It all began as a normal round of morning chores; I stepped to the Dutch door of our new coop and peeked in as I love to observe all these crazy chickens and their behaviors. It was then that I noticed one of our Indian Runner ducks had blood caked all over its side (still not sure if this is a female or male duck). Worried, I stepped into the coop for a closer look at the poor duck, wondering aloud who could have harmed such a sweet duckling. That’s when I noticed that the duck didn’t appear to have any injuries but also had some blood on its beak…the plot twists.
I followed the trail of blood droplets until it led me to one of our laying hen breeds. The poor girl had all of her tail feathers plucked out with nothing but a bloody stump of flesh in the place where the plumage had been emerging. Poor girl. Now, if you don’t know chickens, they are a bit on the vicious side when they want to be. And, they are like a teenaged acne victim who cannot control the urge to pick. They will pick at an open sore of another animal until sometimes, they kill it. I have seen this happen before and it isn’t pretty.
She was put into isolation.
She peeped, she cried out, but it was for her own good.
“Punk” is one of 6 Polish chickens we purchased for my son’s 4H project, “Punk” seems to be the ringleader in some of the gang activity I have witnessed these 6 hoodlums (3 Silver Laced Polish and 3 White Crested Polish) wreaking havoc in the hen house, and often chest bumping at their accomplishments after riling up the whole slew of hens.
I will be watching…
So even in the animal kingdom, there are bullies. The difference is that I get to be the one to hand down the court marshall if necessary. I don’t tolerate bully roosters.