Well, I don’t know how else to describe it other than there is certainly no love lost between one of our hens and our rooster, Spartacus.
Spartacus is a Light Brahma, which is a large breed of chicken. (Yes, named after the great and mighty Spartacus!) Let’s just say sometimes he likes to assert his size. A lot. On all of “his girls”. There’s this one hen, an Ameracauna we call “Dirty” (because she looks like she’s covered in dirt) that he likes a little more than the others and I think she’s had enough.
For the past 4 nights, she’s decided that she didn’t want to go into the coop at dusk with the others. Instead, she’s decided to find solace on our deck very close to the house. The first night I noticed this, an opossum decided to make an appearance scaring the absolute crap out of me. And of course, this was on a night that my husband was working. So what do I do? I grab the air pellet gun and blast that sucker. That thing was gross! Well, Dirty didn’t let me grab her to take her to safety and instead perched on the clothesline, and there she stayed until morning. I felt horrible that she was out all night, especially since it was raining, but what was I to do? I could barely reach her and she wasn’t budging. Then, the following 3 nights she’s perched herself on our grill or deck furniture at dusk. However, unlike the first night, I allowed her to rest and then gently picked her up and walked her to the coop where at least she’d be safe from predators although I suppose she views Spartacus as a predator now.
I know this because my husband and I have both noticed she ventures away from the rest of the flock, she hangs out on the deck a lot hiding, and when we do scurry her away and towards the flock, Spartacus lets her have it. A lot. And, it’s rough. It’s tough for me to watch. Yes, he’s large, but I don’t think he’s too large for them, is he? He “likes” all the hens and this is normal behavior from what I’m told, but maybe she’s too old and can’t take it anymore? We adopted her from a friend who had already had her for a couple of years so she’s at least 3 years old. Is it time to send her to chicken heaven? Should I let her stay on our deck if that’s where she feels safe? Should I get more hens to even out our flock? Currently, we have 12 hens and Spartacus. With it being spring we were planning on getting some more pullets anyway, so maybe this will work itself out.
It should be known that Spartacus is a really GOOD rooster, the best we’ve had. He’s gentle with our son. He doesn’t chase our dogs, and vice-versa, and he really does look after his girls. Except Dirty. 😉
Farm life. Gotta love it!