Sunday, March 25, 2012

Montagues and Capulets

The atmosphere around the yard has turned icy recently. Not due to the dipping temperatures, but the feud that has come about between the cocks. Gone are the days of letting the chickens out to free range all day as the farm yard has become a war zone. Recently the chicken rooster and the guinea hen cock have been at odds. I'm not sure what started the feud but it may be as simple as testosterone. Each of the boys are in their early twenties in fowl years I think, being they are about eight months old. Perhaps they are just sparing and if I were to let them get their fill then one would be the victor and peace would again be achieved. I'm afraid to try that though. Their fights are harsh and bloody. The chicken rooster sustaining most of the damage. Due in part to the large rose comb that covers his head like a permanent kepi.

The guinea cock has a horn that works well as a shield but he does have wattles that are fleshy and fragile.

 The guinea cock also has the two keets who act as offensive tackles flanking the guinea cock. They have an invisible line of scrimmage and take on the chicken rooster as if its fourth and ten with a goal in sight.

For the most part the chicken hens do not engage in battle. They stand at the sideline, watching the war, like paralyzed cheerleaders. For now the concept of free ranging involves herding the guineas into an enclosure and letting the chickens out for a few hours. I do wish they would all just get along.

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