Overheard about the coop: “That place is worse than junior high!”
News of our henpecked hen has been spreading through the office, and everyone is distressed about our coop dynamic.
Here are ways we’re planning to make things better:
- Give Honey a place to hide
- Pick her up and pet her a lot. (Admittedly, this last suggestion is from a colleague who watches a lot of The Dog Whisperer, who reasons that small dogs are such terrors because they’re always being held up higher; thus the higher we keep ol’ Honey the higher the other chickens will hold her in esteem.)
- ??? (Readers? Help?!)
On the other hand, this seems to be about the mildest case of pecking order horrors. I’ve read multiple stories of chicks introduced to adult flocks; it never ends well. One hen will peck the chick’s head till she bleeds; then all hell breaks loose. Once chickens have drawn blood, their evil reptilian side comes out and they almost always peck the chick to death. The shocking part: This happens even if the hen who laid the chick is a member of the flock!
Nature is red in tooth and claw, indeed. Be glad your mama wasn’t a chicken.