Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Custard and Tilda.

Custard and 'Tilda are sisters.  Tilda is a highly intelligent, friendly, girl; she suffers from a number of physical disabilites.  She's bottom of the pecking order. I think there is a link between her friendliness and her disability - she was easier to catch,  so she got used to being caught, and she vecame very tame.

Custard is really really horrible to Tilda.  Whereas the others might give Tilda a single peck to remind her of her lowly status,  Custard actively seeks out Tilda and then attacks her.     When they are shut in their walk in run for the night, no matter where Tilda hides,  Custard seeks her out, runs at her, and makes her move somewhere else.   It's very upsetting.

If the weather was warmer, I think I'd remove Custard into her own accomodation  for a week or so.     If I didn't know how wrong it was to introduce a lone hen, I'd move Custard down to the Allotment to join the breeding girls.  

As it is, I am trying to monitor whether it is only Custard that is persistently bullying Tilda.   Roobarb doesn't seem to do anything to her, even when they are foraging in the same place beak to beak.  I haven't observed Florence and Tilda on their own together;  Milly gives Tilda a peck on the head when their paths cross, but I haven't seen whether it's only done when their paths cross, or whether she is bullying also.

We're upgrading the camera in the run, so maybe that will help me keep track.

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