Siouxsie’s New Flock

Instead of living her remaining days in the quiet calm of her private hutch, Buffy, once again, surprised us all, and revived. For the last couple of days she’s been standing at the door, obviously eager to get out. She also was quite loud in her demands. My food dish is empty! and More water! I set her down in the run with the other old hens, but Siouxsie looked at her like a bull sees a red flag and charged. The trouble with Siouxsie is that she doesn’t read body language. Another hen would see that Buffy does the “I’m not a threat crouch” and the tail tuck, and after a chest thump or two, the aggressor would accept victory and move on. But Siouxsie pummels anyone she can, and doesn’t stop. Siouxsie can’t get away with that nonsense with Twinkydink and Edwina, and Betsy is too quick. But poor Buffy can’t get out of the way.

I had a solution: move Siouxsie in with the strong and active Gems. They’d put her in her place, and the Old Girls would have some peace. All of my hens already know each other from forays onto the lawn. The two flocks, the Old Girls and the Gems, see each other, and go their separate ways. Yesterday the weather was lovely, and I let the chickens out onto the lawn. When I called the Gems to go back inside, Siouxsie came over. She’s like that. Totally clueless.


I closed her up with the Gems.

At first, the Gems stayed away from Siouxsie. They needed to take stock of this newcomer.


Once again, Siouxsie showed how truly clueless she is. She immediately challenged the nearest hen. It was a Sussex. The Sussex are the most fearless of the breeds in this flock. There was chest thumping. Florence pecked hard. Once.


But, unlike Siouxsie, the Sussex understand that outright bloodshed isn’t worth the effort. Siouxsie scurried off. The Sussex let her be. Siouxsie found her way inside of the coop and spent some (hopefully thoughtful, although I doubt it) time on the roost. She got down and ate and drank. She went outside and did not challenge any of the hens. What happened at nighttime was going to be the telling moment. Would Siouxsie integrate into the flock?

Sometimes, being clueless has its benefits. Siouxsie didn’t hide in a nesting box. She didn’t wait outside in the dark. She hopped right up onto a prime roost spot and squeezed in with the other girls. But she did keep her head down, which showed a modicum of sense. There she is on the left, next to Etheldred.


Meanwhile, what of Buffy? I kept an eye Edwina’s reaction to her back in their midst. Edwina has pummeled Buffy in the past. But, that was only after Siouxsie had already drawn blood. Edwina came over, gave Buffy a cold stare, and then ambled away. Twinkydink, though, settled in next to her friend.


At night, Buffy managed to get onto the lowest roost.


If Buffy’s health takes another turn downward, I’ll know because Edwina will attack. But for now, all is right in the Old Girl’s world. And Siouxsie? She’s fine. I saw her checking out a nesting box this morning. Does she have enough sense not to tangle with broody Topaz? Who knows? It will be lesson that she should learn!


  1. So happy for Buffy.
    Enjoying the chick cam
    Thank you!!

  2. Noticed the changes this morning. Saw Buffy out and about. She is awe inspiring! Those chicks are huge. The brooder will get crowded quickly.

  3. This is better than Scandal. Siouxsie would fit right in there.
    She’s a feathered Mellie. Love your posts.

  4. This is better than Grey’s Anatomy. Hoping for a happy ending. Glad to see Siouxsie adjusting. Her problem is, she just think’s she’s still a Spring chicken and was in the wrong barn! When she holds her head up while on the roost then I’ll know all is well. Saw three Gems in a nesting box this a.m. and Jasper came out with feathers all ascew and lopsided. I didn’t see any scuffling while they were in there, just alot of repositioning. I bet that box was full of eggs this morning. Something about Jasper makes me smile anyway.

    • Jasper is my favorite! I tried bringing her to a school visit, but she was so loudly talkative that the kids couldn’t hear me.

      • LOL, what a ham! Love your chickens, but must admit Pearl is my favorite. What a sweetie! Admire Siouxsie’s spunk. Brave little chicken…….

  5. I tuned in around 6:45 PM and watched, with all the angst of a nervous mother doing a lunch time drive by the play ground, as Siouxsie explored the new barn and then assended the roosting ladder. As you said- right to the top perch but all the way to the side. Would they perch next to her or not- the family gathered! We held vigil! But now that I know she was bullying old lovely, she’s on her own.

  6. This story has made me so happy! YOU are priceless! I am thrilled to see Buffy on a perch again. She is an amazing little soul. Thank you for knowing your hens and their behaviors.

  7. Yeah !!! Buffy!!! You can make it !!! So happy to read she’s back with her crowd !
    I am not familiar yet with all of your chickens but will get there. Hope Siouxsie adjusts without too much drama !
    The Chick Cam is sooooo endearing !!! Love to see the little ones growing and seeing them at sleepy time, we
    can appreciate what you were saying about heat and lamp distance… This is such a great way to learn about our feathered neighbors ! 27 chicks is a little crowd !!! Are you enlarging your flocks ? Thanks for sharing, you really are passionate and know how to share the passion !

  8. What glad tidings this am. So happy for Buffy, and to see Siouxsie get what she gives. The promise of spring was a tonic for Buffy. She is now back with her “posse”! The chicks are growing so fast. I agree this site is the best entertainment, and we are learning so much. Thanks Terry.

  9. Just on a side note, you have not mentioned anything about the beast in the pond in awhile. Things ok with that big fish I assume?

    • Yes, they get layer pellets. Siouxsie is still laying an egg every other day. Betsy laid one egg last week. Old hens are so depleted of calcium, that the laying hen pellets are good for them. In fact, the only treats they get are veggies, as they do poorly on empty calories like stale bread and cracked corn.

  10. Thanks so much for the updates on cute Buffy & cute Siouxsie! I was wondering why Siouxsie looked forlorn. Now I know she is ok. Thanks again. ;)

  11. The second I opened this post, the radio station I was listening to played “Kiss them for Me” by Siouxsie and the Banshees. No lie. How often does that happen in 2013? Go Buffy!

  12. Are we up to life 10 or 11 now? Go Buffy! The pictures of Siouxie are too funny. Isn’t there some saying about God taking care of fools?

  13. You came up with the perfect solution! I am so happy to see Buffy out with her flock and am also perversely delighted to see Siouxsie trying to figure how to get back! Maybe she doesn’t recognize submission because she doesn’t see it with all of those feathers in her way.

  14. Good to hear Buffy is doing better and is out and about. I guess Siouxsie just needed something to occupy her brainless head and moving her to the Gems did it. I wonder if it’s because Tina passed away and Siouxsie is the only Polish hen left that made her feel more vulnerable and attacked Buffy and tries to peck the others that made her act more aggressive. Because I don’t think Siouxsie or Tina ever pecked or hurt the other hens anyone that I heard of before Tina passed away.
    As for broody Topaz, it’s not too late to deal with her and see is she accepts a chick, after all you do have an empty old bunny house know and an extra sex link chick. That way you won’t have to to deal with a broody Topaz and if a hen is broody and desperate enough I have heard of them accept up to two week old age chicks, and yours are less than that age.

  15. I just realized today that while I have read all your FAQs (even though I don ‘t have chickens) that my reading & learning has just begun! I have several years of blog entries to savor, plus all the comments. Oh happy day!! I now must go charge my Kindle ;-p

  16. Go Siouxie! I swear she’s been up on the perch a few hours before sunset just to make sure she has a spot. As twilight draws near I’ve popped a bag of popcorn and am settling onto the couch to watch the dramatic conclusion of day 2.
    And “Yea Buffy!”, you go girl!

    • I swear this is just as good as “Game of Thrones” was last night. : )

  17. Oh Siouxie… go girl! Buffy back from the edge….wonder woman!!!

  18. Sussex has already knocked her down to the third rung. Hang in there girl.

      • Do NOT feel sorry for Siouxsie! She had a lovely day digging in the dirt in the Gem’s yard. She’s got plenty to eat, and no one is beating up on her. Astounding for a hen thrust into another group. She deserves her comeuppance, as she’s never been nice to any other hen, not even Tina.

  19. Okay folks, here’s how it’s going: Siouxsie has decided that her spot is in the prime position on the ladder on the right, second rung down. She will not be budged. Consternation ensues. The only hen willing to be next to her is sweet Pearl, the Cochin. The RIRs, determined to be at the top are now precariously vying for not the top rung, but the ledge above that, where it is impossible to sleep safely, and they know it. But, position is all. Amber, the smart hen, is willing to roost on the third rung down, but she is not willing to share with Agatha, who is left to walk around the floor, in her dim-witted way trying to sort out what to do. Topaz, angry and broody, has the best spot, ensconced in a nesting box. We’ll see what happens in the morning.

    • You could give Topaz your extra sex link to raise and she might be so angry.

      • *might not be so angry.
        PS Figured Pearl would be the only to stand Siouxsie, and I betcha as sweet natured as Pearl is and is broody as soon as she saw all 26 chicks even at almost two weeks old she would probably just raise her feathers up and at first glance would just adopt all 26. Topaz probably not, though maybe one at night, she would adopt.

  20. I’m with you all. Buffy is a darling and shouldn’t have been picked on…. Hoping Siouxsie learns her lesson but survives it. I know Terry wouldn’t put her in there unless she felt it was safe.. Hate to see one get their just desserts even when they deserve it….

  21. Did I see Jasper and Garnet next to each other on the roost? Are they still buddies?

  22. I would like to be a fly on a wall in the big barn tonite. Even hubby asking who got a good roosting spot. Hubby is not a huge animal person, but even he seems interested in the chicken drama…..

  23. Hilarious (and educational) observations of flock dynamics. I love that picture of the Gems all looking at Siouxsie. What a great solution! :-D

  24. I see Siouxsie’s being anti-social this morning – she sitting on the top roost by herself.