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?
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….