The Chicken Jail

Over the weekend, the chicken hospital was transformed into the chicken jail!

Saturday morning Vince decided it was time to move the injured chickens back to the rest of the flock.  We knew there would be problems because they’ve been separated for about a week.  I got plenty of scratch, chopped up some of “cost me an arm and a leg tomatoes”, put plenty of alfalfa hay into the run and the coop and re-united the chickens.  We hoped all the extra treats would distract them and they wouldn’t even know two “strangers” had invaded.  They knew!  It was not a pretty sight.

The super friendly red stars welcomed the two injured chickens, which are Ameraucanas, back.  Lynn, the meanAmeraucana chicken, went into full attack, peck their eyeballs out mode.  We watched them for a few minutes and tried to control the situation and finally decided we had to take Lynn out of the mix.  We put her in jail.

Then the second non-injured Ameraucana went nuts and started attacking the two injured chickens.

Vince grabbed her.  If you enlarge the picture, you might can see that she still has in her beak a piece of a feather from one of  her sisters!  She normally isn’t a mean chicken but Lynn had them all so hyped up.

Into jail she went!

We left them there for a while.  They pouted and complained and we made them both go to the corner!

After a couple of hours, and hopefully allowing everyone to calm down, we put the nicer of the two back into the coop.  There were a few scuffles but nothing they couldn’t resolve on their own.

Then we put Lynn back into the coop.  Without even thinking, he attacked Ruby!  On her back and had her down.  I believe Ruby was just the first chicken Lynn saw.  Last week Lynn had pecked me on the ear when I stuck my head in the coop without first making sure she was not near me.  She drew blood so I was pretty fed up with her anyway.  When she attacked Ruby, the sweetest chicken ever, for no reason  .. that was the final straw.

Now there are 9!  Yes, I cried a few tears.  I had so hoped she would learn to be nice but I can’t have one chicken injuring the others.  It’s amazing how harmonious things seem to be in the coop this week.  There have been a few scuffles but pecking order has been re-established and there seems to be no real hostility without Lynn in there.  At least I’m not having to constantly watch out for where she is and all 9 of them allow me to pet them and they come to me when I go out there.

Life with animals isn’t always easy.  Heck . . life with humans isn’t always easy, is it?  And please . . no nasty comments about our having to get rid of Lynn . . it was hard enough already!

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Comments

  1. 1

    Cathy Stoddard says

    Judy,
    Don’t feel bad about Lynn. Every batch of chickens I have ever had always had a bully or two. They simply take a trip to the big chicken house in the sky, never to bully another hen or climb up your leg again!!! It was nothing you did or didn’t do – just a fact of life on the farm. I always enjoyed watching the roosters and they do help keep the hens safe –
    somewhat – but they are usually the ones that end up go ing bye-bye. Enjoy your newly harmonious hens!

  2. 2

    says

    You did the right thing, but I know it was a hard decision. I just find it so amazing and interesting that chickens can have such clearly defined and diverse personalities like that. I really learn a lot of good stuff from reading your blog! 🙂

  3. 3

    Suzanne Green says

    I’m so sorry about Lynn. We have ducks and had to give “tough love” to the male duck. I chose to think that he went off with the wild ducks! But he started attacking our first duck, Lucky Duck. And you just don’t treat her like that!!

    Good luck with the other ones!! Hopefully they will thrive in the peaceful surroundings!!

    Suzanne

  4. 4

    says

    Don’t feel badly at all for doing what you needed…..I do want to know though……ummmmm….did you have chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight????

    🙂
    dawn

  5. 6

    Sandra (Sandy Gail) says

    Did you smoke her, roast her, fry, bake, or boil? Or did she get to go on an extended vacation to a farm?

  6. 7

    Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

    Even if those nine chickens can’t speak, you know they will be much happier. Poor Ruby! Such a good laying hen, hard worker, leader, and then–jumped just like THAT!

    No way.

  7. 8

    Lynne in Hawaii says

    You did what you had to do…she never was a ‘team’ hen so now the coop can relax and do what chickens are suppose to do…lay more eggs:0)

  8. 10

    Eve says

    Judy, {{{{HUGS}}}}!! I know it was a hard decision for you, even tho’ she was such a nasty chickie. Hope all goes well now that you and the others don’t have to worry about her nastiness any more. Eve

  9. 12

    KatieQ says

    I’m sorry it had to end that way, but you gave her every opportunity to enjoy a happy life with the rest of the coop.

  10. 14

    says

    You did the right thing with Lynn for the sake of the rest of the chickens and YOU. I, too am amazed that chickens have such distinct personalities, but I guess it makes sense that they would. Other animal species do.

  11. 17

    says

    Oh I have had problems with animals too my donkeys are in prison. Only because they like to visit the neighors and they are a pain in the (they live up to thier name) when you try to drag them home. My rabbits have had issues like the chickens. I have tried to deal with it. But I had this one girl that was so mean but fortunately for me one morning she was just dead. That sounds bad but at least I didn’t have to make that decision. The remaining 3 are so sweet and get along so much better. They are getting nicer and nicer and much easier to handle. They were rescues that I did not raise so it has been a struggle.
    I enjoyed your post because I hope to begin raising chickens too so this helped me alot. I’ll have to read more of your blog. I mainly have been just looking at the other quilt blogs.
    Will come back and look for more chicken reports.
    Hope the rest of your week is Blessed,
    Sherry

  12. 18

    okperi says

    You gave it a good try, Judy, and that is something you should be proud of. Just glad it happened before another one of your babies got hurt. The same thing happened to a bunch of hamsters my son had when he was young. It’s called nature I believe. :>)

  13. 19

    says

    Too bad this choice isn’t so easy when you have kids 🙂 Mine are driving me nuts and if I could only send the trouble maker to jail for a while…you’ve got me thinking here.

    Don’t feel bad. I killed two mice yesterday. I talked to them first and told them they had a choice, get out of my kitchen or die. They made the choice to die, not me!

    • 19.1

      says

      Marilyn, it will get better with the kids. There was a time when I thought that if Chad wasn’t going to just run away from home, maybe I would. Now he’s a mature and kind young man and life is so different around here.

      About the mice . . I wouldn’t have given them the option. Mice, spiders . . some things just don’t get options at my house.

  14. 21

    Marilyn says

    You certainly did the best thing for the rest of your chickens.
    Try not to beat yourself up about it, really there was no
    other option.

  15. 23

    says

    When we kept chickens and had the same problem we were given a bantum cock and although he was smaller than all the chickens he ruled the roost and the problem stopped. Maybe your chickens need a man to boss/sort them about!
    An off shoot to this is we had a clutch of eggs hatch and our own babies… ah !

    Happy Room Diana

  16. 24

    says

    I feel bad for you as I know you didn’t want to do what obviously had to be done. I hope one of the boys took care of it for you.

  17. 25

    says

    You did what had to be done…why should everyone (chicken and human) need to be at the mercy of that mean chicken???? I’m sure the others will be much more content now.

  18. 26

    Linda in TX says

    I started reading your blog because you quilt and I love all the quilting stuff. However, I can’t believe how interested I’ve become lately in chickens. (they were even on the dinner menu last night) I grew up in Nebraska and we had chickens – I NEVER thought of them as PETS only PITA. Fortunately for my dad (who started the chicken chapters in our life and then hated them), they all got Newcastles Disease and died. I’m glad to know you can have fun with your chickens. I think we had way too many for fun. I’m glad you took care of the mean chicken. You’re just like Mother Nature.

    • 26.1

      says

      Chickens can be a bit of effort, especially since someone has to take care of them if we’re gone but if you go into it knowing all the requirements/problems, you should be able to enjoy having them.

  19. 28

    Judy in Michigan says

    I would just take her out in the woods and let her go – serves her right. If you did have chicken for dinner last night, I bet it was tough and tasteless. Glad the rest are happy chickies now. What an ordeal.

  20. 30

    says

    Who did the “deed”? I hope Vince didn’t make you watch. We really do want to know… RIP Lynn, since you were naughty.

  21. 31

    says

    Chickens are wonderful pets. Thank goodness my nine ladies have always gotten along. However, one night week before last, a weasel got into my chicken coup and killed 3 of my Bard Rocks. Sad, but when you live on a farm things like this happen.

  22. 32

    Julie H. says

    Sorry about the chicken but you have to do what you have to do. I like barred rocks and rhode island reds for their personality. I bought an Araucauna “pullet” for the elusive blue eggs and well, she turned out to be a he and he’s the meanest rooster I’ve ever owned. He’s in jeapordy of becoming something we call “rooster rice”.

    We’ve also had problems, like Pat, with weasels.

  23. 33

    Rebecca says

    Judy, don’t feel bad. You gave her every chance! Now there will be peace in the henhouse, thanks to your difficult decision.

  24. 34

    ruth anne says

    Judy, you were the best with her, she was just impossible. Nature is cruel but that is the way it is. Don’t feel bad at all.