Ever since all the hens and cockerels have been together in the bottom half of the garden I’ve been thinking how lovely it was that despite seven cockerels to five hens there hadn’t been any serious battles.
It was all started by the remains of a pot of creme fraiche. The chickens love yoghurt so I thought this might be a little treat, however, they all scrambled to get at it and a fight broke out between two of the cockerels – a real battle, not just a bit of posturing and feather fluffing, but real pecking, jumping, no holds barred combat.
Typically the other boys went off to watch, leaving the hens to polish off the cream in peace.
But I had to intervene.
Both cocks were bleeding but the one who had ‘given in’ was being chased mercilessly by the aggressor. He dashed into the chickenhouse and I shut the door before ‘topcock’ managed to follow. This also gave me the chance to grab him and put him in a pen on his own to cool off.
Later, at teatime I fed him separately but he obviously wasn’t a happy bunny so I took pity on him and let him loose.
Big mistake: he started chasing the same cockerel all over again and this time, his victim didn’t turn round to fight back – he just ran and ran.
It wasn’t so easy to catch the culprit a second time. I had to wait until the one being chased ran past me and then pounce on his attacker. Then it was back in the cooler with him!
He will have to stay there on his own unless his behaviour improves but I fear he may have started a trend.
He was obviously the leader as at bedtime the others were a bit lost without him and needed a great deal of persuasion to go into their house to bed. Meanwhile, he was jumping up and down and crowing in his prison.
Is this the end of a peace in chickenland?