One of the things that veteran chicken farmers warn about is cannibalism. Chickens will attack each other when they are overcrowded, have sick chickens among them, or are just plain bored.
The breed we got on April 15th, Speckled Sussex, has proven so far to be a particularly precocious one, and we discovered yet another element to their rapid maturity: today they decided the coop of their youth was too small and started to attack each other.
What we’re learning from this heritage breed is that everything we know about chickens has been accelerated by weeks. Where traditional breeds can take as long as a couple of months to be ready to go outside, these little devils are ready to go after just three weeks.
Part of the lesson here is to watch your particular breed when you’re trying a new one and respond to what you see as much as what you know. The result is that we’re accelerating the completion of our chicken yard fence to tomorrow so we can just let them outside during the day to ease whatever overcrowding and boredom might be going on.
Now, I’m wondering if the little buggers will learn to fly…