Scratch's Power Struggle

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by ChicksterJo, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Songster

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    Scratch is becoming a big, mighty pullet. She's only 5 1/2 months old and ready to lay, and most times of the day now she's pretty ornery. As I approach their coop/run, I can hear Scratch screaming her head off. I think she's ticked off that I'm always adding more chicks to the flock, and she might be worried that one of them could potentially usurp her throne.
    When she free-ranges, she is always followed by her faithful companion, Runt Red. This young pullet was the runtiest of the first batch of chicks, but she struggled to become "The Enforcer." She seems to do Scratch's dirty work, making me think that Runt Red is really the bad egg when it's most likely Scratch's idea.

    Tell me, what is wrong with this image? [​IMG]
    Scratch (in the back on the right) and Runt Red (to her left) are making a big mess, ripping up plants and digging around the old seeds pile. They hang out together while Blue is a self-proclaimed loner. Her hatchmate brother left for a new home, and her hatchmate sister died. She mostly hangs around by herself, wary of all the other chickens, and her sweet and calm disposition leave her vulnerable to the likes of other chickens like Scratch. Despite her adversities, she pecks along in life, and is mostly independent.

    But adolescence has its realities. As Blue becomes larger and taller, she begins to hover over Scratch and Runt Red. Recently, Scratch has been pecking Blue while they eat. Blue is able to defend herself, since she is pretty big (although she is a few weeks younger than Scratch and Runt Red) but Scratch has also learned the fine art of the chicken jump-kick. She flaps her wings, jumps into the air and kicks forward with both feet. She has tried this on the young white Leghorn while fending the others off from her prize, a mouse. Will Scratch eventually be forced to use the jump-kick on Blue if the latter decides to try to become head of the coop/run?

    Another contender for the throne is also in the midst. A young white Ameraucana roo, Smokey, joined the group a couple of months ago. He stayed in the house for several weeks with the other Ameraucanas since they came home at only 3 days old, but now he is becoming big and mighty. At a mere 7 1/2 weeks old, he is almost as big as the white Leghorns. Scratch, on the other hand, really hates his guts. She'll stick her head underneath the Ameraucanas' pen to try to eat their food. She'll peck Smokey and she has pulled out a couple of his beard feathers - his masculinity symbolized in that beard. Unfortunately, Smokey's presence will be brief, since he is a he and can't stay. Eventually he will go to his new home, and the another order will be established again. It seems that Scratch need only wait to see if Blue will rise to the occasion, and hope that Smokey will leave - and the sooner, the better.

    To be continued....

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