Amusing pecking order shakeup in my coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheBrilliantHen, May 14, 2007.

  1. TheBrilliantHen

    TheBrilliantHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 11, 2007
    So, a couple years ago, I had a flock of three EE's and one Red Star. I got two silkie hens and tried to integrate them with the others. Even though I took it slowly, the Red Star, who was at the bottom of her flock, got very nasty and permanently maimed the top silkie's leg. I separated the coop with some wire fencing and put the two silkies in their own area. The larger silkie is fine, but has to hop rather than walk.

    Once the injured silkie healed up, she stopped laying eggs and started crowing and mounting the other hen. Not terribly surprising - I've had that happen before in another small roosterless flock. But! She then grew wattles, a comb, and silkie roostery streamer feathers. I checked her coopmates eggs, and they seem to be fertilized! So I seem not just to have a confused chicken, but a real "hooster" hermaphrodite chicken.

    Then, after a year of separation (but being able to see one another), my Red Star keeled over dead. Since she was the vicious one to the silkies, I tried putting them with the EEs again. It all went quite seamlessly, with almost no fighting. The EEs and silkies kind of forage separately, but they're in an 11x15 space, so there's plenty for all.

    Well, a few days into that venture, I noticed the hooster sort of standing guard over all the hens while they ate, on her one leg. So cute. Then, one of the EEs wandered into the smaller silkie's space, and the silkie pecked the EE, who ran away! And this silkie is extra runty, about the size of a coffee mug. She could barely reach the top of the EE to peck her by jumping up.

    Then, a few hours later, the hooster tried to mount one of the EE hens. I'm telling you, you haven't lived until you've seen a silkie with one leg try and mount a hen taller than it.
     
  2. tiffwilhelm

    tiffwilhelm Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2007
    Northern California
    You know, my mom said something about chickens being able to change sex from hens to roosters. Of course, she is my mom, so I blew her off ... sort of. Maybe I'll have to eat my hat? I'll really have to eat my hat if one of mine pulls it off! That's quite a story.
     
  3. Hellebore

    Hellebore Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Kirkland WA
    I just read a very hilarious book called Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance. It is a memoir by a British author about his experiences with keeping chickens. His account of a similar experience is very funny. We got a very tame (so far at only 4-1/2 weeks) Silver-Spangled Hamburg rooster as a freebie from McMurray's and I wish I could just keep him if I am going to potentially end up with a "Hooster" anyway, but we live in a semi-urban area and can't keep a rooster.
     
  4. tiffwilhelm

    tiffwilhelm Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2007
    Northern California
  5. babychickfarmer

    babychickfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is quite a funny story [​IMG]
    I don't have a rooster [​IMG] so I hope my hens don't do that.:|
     

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