It's been nearly two weeks since we introduced Midge and Madge, a pair of Buff Orpingtons, to our Second Street Chicken Ranch flock and relative peace has finally settled in. This newly acquired, "peaceful, easy feeling," hasn't come without a price. We've had bloodshed, a lot of feathers flying and in the end, a flock reduction.
Yes, we have sent Henny and Penny packing. Our Barred Rock Bullies have gone to "the farm."
Fortunately for them this farm is not "THE farm" (you know, the one with the ax) and I am happy to say that they now live with about 20 other hens and one beautiful Rhode Island Red rooster. Flock integration is a bit different when there are many hens and lots of room to roam, but my girls still lived up to their reputation.
Penny, who had become quite the aggressor, immediately picked a fight with a Banty hen (yeah, she's a true bully, picking on someone smaller!). But that feisty little hen quickly gave it right back to her. When the Banty straddled Penny, Mr. Roo had to step in and end the battle.
Next up, Henny the Horrible. She decided to start right at the top of the pecking order and took after said Roo. With claws and beak she went for Roo, who I believe found it somewhat amusing. He quickly tired of her squawking and flapping and had her pinned down in about five seconds flat. What a shock this was to her -- and even a bigger one when he then proceeded to have his way with her! If a hen can look astonished - she clearly was. Finally, someone put her in her place.
Meanwhile back at the Ranch, Midge and Madge are now venturing out of the coop and sitting on the outside roosts. They are slowly mixing in with Helen, Flame and Harriet. We occasionally hear a dust up, but at night everyone is roosting inside, snuggled up in a nice neat row. Ahhh, serenity...