I thought I was done posting about chickens for awhile. Well, at least until I got to the fascinating story of insulating and whitewashing the coop. Oh, and there will be the one about dusting the birds for lice. That will be a blockbuster post for my city readers!
But, today we have to deal with angry chickens. ~
When chickens are stressed, they get very, very mad! And, you'd be surprised at how many things can stress a chicken. For creatures that don't have to climb any corporate ladders or pay mortgages, they sure can make a big deal of the little bit they do have to put up with.
Then again, I've never had to give birth every day or had all my feathers fall out twice a year. Still, you'd think they'd count themselves lucky to never have to worry about their breasts drooping.
One of the biggest stress factors for chickens is going through their semi annual moult. When you start to see this in the coop, you'd better be on guard for trouble! ~
It gives them the worst case of PMS you have ever seen! You see, they don't have access to wine and don't have husbands to take it out on so they do the next best thing. The gal with the worst case of PMS decides to kill whichever one is on the bottom of the pecking order. That looks like such a good idea that all the other hens decide they should join in. It's the same thing that happens in big offices only these girls actually draw blood.
My gals seem to be going through this moult without turning homicidal. It could be that they free range or it could be that I'm religious about giving them a food mixture that builds up the calcium in their bodies. ~
You can see how to make this yummy meal by clicking here.
I'm afraid a friend of mine has not been so lucky with her gals. They pecked one poor chicken almost to death. After a couple of weeks of segregating her they tried to reintroduce her to the coop. Failure. They isolated the most aggressive chicken and the others started in on the poor thing. So, the decision was to end her suffering quickly by chopping off her head.
I said, "Great idea!" Just kidding. You know me better than to believe that.
Guess who came to live at Bramasole today? I've renamed her Ann Boleyn. But, this Anne has escaped the axe. I couldn't get a very good shot of her because she doesn't quite trust the lady who stuffed her into a cat carrier and dumped her in my quarantine coop. ~
So far Lizzy, Kay, Molly and Gertie are ignoring Ann. ~
Look at poor Molly's bare spots. She gave Ann a glance and that was about it. Ann will have to stay in there for about a week and then I'll referee the fights while she finds her place in the flock. Did you notice she's not white? We finally have a lady of colour!
She was a little suspicious of the special dinner. Yay, she's eating it! ~
Now, if no one calls any of these girls fat or looks at them sideways, we may be able to make this work and Ann won't lose her head to the block. I'm even hopeful my friend is wrong when she told me Ann doesn't lay eggs.
Yeah, I know, I've officially become the crazy chicken lady.