Ever since Pip has found his voice:
there has been chaos and conflict in my sweet little coop.
While Roopert, my Silver-Laced Wyandotte rooster, has been crowing since he was a mere 10-weeks-old, it took Pip, my White Crested Black Polish, until he was 14 weeks old before he felt the urge to express himself.
Unfortunately, Roopert is entirely unimpressed:
and, despite Pip's unaggressive, non-confrontational style, Roopert has decided Pip must go. One way or the other.
Twice now, I've found Pip cowering, head first in a corner of the chicken coop, having been chased there by Roopert. Yesterday, Pip ran, full speed, into the corner of the chicken run, wedging his head through the bars, where he then hung limply, head crooked at an awkward angle. I thought he was dead. He wasn't, but he apparently felt it wise to simply hang there, in that position, rather than get up and risk the wrath of Roopert.
The sad thing is that now the girls are even beginning to ostracize and pick on him. Here's Rose-Uppity giving Pip a stern lecturing:
Can you see Pip hiding in the grass? This is where he thinks Roopert can't see him:
Here's Pip left all alone in the chicken run:
Inside the chicken coop, Pip will cower in the farthest corners, hoping to escape notice. I feel so guilty locking him in there at night, I help him out a bit and put him up on the "big girl roost". He won't get down, no matter what, until I open up the coop the next day. Last night, as a special treat, he got dinner in bed:
It makes me so mad when I see Roopert chasing Pip down, jumping on his back, and hammering the back of his head with his sharp, pointy beak. I've set up the hose for quick access and totally douse Roopert each time I catch him in the act of charging Pip:
Last night was the last straw, though. It was not my proudest moment. When Roopert again cornered Pip in the coop and Pip was shrieking hysterically, I lost my cool, swooped in, grabbed Roopert up and...
hung him upside down.
There. How's that for effective conflict resolution?
Today, things have been a bit calmer, but I've washed out our old dog crate in the event that somebody (Roopert) needs to spend an evening in time-out, should the nastiness continue:
Maybe I'm fighting a losing battle, though. I really don't think Pip is challenging Roopert's dominance. He's just being Pip. I have heard of multiple roosters living harmoniously together once their male pecking order has been established, but perhaps I'm being naive and just prolonging the inevitable. Does Pip need to go?
Roopert, in all his glory.