Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alpha Hen

This was so interesting, I just have to share it. We only have two of the samatran hens left since we gave The Sultan and his favorite hen to a friend. One hen, Mother Hen, is separated all day with her three biddies from the other hen and the three pullets in a day pen. Because we separate them, it's kind of a rigamaroll to get them all back into the roost area at night. The one samatran hen who is allowed to roam free during the day with the three pullets has established herself with them as the alpha hen. Mother Hen is shut up all day in the day pen with her biddies. At night, we wait until the 3 pullets and the hen are on the roost, then we open the little gate from the day-pen and the roost for Mother Hen and her babies to come into the roost area where they have a little brooder box, which I shut them up in after they come back in.

Tonight Cary and I had a meeting to attend and arrived home after dark. Mother Hen was still out in the day pen, the biddies had squeezed through the fence and were nesting in the brooder box, and the other samatran hen and three pullets were on the roost. When Cary opened the little gate for Mother Hen to get into the roosting area, she didn't go into the brooder box to her biddies right away. Oh, no! She jumped up on the roosting poles and gave the other samatran hen a good peck!

I think her message was "Who the hell do you think you are? You think you're the alpha hen? In case you've forgotten, you're not! I'm still in charge. So there!"

Talk about the "pecking order".

Ana and I have named the hens. Funny how it wasn't important to name them as long as The Sultan reigned supreme. The Mother Hen is actually named Freckles because she's black with little white spots on her. The other Samatran hen is named Francine. She has wild looking eyes and somehow the name Francine just suited her. If you'll recall, she tried to nest and get babies going but something always happened to run her off the nest! I think that's why her eyes are so wild looking. We have a white leghorn pullet we named Daisy, a Rhode Island Red pullet named Daphene, and an Ameraucana we named Dolly. The Ameraucana will lay either blue or green eggs. She has funny feathers around her face. It remains to be seen who the real Alpha hen will be as the pullets grow into maturity. I'll try to post pictures of each hen later with their names. They really are interesting to watch.

What is that old saying? "You can the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl." That's me!

Love to all,
Linda Gail


  1. Please refer to me from now on as: "Francine."
    hahaha! bwahaha! (double snort!)

  2. Who knows, maybe one of the Sutan's chicks will take over? I just love these stories.

    And good luck with your treatments.

  3. I forgot to add that after Freckles pecked Francine, and wrested her off her perch, she went back down to the brooder box and nestled down for the night with her little ones!

  4. Laurel, I think Flaurella suits you perfectly, or better yet "Glammie". Wouldn't it be interesting if we were named from some prominent feature of our physical appearance or personalities?

    Mary Ann, If one of the Sultans chicks turns out to be a rooster, no, if all 3 of them turn out to be roosters, they are going somewhere else! When Freckles finally gets tired of "mothering" her brood, all the hens, chicks and pullets are going to stay in the pen. I would pull my hair out if I had any, because they are scratching around my watered plants and heaping debris all over the sidewalks and blurring the margins of my flower beds. When I was growing up we had a huge pen for our chickens, but I think my mother grew off 50 to 100 at a time for table food as well as eggs.