Since I began raising backyard chickens, there have been some ugly aspects that I hadn’t fully grasped beforehand. The first being the awful and soul shaking dispatching of the rooster. I won’t go into that too much because it still fills my heart with a great heaviness to think about. I know that it’s a integral part of animal husbandry, but taking a life is not something I was put upon this earth to do. Still, it had to be done and I couldn’t allow someone else to do it on my behalf just because it made me soul sick. I owed that much to that evil bastard of a rooster.
The second ugly aspect that I’m dealing with currently is the terribly savage way in which the chickens establish the pecking order. The major shit-storm basically all falls upon our young heroine, Piper. She is the cutest and sweetest chicken I’ve ever seen. She follows me around the yard like I was her momma and adores my dog Sasha. She is meek, asks for little and takes nothing.
Except, of course, for the continuous daily beatings from the other hens. These big brutes to be exact.
If she shows interest in anything at all in the run, then they pounce upon her back like a angry velociraptor and begin violently pecking at the back of her head or neck. If I’m around, I run over as fast as I’m able to break it up. Here’s a good representation so we are all on the same page…
By the way, this is my second Jurassic Park video clip illustration. I may be fixating a bit, or perhaps I relate everything in life to those movies for some reason. Fine, here’s one that isn’t copyrighted…
You get the gist of it. It’s brutal, savage and makes my heart sink and leaves me feeling pooped and demoralized every time. Pooped and demoralized is one of my favorite expressions. Hats off to Kurt Vonnegut for placing it so firmly into my head.
I’ve been going over in my head some possible solutions over the past few weeks. At first, I thought I’d train piper in karate. Two problems with that; one, she’s not the brightest pupil in the world, and two, I don’t know karate. But, I do, subsequently, know ka-razy.
The next thought was to construct a full suit of leather armor for her so at least she will be protected. I still haven’t ruled that one out yet and may actually come up with a few bad-ass designs. It may impede her movement a little though and she probably won’t like it. But I would really like it. So much so, that I thought why continue writing this sad sad post when I could do some Photoshop work instead! The results you ask?
Man, that was very satisfying. Maybe this is the way to go here after all!
So, back to reality. My third, and less incredibly awesome, thought is that I may have to build another special little coop and run just for her. Room will be an issue, but I’m sure I can get creative. I also don’t want her to be all alone, although company that continually beats the living hell out of you isn’t much better than loneliness. Perhaps if I keep the runs adjacent to one another but separated by chicken wire it would be good enough. Or I need to bite the bullet and buy another silkie!
In the interim, I’ve been letting her out as often as I am home so she can at least get a few moments of peace throughout the day. She is so well behaved out in the yard as well, not like the other girls that scratch and dig everywhere and eat all that they see. Including my yummy garden items. Not Piper, she just lazily grazes on those pesky weeds and follows me around or chases after Sasha. By the way, if you haven’t “met” all of my family I keep mentioning, you should remedy that post haste! Go here to meet the family. I’ll wait…
I adore having her in the yard with me. When I’m picking weeds, she comes right over to help out. If I sit to rest, she begins cooing that sweet sound that tells me she is happy and relaxed. I’ve never been able to properly record it, but this is exactly what it sounds like
Doesn’t that just melt your heart? I love it when she does it. It also makes Sasha all attentive…
Also, take note that my wolf like dog is not in the process of eating our young maiden! That took a little bit of training. Wanna learn how? Then go here! In the meantime, here’s a bunch of random cute Piper photos as she brambles about the yard to make your heart swell and burst.
I never thought I’d feel so much love for a chicken before. Now I, by default, love all animals, but this is different. I want her to be protected and happily cooing all day long. That said, if any of my readers have any ideas I’d love to hear them. I’ve only been raising chickens for a year now, and I’m no master by any stretch of the imagination. Or, if anyone out there has leather making skills, lets get started on that sweet battle armor![paypal_donation_button]