Mean Girls, Chicken Style

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For those of you that own or have owned chickens, particularly hens, one of the most striking qualities they have is their personality.  You wouldn’t think these feathered poultry who spend their days pecking at the ground would be bursting with personality, but believe me they are.

Our “Original Girls” consist of the 6 hens we started out with about two years ago.  These sassy ladies include Black Betty, Gerty, Lucy, Ethel, The Barred Rock and Blondie.  These hens are mature, beautiful and bossy.  Although they are sweet as sugar to the hand that feeds them, when it comes to fellow chickens, they take no prisoners.  It is normal for chickens to squabble with new members of the group, but my girls bring it to a new level.  With multiple attempts to introduce them to other ladies to join their flock, they have released their feathered fury on the newbie.  Due to this, when we expanded our chicken stock, I had to build a new pen and a start a totally separate flock.

The Original Girls remind me of the cliche popular girls in high school; beautiful,conniving, and exclusive.  Is it just me or do these look remarkably similar?

meangrlchk


The aren’t the type of chickens you want to mess with if you are anything besides human.  The other day an unknowing squirrel found its way in the middle of a hornets…well hen’s…nest.

Very often, squirrels find their way into the Original Girls’ coop.  They come through the chunnel and gorge themselves on the corn that is left behind while the girls are out free ranging.  As I was tending to everyone the other day, I noticed a squirrel was making its way around the floor of the coop.  The girls were nearby.  In a sudden flash, the hens raced towards the coop ready for battle.  They locked in their focus on the poor squirrel and charged.

Totally taken off guard, the squirrel became panicked and backed itself into a corner.  The girls were on him in a flash, screaming, squawking and pecking the long tailed rodent with all their strength.  The squirrel was being flung around in the air like a rag doll, being passed from chicken to chicken.

A little taken back by this sudden outburst of territorial behavior, I couldn’t believe the scene that was unfolding.  I watched, stunned, as the girls continued their viscous attack.  I knew that if I didn’t intervene the poor squirrel would be pecked to death.  Not a fun way to go.  I distracted the girls and the stunned squirrel ran as fast as his legs would carry him.  He will live to see another day, but he sure hasn’t come back to the chicken coop since!

Always an adventure with chickens.

Until next time….

FINALSIGNOFF

8 thoughts on “Mean Girls, Chicken Style

  1. I have ad this same thing happen. But came home yesterday to find a stray kitten not in good health . The girls were helping it. And see it sitting beside one under the bush.

  2. Heh…Sounds like mine. I discovered 5 of the 6 tearing the other one up. Found out later that the one getting her butt kicked had turned cannibal and eats eggs. I guess I’m going to have to separate her from the group.

    • Definitely, you can give her some time in solitary confinement and try and reintroduce her to the group, but most of the time they stick to their mean girl ways. Those girls typically do better rehomed or in the stew pot!

  3. They are too funny. We had chickens for many years when we lived in TX and they were cheap entertainment. Roosters can be quite a hoot too!

  4. Just learned from a friend that a good way to introduce new chickens to an existing flock is to wait until the old flock has roosted for the night and quietly add the newbies. Seems the older chicks, when walking up in the morning, think the newbies have been there all along. This has worked for them every time so I thought it worth passing on.

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