Monday, May 06, 2019

Hullabaloo in the Hen House


Once again, there’s a hullabaloo going on in the hen house.

The Bloom Girls have been passing on due to old age and until Saturday, we only had four girls left. And just for the record, we have let them live out their lives naturally. Some people like me who don’t have the heart to eat their old chickens, put them for sale on the internet knowing they will be someone else’s dinner. Not our girls. I believe they have done their part providing us eggs all these years so they deserve a happy retirement.

Last Saturday, we purchased ten more pullets (teenage girls). We let the old girls (OGs) out to free range and then put the new girls in the run. They aren’t use to people yet and run away from us. After we train them like we did the OGs to come running when I shake the meal worm container, we will let them free range often as well. 

But first we have a big hurdle to cross.

When we put the OGs back into the run after several hours, the hullabaloo started. Squawking and bellyaching. Stretching tall and flapping wings. Running the new girls back near the coop if they dare come close to the OGs side of the run. My OGs are not happy campers to say the least and you’ll never guess who the ring leader is.

You see, this isn’t our first rodeo with squabbling. I shared our disappointment when we went though this the first time. And poor Blue was the girl obviously on the bottom of the pecking order. Her poor tail feathers had been pulled out and she had a sore from being pecked often.  

But now she is the most vocal and aggressive with the new girls. She has barely taken a break from her bellyaching clucking. I’m not sure if she’s warning the new girls who’s the boss or if she’s complaining to us for adding to her brood. Apparently, she has finally risen to the top of the pecking order.

I have to admit I’m disappointed a little. Of all the OGs, she should be the one to be the most welcoming. After all, she knows what it is like to be bullied. Either she has forgotten that or is relishing the fact she can now run the show. Nonetheless, there is no peace in the hen house.

I wish I could wave a magic chicken wand and restore harmony. Or I could put Blue in a timeout and adjust her attitude. Or somehow remind her what if feels like to be bullied. But only time will solve this problem.

In the meanwhile, I let the OGs out in the afternoon so the new girls can get a break, eat, and take a dirt bath. And when the OGs go back inside, Blue starts her squawking / clucking all over again.

Sometimes the only cure for life’s woes is the passing of time. And once again I’m gratefully reminded of the old saying, “This too shall pass.” I just wish I could explain this to the new girls.

Have you had to settle for the passing of time for harmony to be restored? Or for a season to pass and hope to be reestablished? Please join the conversation.

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