5-10 in Jail
|Pearl in “The Clink”|
Pearl isn’t doing time because she’s broody, she doing time because of the other chicken “b” word – bullying.
I been watching the dynamics of my original three girls for over a year now. While they were chicks, all were pretty much on equal terms. Then we built the Coop de Clucks Chalet and the girls went outside at seven weeks.
|First night in their new coop 8/22/12 (harder on me than on them)|
It didn’t take long for clucking to take over from peeping and combs and wattles to grow. Then the pecking order starting developing.
Mabel, my Barred-Rock, decided she was head hen. Was it because the other two are Rhode Island Reds (Mildred & Pearl) and she looked different? I don’t know. Was it because she was the first to lay an egg. Maybe. Was it because she has a strong personality and a jealous bone when Mom (that’s me) is around. Maybe. Who knows? Suffice it to say Mabel enjoyed that head hen status quite some time.
|My once sweet three girls top to bottom, Pearl, Mabel & Mildred|
Then we moved from a suburban neighborhood to the mountains this last April. By May, Mabel was showing signs of being broody. She wasn’t a witch but she ruffled feathers, stayed in the nest box and fussed at me and the other two girls. I finally decided to let her hatch some eggs and so she did. I was careful to bring her down once a day while she was “setting” to let her eat, drink and relieve herself.
Then Alice and Myrtie were hatched. I sectioned off the bottom of the Coop de Clucks for Mabel and the chicks which used to serve as the original run. My run is now a 10×10 about to become a 20×20. Anyway, after five weeks Mabel was done with motherhood. She started laying eggs and wanted out of the little grow out area in a bad way. So, I let her out and Alice and Myrtie stayed in there on their own.
|The Coop de Clucks|
I started noticing that Pearl and Mildred, who were formerly two and three, respectively were now posturing and pecking at a skinnier and humbler Mabel. At first, I thought it might be Mildred who took over the queenly rights but Pearl, the smallest of the three decided she was in charge.
I’ve let her “in chargeness” go for a while to see how things would play out. She has become a full blown bully. Not only does she believe all treats and new food are for her ONLY she also pecks at Mildred some and Mabel a lot. She chases them and basically goes for combs and eyes. I’m not having that! In addition, as I’ve been trying to integrate Alice & Myrtie into the flock through supervised visits, Pearl blatantly, with me sitting in the run with them, chases, pecks and flaps at the teenagers.
|My teenagers, Myrtie (left) & Alice (right)|
This has to stop so I bought a small animal crate and and named it “The Clink” for my friend Kathy The Chicken Chick’s description and that is where Pearl will be spending the next five to ten days. Since the pecking order changed while Mabel was on maternity leave, we’ll see if it changes while Pearl does time. We’ll see if she gets out early for good behavior or stays in longer. By the way, “The Clink” will double as a broody breaker when needed.