Siouxsie’s Strategy

The Gems are not thrilled to have Siouxsie in their midst. She’s an annoying, clueless bird who gets in the way, and who doesn’t get fast enough out of the way when given a beady stare. But, the Gems aren’t a bullying bunch, and so, although they don’t want this crazy-pouffed hen to hang out with them, they’re not beating up on her either. There’s a judicious use of feather ruffling and pecking, which quickly subsides when Siouxsie turns tail. For a hen who is used to pummeling others, Siouxsie is feeling rather out of sorts. No place seems safe. Just when she starts to enjoy her corner of the outside run, another hen comes along and tells her to move on.

Siouxsie has come up with a strategy of how to be left alone.

This is Topaz. Topaz is a classic broody hen.


Topaz is fluffed up in righteous mamma-hen anger (even though there are no eggs under her). She churrs threats to anyone who comes near her nesting box. The Gems avoid her. Siouxsie has planted herself outside of Topaz’s box. Siouxsie ignores the broody hen growling. Siouxsie doesn’t care, because the hens that do count, those Gems that chase her about, don’t come near Topaz, and so they don’t come near her. Yesterday, Siouxsie even crowded herself into that nesting box with Topaz and laid an egg.


Perhaps Siouxsie isn’t as clueless as I thought.


  1. I think Siouxsie should be on the cover of US. She reminds me of the chicks I see on there all the time.

  2. Buffy is looking better than ever and bless Siouxsie. Hard to love the unloveable. Both are survivors and have such a good story on Little Pond Farm. Working on liking the snake. Maybe if he were named I could like him better. How about zipper. :)

  3. I saw her get in with Topaz. Wow. She is truly something else. At least they dont bloody her. Thanks for taking her in (with Tina) and giving her a terrific life even if she is less than desirable.

  4. I’m off to get bon-bons for the next installment!……..” As The Coop Turns…”

  5. George, that would be a good name for Terry’s Reality show on the History Channel.

  6. I so enjoy these stories and pictures. The snake, though, about scared me right out of my chair at work :)

  7. i had noticed her there and wondered if there was a broody hen in that box. lol she’s something else, jumping in there WITH topaz to lay her egg. i love it.

    • I’m with you Kris, I can’t believe she hopped in there with Topaz! I don’t imagine those boxes are very roomy at all!

  8. George hit it on the head. I laughed out loud as I read it. But clearly Siouxsie is not as dumb as she looks. And I must admit that Tina and Siouxsie drew me into HenCam in the beginning. Stage presence maybe?

  9. I don’t suppose you will ever give any chicks to a serial brooder like Topaz someday ?

  10. Love & enjoy your stories very much! Thanks again for sharing! ;)

  11. I have a hen that had part of her comb torn off. Bled a lot. We got it stopped. This was several days ago so she had been separated. Integration went well. But every time it scabs up i guess anothe gal is picking. I saw you mentioned a Duct tape hat. I did a search on the Internet but didnt find anything. Would you have instructions for this? I hope you are enjoying the new chicks. It has been such fun to watch them. I can’t wait to see which ones will go to the nursing home

  12. I have 4 girls 2 are 10wks and 2 are 8wks. At first I put them all together when the 8wks were able to go outside.The 10wk ones cornered the 8wks and were pecking them, soooo I split them up but they can see and touch each other threw the fence. This has been about a week now. Today I put them together. At first they ignored each other, after about 10 mins the 10wks were pecking the 8wks AGAIN :( soooo its back to being split up. What am I doing wrong and what should I do …….PLEASE HELP ……..

    • What you’re doing sounds right. Understand that there will always be posturing and pecking, but it should subside quickly. Have you read my FAQs on pecking order and integrating new hens? Also, do you have enough space? It’s best to integrate on neutral turf, like a large backyard, and then put all back into the coop. Does the coop have enough space? The pen should have least 8 and preferably 11 square feet per bird. Less than that and you’ll have problems.

  13. I’ve been a big fan of Siouxsie and Tina from the start, and I was stunned to see Siouxsie in with the Gems! How did that happen? And why don’t you put a camera in their outdoor run?

    • You must have missed a few blog posts. The whole drama is written up. It’s been quite a soap opera here. As far as cameras go – I can’t have my whole property broadcast :) Also, this is very expensive to do. Each cam costs $500 and requires replacing every 2 years. The wiring in the Big Barn cost $5,000, and the income that I get from this blog hasn’t recouped the expenses. I’d love to put an underwater cam in the pond. One of these days!

  14. Well disaster resolved !!!! woke up this morning and somehow the 10wks (Lucy and Ethel) a RIR and a White Wyandotte must have wanted to be together with the 8wks (Lady Gaga and Janice Joplin = JJ) Easter Eggers ! somehow they got through the fence and were all getting along fine…….Soo all is well for now… funny never thought I would be blogging about chickens ! They really are making me chicken crazy !!!! I LOVE THEM

  15. I love learning about chicken behaviors. So glad you write posts like this because it covers issues that I’ll probably have to deal with someday. Thanks!

  16. Hi Terry, me again. Something I’ve questioned since watching the hencam is, do you trim your hens wings. On one hand, they look too small not to be trimmed, and on the other hand, if you are cutting them what a perfect cut line on all of them. So I can’t tell…. . .

      • Your chickens are beautiful and daily I think this. Beryl always looks like she just got back home from the salon. Thanks for answering. :)

  17. Iwas seeing Souxsie hanging out at that end and did see her in the end box the last few days. I just thought she was keeping out of everyone’s way. Sharing a nest box and laying an egg to boot! The saga continues.
    I was in my local co/op yesterday. They had the chicks corralled in a large horse watering trough. I was to early to see the little turkey poults. They were on the way. They also had one rabbit. It was fun to watch them all in action. Just like “chick cam”!