A View From Above

My “rocker chicks” are looking good. Tina from the side

It’s true on the playground, it’s true at work and it’s true in the henhouse – social life is all about personalities, both individual and group. The flock that I got these two from didn’t have an aggressive hen in the lot. Still, Tina and Siouxie got picked on. Those pouffy hair-dos are too tempting! Even the nicest chicken would want to peck at those bouncing white feathers, and the coop was too small, so Tina and Siouxie couldn’t move out of the way. When they came here I put them in the big barn where there’s lots of room. The big barn hens have bossy temperaments, but most are elderly. I figured they’d leave the new hens alone. I figured wrong. By the second day, the Polish Crested were huddled in a corner, heads tucked down, tails facing the aggressive hens. They weren’t moving to eat or drink. I had to get them out of there. So, I moved them into the HenCam coop. Yes, Siouxsie  and Tina were pecked at. But they also pecked back. Mostly, though, it was posturing. A strike, a retaliation, a quick shuffle a few steps away, then they’d all resume their normal scratching and eating. The important difference between this flock and the hens in the big barn is that the HenCam girls read body language. They didn’t fight to the finish. A head turn away, a scurry out of the range of a peck, was understood as an act of submission. It  was enough. The girls in the big barn do not understand such social subtleties. They peck for blood, and they keep pecking. This is due both to genetics and to learned behavior. I don’t like it. If I had only one barn, these hens would be gone. However, I have room for both, and since, within their own group, on a daily basis, you don’t see it, I keep them around.

Meanwhile, the “rockers”‘ top knots are growing in. New feathers look like porcupine quills. Siouxsie is looking good.

Siouxie's head

But Tina will always have a bald spot.


As long as Tina’s head doesn’t get cold this winter, I don’t think she’ll care.


  1. Are the tips of their “crowns” really purple? Such lovely contrast. Wow – it really looks like Autumn is in full swing back east. We had 80+ degree weather here yesterday, but yet there are a few trees that have begun their Autumn display. Sometimes the fall colors don’t happen in Southern California until sometime in December or January! Suffice to say, I am truly enjoying the views around your farm = )
    Blessings. Judy

    • That purple is from the blu-coat I put on when their heads were bald. Not only did it help to heal their scalps, but it covered up the blood and scabs – which made them less likely to be pecked. Now, though, it is very pretty-punk, isn’t it? I’m tempted to dye their poofs when they grow all out. What about pink? :)

  2. Ahh… muito lindo! Eu hoje o vi passeando no quintal. Será que é macho ou femea? Ele parece um galo. Será que estou enganada?
    Um abraço
    from Brazil

    • Tina and Siouxsie are are a breed called “Polish Crested.” They do walk and look much like roosters (boys) but they are girls. Not laying eggs, yet, though! The Polish Crested are not productive layers. But they’re fun to look at!

      • You do realize that you will probably have to give their bangs a trimming this winter? I have two and in the winter as they drink they get the edges of their feathers wet, they freeze and as they drink throughout the day icicles build up. They then walk with their head tilted to one side. A haircut or should I say a feather cut solves the problem.

        • I heard that these were high-maintenance birds, but jeeze! I was planning on keeping them trimmed – just so that they can see where they’re going. One of them bonked her head on a roost the other day.

          • LOL.
            My Wrongway flew smack dab into a oak tree a couple years back when a redtail made a swoop over the flock. (Polish are light on their feet) Not only was that funny but the funny or sad thing about it was is that her reaction to hawk was about 30 seconds too late. The rest of the flock reacted immediately and took cover under the hedgerow. Wrongway only reacted after see realized she was standing alone and her flock mates where squawking up a storm. Luckily she wasn’t the hawks target.

  3. Now that the girls’ hairdos are filling in, will they join the bios page?