Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Battle Royal

Today, I moved Butch, Reddy, April, Folly and Fancy to the new henhouse.  My original plan was to move Butch first of all, so he could be the dominant rooster in the new house.  Then, Friday's cold night dictated that the pasture bunch were moved first.  I had hoped that the three little roosters with them were still so immature that whomever was introduced next would be able to cow them.  How I wish I could put a video on here!

This went on for about six minutes... I had planned to let them fight until one or the other stopped, so that the pecking order was established... Butch actually got Junior down three or four times. 
But let's face it... Butch is five, and Junior is seven months.  Butch has one eye.  I was afraid the other eye would be lost, so I finally stopped it.  I did tape them so Keith could see.
So, my plans are awry.  I can't put Butch in with the big flock, the other roosters tried to kill him.
He's back in the feed room, for now.  Butch is dominant over Fancy, so I really didn't anticipate too many problems.
Fancy, Butch, and the three hens have lived in the feed room of the big hen house for a year (at least four of them for a year, and Folly joined them after the owl killed her sister).  Fancy has a bad habit of attacking us from behind, which precipitated his move today.
He was totally cowed by his arrival in the new henspa.
He didn't quite know what to think about the bigger and more well-lit digs.
He and his girls, Folly and April, are up on top of the nest boxes for the night, and I noticed that Reddy had flown up there with them.  I don't think Keith thought about them being a good roost.
I put the water up there for a few minutes so they could get a drink, they were so stressed out.
I put a chair in the feed room side, because I think I am going to have to monitor tomorrow morning for a while, once Fancy is forced to come down for a drink and some food.  Junior is going to try to push him around... I think that will be a fight!
At the last minute tonight, as I was locking up... I grabbed Mabel, an elderly hen that has been living in the little henhouse since she came here in April.  She has a partner, Mack... and Mack ran in fright when I grabbed her buddy.  She screamed clear across the yard.  One of these two old hens is still laying a huge egg every other day.  They are bonded, so I will move Mack tomorrow.  Then I'm going to stop for a while so Keith can cut the pophole on Saturday, and we hopefully can get the netting up.  Then everyone can go outside and lose their minds for the first day, and I'll have to use the net to get them all back in, I'm sure.  (Sigh). 
Reddy, calmest of everyone and takes everything in her stride!


  1. Mary Ann,

    I can't wait to have these problems ... lol.

  2. Interesting!! I thought you were talking about an office being moved!! a bit like people!

  3. Chuckle! They are truly an interesting bird. My dad & his wife had some ...

    TTFN ~

  4. I spend so much time shuffling chickens. I am so glad to see I am not the only one. I am also glad no one was hurt. You have beautiful chickens.

  5. I see we have lots to learn about keeping chickens if we do take that step. Not as easy as I thought it would be from remembering them in my Grandmother's yard!

  6. Gosh- you might need to put a tv set out there too- because you may be spending more time than you thought you would.
    Your photos are awsome.

  7. They are such a pain with those pecking orders! Good luck.

  8. the sky is falling, the sky is falling....that's what mine think everytime I get near them


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