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Marsha Cassada

Chickens

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All the chicken topics are gone so I want to start a new one.

We are having chicken trouble. One of the new little hens hatched last fall got attacked by a feral cat several weeks ago. A few tail feathered pulled out, but nothing serious. But, suddenly the rooster, that was hatched with her, won't have her anywhere near his harem any more. He will chase her halfway across the yard. If he catches her, he pounces and pulls feathers out. He is very good with the other girls so I didn't want to get rid of him; I figured the other hens would pick on her anyway even if he is gone. So, I made her a separate pen. She isn't happy and wants to get out to range. If I let her out when he isn't around, she can skiddaddle to a safe place. If he sees me with her, he even sasses me. Yesterday, I saw she was really beat up on the head. I put her in her pen and secured it; she will just have to stay there.

Then, one of our older hens got bad feet. From the internet, we deduced it was gout. She got so bad she couldn't walk, so we had to do her in.

The poet Walt Whitman said he could "turn and live with the animals, so placid and self-contained". Obviously, he never observed the animal world up close, especially chickens.

 

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I believe that's where the phrase, "Pecking Order" originated. BTW, I do NOT allow a rooster to get "sassy" with me. We had one who flew at me and pecked my legs and I booted him across the pen. He was good for a little while, but then we went through the same thing two more times.........Third time was the charm and he was GONE. My guess is that your rooster is questioning YOUR place in that "pecking order". We've had to do the same thing with a hen a couple of times....separate until healed. Once healed up, she was welcomed back to the group. (We used Nolvasan on the injury(s). )

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No, he is not allowed to sass. I booted mine also. The thing I will ABSOLUTELY not tolerate is one that sneaks up behind me. He doesn't get three strikes for that. He is a very good rooster; he calls them over for tidbits and lets them eat first. He doesn't let the other girls pick on each other. That's why I don't want to get rid of him. I think roosters have memories like elephants. He is not going to forget that he doesn't like that poor little hen.

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Finally had to give up and give the little hen away. She was such a nice hen, so friendly and laid an egg every day. A guy from husband's work took her.

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Well....at least she has a nice new home......

 

OUR issue was having THREE ROOSTERS....who just HAD to have a crowing competition every morning, beginning at 4 A.M. AAARRRGGG. Made the hard decision and earlier this week two were "re-homed"... into a friend's stew pot. The one I chose to keep is the gentler of the 3 and absolutely gorgeous. He takes after him mom who is a Lavender Americauna. I'm eager to see what we get for chicks this season.

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My sister took some of our eggs to put under two broody hens. After 2 weeks, both hens gave up on the nests. I suspect the eggs were not fertile. Maybe our rooster is not a good producer.

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