A little rooster called Psycho Ken is causing problems for Janine’s flock in France
My chickens are generally a happy bunch who occupy two large pens at the bottom of my one-acre garden. Kendo Nagasaki, a Japanese ornamental cockerel, is in one pen with seven old girls. He chases them about occasionally, but by and large they ignore him and, as they’re bigger than him, and he calls them when there are treats and lets them eat first, Team Kendo is a happy bunch.
In the other pen lives Gregory Peck Jr., a handsome and very large black cockerel who is rather less sedate. Enamoured of his own good looks, he likes to let the eight girls in his harem know who’s boss. He struts and screeches, sleeps in a tree, never shares, takes what he wants, likes a bit of a tear up and is most definitely king of the coop. Team Peck are a bit less laid back than their neighbours.
Kendo and Gregory Peck Jr. tolerate each other. They have cock-a-doodle-doo contests which can go on for hours. From time to time one of them will venture into the other’s territory, which causes a bit of a furore. The girls squeal, the boys do a bit of stomping and chasing – then Kendo scarpers.
THEN A CHANGE….
Lately, though, things have not been so calm.
Ken, the orphan chicken (no relation to Kendo), whom we found in the woods, cute, abandoned and just hatched with another chick we call Barbie, has taken to tormenting both older cockerels. He is a miniature bird but doesn’t seem to be aware of it. He is much taken with pecking me on the back of the legs. He chases everyone, terrorises the cats who’ve learned to keep out of his way and even challenges the dogs. He patrols the garden and clearly feels it’s his, all his. If he wore a T-shirt it would read ‘Who’s the Daddy’.
Because Ken is so small, I was worried he would be bullied by the other birds, so I got him and Barbie a little chicken house in the garden and not in the pens. In fact, quite the opposite has happened. Kendo and Gregory Peck Jr. now live in one pen together because ‘Psycho Ken’, as my kids call him, has decided he doesn’t want to live in the garden but in a pen… Kendo’s Pen.
Kendo has moved with his girls to the other side, and keeps out of Gregory Peck Jr.’s way. If Psycho Ken attempts entry, Gregory Peck and Kendo team up and chase him out. Ken is very nimble and smart and he can fly extremely well. He manages to avoid trouble whilst causing maximum displeasure, dancing about on the outside of the fence while his rivals rave.
Far from being henpecked by the rest of the gang, he appears to be staging a coup in the coop.
It seems that, in the land of chickens, size may not be the most important thing.
Far from being henpecked, he appears to be staging a coup
ABOVE LEFT: Psycho Ken TOP RIGHT: Kendo Nagasaki ABOVE RIGHT: Gregory Peck