Archive for January 22nd, 2009

Never mind The Good Life, I just want a quiet one!

After the Big Fight between the Nameless One, our Leghorn x Buff Orpington cockerel, who hatched in July, and John Wayne, the Pekin Bantam cockerel who we bought last spring, I put John and Dolly in the wooden ark to let everyone calm down. I hoped that by the following morning, everyone would have forgotten what had happened but the pair continued to square up to one another – though thankfully separated by the wire on the ark run!

So I have split them up and made a figure of 8 shape out of the 50m electric net, with the big chickens in one half and the bantams and silkies in the other.

No-one is happy, apart from Mama Silkie and her chicks who are still enclosed in their Eglu and 1m run, which is located in the bantams’ share of the netting.

The big chickens are sulking because their substantial run has been dramatically reduced in size.

John is fuming because “his” harem has been cut down to two hens, Dolly, his ever loyal lady friend, and Silly Silkie, who they ignore. She’s consequently miserable as she got on quite well with Irene, the Dorking x Light Sussex hen, but now has no friends at all. She keeps trying to talk to Mama Silkie through the wire but Mama thinks that Silly is out to kill her chicks so keeps seeing her off!

I originally put Flint in with the bantams because he is a bantam but he calmly flew out of their pen and was found happily wandering around the orchard! I was amazed when I called him by name and he came running up to me! I put him back but the second time I caught him going for a walk, I chucked him in with the big chooks and he’s been as happy as Larry every since. Thankfully, neither Fat Boy, the Buff Orpington cockerel, nor Nameless view Flint as a threat, so they’re happy let him do his thing, and as that “thing” is Willow, he’s happy to be back with his beloved!

But Willow has not come off well from that arrangement as I found her yesterday bleeding from her comb! I’ve no idea what happened but she seemed ok and on closer inspection, it seems as though someone’s just pecked her very hard on the left of her comb. She’s eating and going about her business as normal, and all her feathers are exactly were they should be, so I’ve left her to it. There’s been no further disturbances so I’m hoping that’s it. Poor Willow!

When I picked her up to check her over, I was startled when a weight dropped onto my right shoulder. It was Flint! One second he was pecking at the grass by my feet, the next he was taking his name a little too seriously. I tried explaining the difference between chickens and parrots, a message I think he took on board as I’m yet to hear him declare anything about “pieces of eight”…

I remember the days when life was calm and peaceful…!