At first, Mystery Chicken seemed to be the runt. He (I'm 99% sure he's a Dominique rooster) is smaller than the rest and is actually pretty chill when you pick him up. But toward the end of the first day, we noticed him making the rounds: he would go from chick to chick, pecking especially at the Rhode Island Red hens. By day two, Byron observed that he was actually pulling feathers out of the other chicks. We determined he had Short Man's Complex and dubbed him Napoleon for his incessant bullying of the populace.
Concerned that he would injure the others, we tried a couple different tactics. Solution #1 was to send him on a campaign back to the hatchery, but we ditched that idea. Solution #2 was to exile him to the Chicken Island of Elba, which came in the form of an Amazon.com box. No sooner had we placed him in isolation than he leaped out of the box in a flurry of black to resume his dictatorial reign. Solution #3 was divide and conquer. We installed a piece of cardboard to divide the brooder and placed him with the Cornish Cross birds, which are bigger and will sometimes peck back when he disturbs their incessant gestation. Let them eat cake? They've heard that before, Napoleon.
Truthfully, we are concerned with the little dictator. If he keeps it up, Solution #4 may be to put him up for grabs on craigslist. Solution #5 is to exile him to the Barred Rock hens in hopes that one would adopt him. Solution #6 involves the cat's version of Waterloo. Kidding. I think.
|Emperor Napoleon the Chicken|
|Divide and Conquer. However, we moved the chicks to the outdoor brooder last night and again, it's a free-for-all for the little dictator.|