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Marsha Cassada

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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.
 

Miniv

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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). )
 

Marsha Cassada

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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.
 

Miniv

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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.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Another chicken adventure here.  Went out to get eggs, raised the lid to the nest box and there was a large snake laying in the nest box.  It looked like a copperhead.  We killed the snake--it had swallowed our eggs--and then were not sure it was a copperhead.  After searching, we think it was a corn snake, non venomous and actually quite beneficial.  Internet said it is frequently confused with copperheads.  We always hate to kill good snakes.  We wished we had somehow captured it and taken it to the other side of the mountain.  We think he may have been living under the building.  Maybe why we have not been getting eggs--he is eating them.   We had a bull snake in the chicken house before that devoured a chick.  Just cannot have snakes in the chicken pen and house.
 

Ryan Johnson

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I didn't realize there was such a thing as a "Good snake" , well certainly not here anyway. We have the most deadliest snakes in the world, most of which are protected wildlife. I wouldnt think twice though If I found one attacking one of my animals.
 

Cayuse

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Ryan, We have good snakes here, we call them garden snakes or garter snakes.  They don't get too big and just hang out in the grass.  Usually in shady areas.  Sometimes when I am driving Peanut he will screech to a halt and then leap as if he were a jumper, I will look and sure enough, there goes a snake.  Or I will be walking in the pasture and one will slither away (or over my foot).  They can put a startle into you, but that's about all they do as far as I know.  When we had chickens back when I was a kid, I don't think they ever bothered them.  They do bother my husband though, he is afraid of them :-(.  I'm more afraid of spiders, like the one Marsha posted a picture of.  
 
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Ryan Johnson

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Id be happy with snakes like that. Though I definitely agree with your husband, If one slithered over my foot , I would scream. The fact that most of ours here are highly venomous, I just cannot take to them and Ive grown up always being very wary of where I walk.

Now dont laugh.... But in summer , when Im walking out to feed up of an evening , just so the snakes know Im coming ................  I bash the buckets  together as Im walking to the feed shed  :rofl

I nearly stood on a red belly black snake a couple of years ago and Im not willing to risk that again :)
 

Magic Marker Miniatures

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One day back in April, I went to check on two broody hens. They were nesting in a large tote in the chicken coop. Half the eggs were destroyed. Poor hens had been setting for a couple weeks. Figured the turkeys or peacocks were messing with them and eggs got destroyed.

The next night I heard a few chickens making a lot of noise. It was dark, so they should have been roosting. (Was sleeping in the barn with the last of the foaling mares.) Went out with the flashlight to check on them. I saw the two hens that had been setting and the rooster running around and making a fuss. Went in the chicken coop and checked on everyone. The other chickens were all roosting. Started to walk out but decided to lift the lid of the tote. I dropped the lid real quick, there was the biggest possum I'd ever seen in their munching on the remaining eggs.

I ran into the house to tell my rommate. We came back out with a hoe. She figured the think would be gone. Nope, still in their. Killed it right then and their. The sad thing, was when I pulled her out, she had babies hanging on. I ended up having to take care of them also so they didn't suffer.

Kari felt bad but I told her we had plenty of ticks for the possum. She should have left our eggs alone.

The poor hens had to start over. They successfully hatched 12 of 15 eggs the first batch. The second batch was 6 out of 15. They tryed for a third (with the help of a polish) but I think by then the rooster was shooting blanks. Most of the eggs were not fertile. The few that were never fully developed.
 

Marsha Cassada

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We are always aware of the possibility of snakes here.  Tall grass, under seldom used equipment, under shady trees.  We keep the grass pretty short all around the out buildings.  Stepping on a snake would freak me.  
 

Marsha Cassada

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Saw a bobcat in the chicken pen yesterday; he was after the chicks.  Went for the gun, but he was gone when we got back out.  Then my husband saw him down by the pond; he caught a big bullfrog.  Then one hen didn't come in last night.  Tonight another hen is gone.  I was surprised he could get a large hen without a ruckus; he was not a full grown cat.  We will have to get a trap.  I'm a little spooked, walking around the edge of the mountain now.
 

Zergling

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I only have one chicken remaining. The others passed gradually over the years. She is 8 years old and still lays eggs, although not every. She's ridiculously friendly. Just likes to hang out when we work around the farm. Sometimes she just sits with us on the deck. Here we are relaxing in the garage. I offered her some coffee and yes she took some. Must have been the sugar :)

2018-08-14 17.09.19.jpg
 

Miniv

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Awww......... Yes, they do become very personable....especially when you get them one on one. Eight years is a nice long life for a chicken.
 
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