True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

BULLYING -or- The Evil Orpington

Orpingtons are reputed to be one of the most docile and friendly breeds of chicken. 
So why is Lil'White such a sociopath?

She started out as sweet as could be.  
Was an inner fury brewing in that fluffy little soul?

You can't blame it on the mother (me).   My girls enjoy spacious accommodations--- more good food than they ever can cram into those little crops of theirs--- safe and spacious roosting areas ---- plenty of entertainment and activity.
There's no logical explanation for her brutal behavior.  

Not only does she viciously defend her #2 position in the pecking order, incessantly and unprovoked, 
but she brutally attacks ME every chance she gets---  

---appearing innocent and curious all the while.   
My legs receive most of her abuse, but whenever I squat down to chat with the ladies, she quietly slips around back and pecks mercilessly -- maniacally --

at my butt. 
I feel that if she had the appropriate weapon, she'd kill me--drag me to the woods and  bury me in a shallow grave behind the compost pile.   But all she's got is a little beak and a twisted little mind.  She doesn't scare me one bit. 

She sure put the fear of chickens into Grandma, though.

Fern and Daisy take most of her abuse,
but they're young and quick  so blood loss is rare.

Now I'm wondering if young impressionable Fern has picked up some nasty behavior from Lil'White.
Recently, suddenly, Fern decided that she will be above Daisy in the pecking order.  It was kind of sad to watch because Daisy and Fern had been little allies from the start.

Two tykes, 


When Fern started attacking her, Daisy clearly had better things to do than to bicker about her social rank.  She just got out of the way.
Now Daisy's kind of on her own.

She keeps to the perimeter.

But, because she's an awesome gal, she makes the most of it.
There's more adventure to be had when you're on your own...
like suddenly discovering
The Car.

Bedtime is a stressful time for Daisy.  I used to rescue Fern from up in the dark rafters every night, but now I leave her up there alone, rather than let her torment Daisy on the roost.
So Daisy has had only one beak to dodge in the evenings -- Lil'White's.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

Last night, however, when I went out to lock up the coop, I came upon a pretty little sight.  
All five sitting quietly on the summer roost.

I hope it's a foreshadow of harmony to come.