The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Chicken Pecking Order Notes


We have a hen that was nearly killed by the other hens and our rooster a couple of months back. Anna was ablerooster 1 to separate her, and we nursed her back to health. She usually gets let out during the day after she lays her egg because she is all cooped up by herself and we figure she can use the company.

Today we thought she was ready to go back in the main tractor and decided to switch her out with the rooster who has been increasingly aggressive lately. It took about 2 minutes for the group to recognize and remember the new hen before they began attacking her. We got her out of there before any major damage could be done and decided she would be okay roaming around with the rooster.

henIt took the rooster about 20 minutes before he decided that our free range hen needed to be eliminated. He started chasing her across the garden and cornered her by the collapsed old house. He then started attacking with a vengeance. We quickly returned her to the lone coop for an afternoon of recooperation.

I think we've decided to delete the rooster from our flock. He causes more trouble than he's worth, and we can always find another one when we get ready to incubate some more eggs. In the meantime we'll let him roam around and enjoy his last few days of freedom before his judgment day.



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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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