Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Life in Middle School, or Life with Hens


So a couple of months ago, when young Cleo and Chloe were put in with golden girls Ellen and Portia, Ellen and Portia bullied the two young hens mercilessly, especially my sweet Chloe.  Not to worry, no blood was drawn, but there was plenty of pecking and chasing that went on, as E & P asserted their dominance over C & C.

The rules were fairly simple:

1. When I approach, you will get out of the way.

2.  Your food is mine.

3.  If I am bored, I will pick on you for entertainment.

If you were bullied in school (like I was in fifth grade) these rules will be very familiar to you. All through my fifth grade school year, I ran home to avoid getting beat up by Peggy Reed and her friends. My lunch was not safe to eat in the cafeteria, and I had to hide in different areas around the playground at recess and lunch.  Luckily, Peggy Reed left at the end of the year and my life went back to normal. But I've never forgotten the experience.

But back here in this henhouse, the bullying of Cleo and Chloe went on until two days ago, when I introduced the newest young hens, Callie and Ginger, to the flock.  Now Cleo and Chloe are suddenly accepted into the clique, and poor Callie and Ginger are getting chased around and generally made miserable by the "older" girls, including the two who were the class outcasts just before this. Chloe-- the former bullying victim -- seems to be especially mean to the new girls. And so the victims have become the predators. Isn't there some general rule of thumb that abused children have a greater-than-normal chance of becoming abusers themselves?  Apparently this this a planet-wide thing here on Earth, crossing many different species?

Human middle school students are generally difficult, and almost always overly concerned with social status and pecking order. Sometimes those awful traits even extend into adulthood. But believe me, these tendencies do not begin or end with young human females.  Hens are even worse. The meanest girls of all.


  1. Haha. Let's hope that Peggy is miserable now with the kids who were so evil to me! I know you're a little bit more zen than I am, so you probably wouldn't wish anyone ill! I'd imagine it's sort of torturous to watch your poor little hens picked on!

    1. It is really hard, sometimes I just hear the little ones kind of squealing as they run out of the way and it breaks my heart. They do have some "small chicken" spaces to go where the others can't get to them, at least. But I just want everyone to get along! And I hate that some of my older hens remind me of Peggy Reed now, lol.