Without a rooster the flock falls apart

Tween chickens

A few weeks ago, we ate
our mean rooster

Up until that point,
chickens of various ages
had been living in relative
harmony in the same pasture/coop combo.  The chicks were
completely ignored by the adults as they slid through the cracks to
graze wherever they wanted, and the four adult hens all stuck close to
their rooster.

Within days of killing
the rooster, the dynamic changed completely.  Suddenly, the adult
hens were scattered into three groupings, and they quickly learned how
to fly over the divider and eat up the chicks’ feed.  The hens
also started to pick on the tweens, so the youngsters weren’t getting
enough to eat and had to retreat to the over-grazed forest pasture,
closed off to the adults but open to anyone skinny enough to slip under
the gate.  I took to feeding our young pullets and cockerels in
their own space and the hens at the furthest end of another pasture,
but our white cochin couldn’t seem to figure out how to get to the new
feeding spot and had to be given yet a third feed area.  The only
peaceful zone was the other coop where chicks from hatch two were
happily exploring their ragweed-covered pasture.

Introducing chicks to pasture

I almost started to
wonder if it would have been worth keeping a rooster who flogged me to
instill some harmony in the flock.  But I figure our crazy
menagerie can live their scattered life for another month or two until
the cockerel we choose to keep comes into his own.  I’ve never
looked forward to hearing a rooster crow with such baited breath!

Having an extra chicken waterer makes it easy to separate

Latest Comments

  1. Hannah July 20, 2012
  2. anna July 24, 2012

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