Saturday, February 7, 2015

Alice The Goon

The whoa-man offered the name Alcatraz the day this chicken arrived. She would, continually, bounce off the wire like a boxer on the ring ropes. (as an escape attempt was in the making) No, not the whoa-man, Alice. We went through several naming attempts but, we focused on Alcatraz. Alice seemed to be the logical choice and Alice-ca-traz it was. The fence bouncing lasted for a few days. I reckon she finally accepted the facts.

Then, the bullying started. She would only bully The Goose, though - never Esther. I figured it was because her and Esther came together and the pecking order was already established between them. Due to my vast knowledge of chicken behavior, I immediately dubbed Alice 'the new yard boss.' She was definitely making her presence known. (to the Goose) Charging and pecking her, relentlessly. Even when the Goose took the submission stance, Alice would continue the barrage. It was so bad, at times, I had thoughts of rehoming Alice. My past flock never had a bully and I, even though, the Goose is not my favorite, didn't appreciate her being picked on All. The. Time. Finally, Alice eased up some and flock harmony began to emerge.

However, after weeks of observance, I've come to the conclusion that Alice is NOT the yard boss. It is, in fact, Esther. Yes, mild-mannered, (Clark Kent) laid back Esther. Whodathunk? I realized this when I caught Esther pecking and running Alice off from snacks. Especially, meal worms. Alice would not retaliate nor would she challenge. So, Alice is 2nd in the flock and wants to keep her status.

I've never known the Goose to be a fighter. She's always been flighty and sissified. I suppose this reaction is the reason I still have her. The others were taken by predators. We had no choice, one day, to leave her out with Merlin (hawk) perched in the trees. I had locked Morticia in the coop but, the Goose would have none of it. We said, 'good luck' as we left for work. Arriving home after dark, found Goose on the coop porch asleep.

Who remembers the old Popeye cartoons with Alice the goon? I took a video this morning, once again, trying to get the Goose's honking. Seems she knows and keeps a lid on her audio. Alice's meanness came through a couple of times and I thought of her as a Goon.

1 comment:

  1. My chickens do just like that, but not so loud. I say they are growling. They do this to complain. I liked the video.