A bad leader results in a bad flock

Wagon chicken

Each one of our
flocks has a different personality, despite being made up of the
same breeds.  I’ve started to realize it all depends on the
lead chicken — if he or she is a homebody (like our current
rooster), everyone sticks close to the coop.  On the other
hand, whoever is in charge of our youngest set of broilers is a
flyer, thus the
chickens in the trees
and the current failure of our usual temporary

Temporary chicken

Our little broilers
made short work of the pasture we installed them in after they
lost their free-range privileges, so after a week and a half, we
moved them to a temporary pasture in the forest garden.  My
goal was to let them graze in grassy spots throughout our core
homestead — I figured I had at least four or five areas where
they wouldn’t cause any trouble.

Australorp broilers

For two days, the
six-week-olds were quite happy to chow down on lush grass and
weeds.  But then they started thinking how nice the mulched
trees on the other side of the fence looked.  Soon, most of
the flock was outside the fence, rather than inside.

Behind the fence

So we moved on to
Plan B, pulling the brooder outside the fence that encircles our
core homestead and letting them run free in the woods.  Peace
at last!

Chickens leaving

One of our readers
suggested clipping
their wings
, which would definitely work.  But since
these guys are only going to be around a few more weeks, it seems
easier to just give their flyer-leader somewhere that he can live
as he pleases.  I’m just glad this isn’t the batch of
broilers who are going to give us our layers for next year or we’d
be in for eighteen more months of flighty chickens.  (Is that
like breaking a mirror and getting seven years of bad luck?)

Our chicken waterer provides clean water
for our naughty broilers.

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