pecking order

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16 03, 2018

King of the Chicken Yard

By |2018-03-15T15:02:25-05:00March 16th, 2018|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

It is very interesting to watch the relational dynamics of the chicken yard. I have a whole new understanding of the term “pecking order.”

There is a specific spot for each hen in the coop at night.  When I move those who roost on the bee hives into the coop, there is a certain amount of clucking and squawking before everyone settles down.

The roosters have their own way of handling things.

On our farm, many of the roosters are separated by breed – the blue-laced red Wyandottes are in their own space, Richard the spastic frizzle has his own run and the Welsummer rooster is with his hens in another pen. Sometimes the boys will bow up against the chicken wire that separates them but they really can’t do any damage.

That leaves Kaboodle, the Polish crested, and Custard, the Croad Langston, in the main yard.  Custard, you may remember, is named after the Ogden Nash poem, Custard the Cowardly Dragon.  He has earned his name by running from even the small D’Uccle hen.

So Kaboodle doesn’t have to work hard to be the Alpha rooster.  Just in case anyone doubts that, he has taken to jumping up on the fence and crowing.He is very careful to return to his side of the fence.  He may be King of the Chicken Yard but he knows the dachshunds rule the other side of the fence.

22 02, 2013

Chicken Slumber Party

By |2013-02-22T07:17:59-06:00February 22nd, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Guest blogger, Judythe Morgan blog|1 Comment

A guest blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I have previously mentioned how the adolescent roosters resemble adolescent boys, i.e. chest bumping.

Now that the roosters are no longer around, I have noticed how much the hens resemble adolescent girls. 

Without the imminent danger of the roosters forcing them to band together in self-defense, the hens are now picking on each other. The “pecking order” phenomenon is especially observable at bedtime when each hen has her spot on the roost.

However, I have seen some of the older hens chasing the younger ones around the chicken yard. This usually happens after I have thrown some kind of food.hens2


I keep telling them “Be nice to each other. You are all you have.” 

They aren’t listening – any more than adolescent girls listen.

Last night the hens were making all kinds of racket. Rachel, who had shut the coop door, was concerned that something was posing a threat. 

The sounds were reminiscent of the possum ordeal so I walked out with the flashlight.

The minute the chickens spotted me, they got quiet.

It reminded me of a girls’ slumber party. All manner of noise comes from the room, but as soon as mom enters – silence.


With the hens, I could at least go back inside knowing they were safe. You never know what girls at a slumber party are going to do.