A month since the last post on Tuppence, and I still haven’t done much about that troublesome boy. No grabs from the fly fishing and tying community. I’m thinking of shoving Tuppence into a cat taxi and seeing if the local fly fishing tackle shop might adopt him. Feh! As if I’m going to get off my butt long enough to do anything about anything! I feel like such a lame-o.
As it sits for the moment, Henny seems content to hang out in the hen house. I’ve strategically placed a feeder and a waterer at opposite ends of the roost in front of the nests (the roost is basically a 2×4 board, so there’s just enough width for the dispensers we normally use in our chick brooder box), so Henny isn’t starving. I also bring treats of spinach and cottage cheese for her, when I let the other birds out to forage in the morning.
Despite that seemingly cozy situation for Henny, the end of the day often turns a bit rough for her. You see, Tuppence is usually the first one into the henhouse before the hens, and he ends up “attacking” Henny. I had to put up quotes back there, because there are times I’m not sure if he’s trying to “get it on” or if he has come around to viewing her as an outsider to “his” flock. It’s not uncommon for Henny to appear out of nowhere when I come out to close the doors to the chicken run and the hen house. It appears Tuppence finds her alone and ends up terrorizing her out into the open. I’ve seen her appear out from under a wheel barrow, poking her head up over the top of the compost bin, or come running out to me from inside of a nearby rhododendron and holly thicket. She knows that I provide her both protection and a handy two-legged perch.
There was another time, when I managed to let all the hens out, and kept Tuppence in the area of the run, with the entrance to the hen house blocked. When I let Henny out from the hen house, the instant she saw him, she freaked and flew up to land on my head. Now that is some serious adrenaline for a hen to be able to fly that high. Fortunately, I already planned on taking a shower after securing the birds for the night.
There was another time when all the birds were up in the roosts near sunset and I was checking for eggs. Tuppence was in front of the right side nest box, so I then opened up the left side nest, to see if there were any eggs there. Henny was there next to the door, with either Daisy or Golda next to her. All of a sudden, Tuppence works his way over and pecks Henny hard on her butt! She almost jumps out onto me. Tups, like the ass he has become, sticks his beak into the next, so I, in a flash of near-rage, grab him around his neck and push him off the roost. I ain’t proud to say to admit that, but the boy has been harassing Henny to the point of terror. By the way, he wasn’t hurt in the least.
So what’s to do? I presently have been coping with a particularly nasty cold–green phlegm and brutal coughing. I don’t think I’m up for teaching myself how to butcher a rooster while feeling this crappy. Maybe I’ll settle with modifying the hen house and installing roosts in the chicken run, so Henny can step outside for some sunlight and fresh air. Then again, it would be cheaper and quicker to just kill Tuppence. What a drag!