Monday, August 16, 2010

Upstairs Downstairs

The Second Street Chicken Ranch now has two flocks; not the desired outcome of flock integration.  Albeit a temporary situation, the new girls, Midge and Madge, have retreated to the serenity of the Penthouse coop while the "Street Level Girls," are literally camping out in the pen below.  

This separation pretty much happened on its own (and out of necessity to stay alive).  The new girls refuse to leave the safety of the coop and my girls had little interest in going in.  The first few days this worked, but that too was only a temporary situation. 

Come evening, "Henny the Horrible" and a few of her thugs would strut up the ladder and take back the coop. I was holding out hope that things would resolve peacefully when I discovered Henny and Flame on the roost right next to Midge and Madge (and no blood shed).  Well now, things are looking up!

Little did I know that the real perpetrator was lurking below and just happened to be the lowest in our flock's pecking order.  Let me introduce "Penny the Punisher."  She's got an ax to grind and wants to see heads roll.  It's all about someone else being on the bottom rung now! 

Whereas the Henny and Helen would "attack" if the new girls were in their sight, Penny went looking for them...right up the ladder and into the coop.  Relentless,with an iron-beaked grip on Madge's waddle, time and time again. Bloody hell. 

I tried to stay out of it. I really did.  But I just couldn't let the new girls suffer the punishment Penny was doling out.  The summer "screen door" was put on the coop - creating a peaceful environment for the new girls and two flocks were formed.

Now Henny is ticked because she has to sleep outside and Penny is still attempting to attack through the wire mesh door. 

But I did say this was a temporary situation.  After some soul searching I have decided that Henny and Penny are ready to find a new home.  That might be in someone else's flock (a large, free ranging flock would probably be best) or it might be in a crock pot.  If you want a pair of good laying Barred Rocks, let me know - they are yours for the taking -- just make sure your current flock knows a few kickboxing moves.

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Thanks for reading and sharing your comments! Candace

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