November 10, 2006

There's a new girl in town


El Jefe asked the lady if we could buy two more hens. She sent Conchita and another black one. The problem was that, even though I don't know a darn thing about chickens except what I've been reading on the internet, I took one glance and knew the other one was a cockerel (rooster). The whole point of getting two more is that (how should I put this delicately?) it seems that roosters have big appetites and just wear out the hen unless they have a selection from which to choose.

We put the two "hens" in the pen with Ramón and Ramona. Ramón took one look and he, too, knew there was another guy trying to edge into his territory. We had a mini cock fight going. Wings flapping. Feathers flying. Whack! Whack! Squawk! Peck! Squawk! Peck! Ouch! Leave me alone! We had to rescue the new rooster and keep him in a box overnight. Ramón proudly pranced around with a feather in his beak for about 5 minutes.

El Jefe took the new rooster back today and luckily we are going to be able to trade him in for a replacement hen. These guys were brothers and sisters, but apparently now that Ramón has his own place, he's not about to share it with a new guy.

Actually, Ramón didn't take too kindly to Conchita either. We kept them apart the first night and then put them out together the next morning. Ramón was a little mean, puffed himself up a few times and went after her.

Gradually during the day, Conchita went from staying 10 feet away to staying 2 feet away, all the while looking at them as if she was saying, "Can I be your friend?" Ramón mostly ignored her.

In the evening, Ramón and Ramona came to the terraza to be put away in their pen as they always do. I was wondering how in the world I would be able to catch Conchita, but what do you know! She had followed them up to the terraza and was waiting also, but about a foot away from the others.

At first, Ramón started pecking on her, so I took him out and had a talk with him about being nice. After I put him back, he still pecked a couple of times so I took Conchita out for awhile. She was so exhausted from her ordeal (new home, mean chickens, scary dogs) she fell right to sleep in my hands. Finally, I put Conchita back in the pen and Ramón left her alone.

Tomorrow I guess we'll start all over again with the new girl, but now it will be two against two, so hopefully Ramón will be nice.

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