There's a rooster in my flock who is looking to commit seppuku.
Every day, I let the chickens out of their yard so they can free range and forage for bugs and green stuff. I started them out slowly, letting one group out at a time and bringing them in after an hour or so.
Slowly, I've increased their time out. They've learned to come running when they see me because I'm the one with all the goodies.
Teaching them this has been an easy way to herd them back into their pen when the time comes. I throw some scratch into their aviary and they go racing inside.
All except one.
Yesterday after a romp in the sun, I decided it was time for them to come inside. Everyone came in dutifully, except for one astralorp rooster. He's the biggest, and of course, the most independent.
But now he's messing with a tired, cranky woman who just wants to go inside and shower. What does he do? He races around the outside of his pen like a lunatic.
I have the door to his pen wide open. None of the inside chickens want to go outside because all the good grub is inside their pen. But not Sam.
I finally corner him and pick him up where he squawks like a big baby. I'm very gentle with the bird and pet him quietly so he knows nothing is going to happen to him.
He nips me!
:raises eyes to heaven:
I end up with a nice little welt on my arm. And he ends up with a new name, Suicidal Sam. I think he's daring me to put him in the pot.
All the chickens are doing well. I am seeing personalities in a lot of them. As far as I can tell I have four roosters among the astralorps and three roosters among the buff orpingtons. I only plan on keeping two roosters per each group.
The extras, we will allow to free range and I'll give them a place to roost at night, but I won't be feeding them grain. I'll dispatch them when they get plump enough. Sam better play his cards right. I don't go in for nipping and spurring. Well...at least not with chickens.
Update on my Victim chicken: Remember my little astralorp that was always getting picked on? It looks like 'he' is a she and since everyone has been going outside, everyone is getting along. No more bullying or 'hen-pecking'.
I am so happy my poor ostracized chicken is now an accepted member of the flock.
For more chicken stories, go here.
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