Hopes Dashed for Coop Détente

May 29, 2016 | 2 comments

Peaceful Coexistence, 2012

Peaceful Coexistence, 2012

Though we hoped that the initial pecking and feather flapping by one of our old Ameraucanas was mostly for show, that didn’t turn out to be true.  On the third day after introducing the two young Russian Orloffs to the coop, Nyel found one of them dead – whether from an attack or from stress was not apparent.

“It happens,” said our chicken proprietor.  I guess we can be thankful that it’s never happened to us before.  Previous introductions of new members to our little flock have always gone smoothly.  This is the first time any of the girls have taken exception to a newcomer.  As illogical as it seems, I can’t help but think that the names “Ameraucana” and “Russian Orloff” had something to do with it.

Committee Meeting, 2013

Committee Meeting, 2013

The other little Russian Orloff was fine – no evidence of attack or trauma.  We think she may have been the one who stood up for herself when mean old Granny Ameraucana made unpleasant overtures that first day.  Maybe she would be alright, but we decided not to chance it.  We boxed her up and returned her to our chicken supply source who agreed to keep her for a few more weeks until she is bigger and, hopefully, not an appealing target.

Farmer Nyel is also working on a plan for giving the newbies (we might try two again, or even three) their own space for a week or two.  Presumably, if the girls get used to seeing each other without being able to rub elbows (wingtips?) they can be integrated in time without disastrous results.

Apparently we’ve been lucky these past seven or eight years.  This was the first-ever trouble among the ladies of the coop.  Knowing that, however, has not helped the mood around here.  We are totally bummed – and that includes the hens. For the first time in several months we got no eggs yesterday.  None.


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Death in the chicken house, an unsolved mystery!!

  2. Ruth maloney

    Wow that stressed everyone out including the big peeps.


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