I know - I'm sounding just slightly obsessed with chickens. But check out the photo, there's four - well my usual three girls and then there's
Ron the Rooster. Ron is on trial for a couple of weeks to see if he can curtail the girls' trips to the road.
He arrived on Saturday, late afternoon, quite unceremoniously in a sack. My farmer friend thinks that he'll sort the girls out and that they'll be overcome by his good looks and just follow him around.
Well, have I got news for him! Sure, Lulu is very happy as she now has a new friend who will hang out with her. But the two layers, Eddie and Thelma were NOT impressed. Thelma decided to take him on there and then. Wrong. He got the better of her straight away and now she will defer to him. But Eddie, the matriarch, the white leghorn, she put him in his place and chased him around the chook shed until he jumped up onto the shelf at the back.
The next day Eddie was still having the odd peck at him and there were no eggs to be seen. So I decided to let them all out and observe how they reacted outside. This was at noon, no Terry in sight. Eddie took off to her favourite spot and the other girls followed whilst Ron just looked a bit lost. I shooed him up with the girls and kept an eye on them whilst I was pulling up potatoes in the back paddock.
Poor Ron, every time he found a choice morsel Eddie would come over and muscle him away and eat it herself. Later I found them all down on the driveway, heading off to the coffee shop no doubt! And Ron, well he was following them, not leading at all. He has a lot to learn. When it was time to go back into the shed Thelma decided that she wasn't ready and there was no rounding up by Ron at all which meant I had to perform the mad chook woman dance yet again.
At night I found the three girls all squashed up together on top of the nesting box (which they have never used) with Ron lower down on the shelf on his own. Talk about pecking order.
But the really exciting part of all this is that when I went in to collect the eggs this morning, there were three, two brown ones and a white. So if nothing else has happened, at least Ron has affected Lulu's hormones and finally encouraged her to lay her first egg.
My farmer friend has warned me that the girls might become - slightly wanton, a bit tarty, flirtatious even, and I do hope that I'm around if that ever happens to Eddie. But I think that Ron has a loooong way to go before that occurs!
I'll keep you informed .........