Sunday, 28 March 2010

Norman's strange behaviour

It started with Norman "attacking" me.

No, thinking about it, it actually it started some time ago, when we still thought Norman was a boy, and Captain Flint was in charge.  When Flint was attacking DH, Norman also had a bit of a go.  We thought, of course, that he was a little Rooster-let and was just emulating his dad.Of course, now we know that he's a girl, this behaviour seems a bit odd.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago, by which time we'd had egg-shaped evidence that Norman was a girl.  I walked into the run in the garden, and Norman came running over to me. I thought this was quite sweet, and unexpected.  It wasn't sweet, and the unexpected thing was that Norman started pecking my legs.  Vigorously.  In a "i'm dominant to you" kind of way.

It did hurt a bit,  but I felt for Norman.  He (sorry, I can't get used to referred to Norm as "she") seems to be bottom of the 3 chooks, and I think Mrs Flint gives him a really hard time.

Today he escaped from the Run, by leaping onto the contraption we've put over the Eglu to prevent them using it as a way to escape, more times than I can remember.  Each time, he tootled past the french window; each time I saw him, caught him, and put him back. And rearranged the contraption.

Each time I picked her up, s/he snuggled on to my arm, using it as a comfy perch. This from a bird who attacks me?

The last time though, he snuck past. I expect he had been watching Daisy, and had learned to limbo (Daisy looks like she's on hydraulic legs when she limbos); he must have limbo-ed along, just below the level along the sill of the french window. Either that or he waited just by the window until I got up to put the kettle on, and tipclawed past then.

I only realised he was out because the Garden Girls decided to simultaneously voice their indignation that one of the Incomers was free.  I looked up, and saw him creeping along the corner of slightly-raised paving that we refer to as "The Terrace" (only to differentiate it from "the Patio" which is the paved area outside the living room).  I rushed out into the garden, manouevred myself around the chicken netting, - no mean feat at the moment, it's a maze out there -  and reached the Terrace.  Norman was busy right in the corner,   making himself a nest out of leaves.  He was quite distressed at being picked up, and I realised he must be desperate to lay.

I put him in the Eglu - I mean IN the Eglu, itself -  but he wouldn't settle in the nestbox. He was running around and around, then he came outside, went back in, came outside, went back in.   I opened the eggport so I could see what was happening, and he bit me. Yes. he bit me.  It was a chickeny bite, so there weren't actually any teeth involved. But it wasn't a peck. He got some of my hand flesh between his top and bottom beak,  and then closed the beak together.  In my book, that's a bite.

The poor boy girl chook was obviously in a bit of a state, and I couldn't see why. I assume that it was something to do with the other two, although they weren't doing anything as far as I could see.  Anyway, I did the only sensible thing I could think of. I shut the Eglu door so he was completely shut in. And they were shut out.

A short time later,  I peeked in, and there was a teeny weeny Norman egg.
Norman looked a lot happier, and didn't try escaping again all afternoon.


  1. Norman has issues! That's a goofy chicken. We have HenRoo who acts like a rooster and might lay eggs. I have found HenRoo in a nest box.

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  3. Hi Callie
    So is Henroo an effeminate Roo, or a butch hen? Or don't we know yet?