She was a lot better in about a week, so I decided to put her in the back yard with the Little's and the white Americauna chicken that Munster hatched last spring. I left the regular sized Americauna chicken in with the two Little's because she just seems like the kind of chicken other chickens would pick at/on-she was the only chick in the clutch, and she's white and chickens don't seem to like other chickens that don't look like them...that's right, I'm saying chickens are bigots!
I know from past experience that dumping a new chicken in with an existing flock usually gets the new chicken picked, so I decided I'd try to introduce this new hen gradually...I had my Giant put her kennel out by the Little's run so they could get to know each other without being able to hurt each other...



Everyone met through the fence, and everything seemed to be going well...I left the Red chicken in the kennel next to the outside run for about 24 hours...

,
then I turned her out into the run...Ozzie immediately did his little rooster dance for her, and the hens seemed pretty neutral about her. Ozzie was happy to have her in the run...
Very happy lol!
I turned them all out together in the back garden and kept a close eye on them for the rest of the day. Everything seemed fine, so I shut them all up in their run overnight...
the next morning when I went out to check them, the poor Red hen had her head stuck in the gate, and the white hen had picked her even worse than she'd been injured originally, she was dripping blood, and the Americauna hen was covered in the Red hens blood, it was highly traumatic!
So, I got in the run, and chased the Americauna hen out, while keeping the other 3 in...not as easy as it sounds lol, and I'm sure I made quite a sight as I was doing it lol! Later in the day, I managed to deek the Americauna hen into the kennel...

 

and when Giant got home, he helped me catch her in the net...










and we moved her into the North 40 with all the other Americauna's...









where she is definitely low man on the totem pole, so to speak, but they're not picking on her anything like she was picking on the Red hen. I wasn't sure if the Red hen was going to make it, but she rallied and seems like she's going to be fine. I'll probably just have to keep her with the Little's from now on, I'm figuring if the NH Reds turned on her once, they'll turn on her again...

















The only other news in chicken-ville is the bantams that poor Broody hatched are living in the barn like wild animals...they are out of control wild, which is odd because Broody was so tame. These guys are like a whole different species of chicken, they're like Rafter Chickens, they just stay up in the rafters all the time, very funny! Until next time, happytrails!







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