Friday, 1 July 2011

Running Raids

It's been very quiet here this week now that my flock is much reduced. The hens themselves seem completely unfazed by the disappearance of various flock members, and even Vera doesn't seem particularly bothered that her offspring have vanished. Chickens are totally without sentiment. They have quickly occupied themselves with covert operations.

Vera has gone back in to lay, and it seems to have switched her mischievous brain back on. Before she went broody and hatched the chicks, she was getting quite brave and infiltrating the Palace. Her favourite pastime was to torment laying pekins, by just jumping up at them from under the nest box rim. I had many an odd shaped egg thanks to her shenanigans, and was rather hoping that motherhood would take such inclinations away from her. No such luck.

To be fair, the pekins started it. Not long after the serama arrived, they would waddle in to the garage in attack formation and take it in turns to get in to the hutch and scoff the seramas pellets. This act of dominance obviously annoyed Vera more than I realised, because within days she was sneaking in to the Palace and emptying the grit pot all over the floor. That'll teach 'em.

Yesterday, the pekins realised that they could get back in to the serama housing. One by one, they jumped in to the food area. Celia even defecated on the freshly cleaned floor. Vera and Betsy, watching from the safety of the lawnmower handle, have taken it personally. Today, like a couple of pint sized ninjas, the serama duo have been running raids on the Palace.

I watched in bemusement as the tiny hens ran along the fence to the back of the Palace run, heads down and bums up. A few moments later, a tiny buff head poked around the corner to check that the coast was clear. Some high pitched muttering later, and Betsy ran like the clappers around the perimeter of the run until she reached the door. Again, she froze and checked out her immediate area. As if attached by elastic, Vera came careering around the corner and came to a sudden stop next to her pal. They muttered a bit more, and then Vera had the temerity to step foot over the threshold.

The pekins were sunbathing in the border at this point, and weren't taking a lot of notice. Then Hilda spotted the micro chickens on the ramp, and started a low 'Bok, bok, booooooork' in indignation. Five heads swivelled in the Palace's direction. Betsy froze mid goose step. Everyone started chuntering. Ooh 'eck.

Like the boss she is, Vera swaggered down the ramp and sauntered over to the feeder. With great care, she examined the feed and plucked one solitary pellet from the pile. Betsy slunk over to her as the pekins rose as one, and pretended to stroll casually towards the Palace. Vera began to move towards the door in an equally laid back manner. It was a bit like waiting for the Sharks and the Jets to meet in the road, but with less dancing.

The pekins began to speed up, lead by the always eager for a ruck ASBO Chicken. Betsy was the first one to break in to a run, and was away and up the garden before the others realised that she'd gone. Vera remained dignified until she stepped back over the door way, and then ran hell for leather back to the garage, still clutching the stolen pellet like a flag. The pekins were in hot pursuit, but gave up the chase when they realised they couldn't all fit in to the serama hutch, and not one of them was going to get up the ramp in to the second level. In an act of pure nose-thumbing, Vera dropped the stolen pellet in to her own feeder.

They may integrate yet.


  1. What a wonderful post, you should write a book!

    I love chickens, and the more I get to know them the more amazing they are!!

  2. What she said (vbg)

    I love watching chickens, they are so funny and a lot brighter than many give them credit....

    Dinosaur velociraptors!

    My lot are now stalking me when let out to free range - they have worked out they are unlikely to get foxed if by me..!