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There's been a coup in the coop

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Beginning of this week I went out to the coop in the evening and discovered that there'd been a radical change in the power dynamic - Crowley beet the crap out of Romulus. I found Romulus hiding in a nesting box, scratched up and bleeding with two black eyes. janusdp may remember that Crowley even as a baby always did go for the face!

Crowley looks pretty rough, and I think if he had been able to see, Romulus would have won. But he can't. Right now his right eye is still swollen shut; he can open the left one but it's badly injured and there's no indication right now that he can actually see anything when it is open. amon_raven has been feeding him soup, because we can get him to take that, so far he hasn't tried to eat any solid food, and doesn't seem to recognize that it's there. (It's that BIG PAN of seed on your left, dude!)

He's otherwise healthy, and although resting and sleeping a lot, is waking up to preen his feathers and crow, so we're just waiting to see whether he'll recover any vision. Frankly, he should be soup, but Romulus has been a hell of a good rooster, and Crowley is only a year old, which means he could turn into a complete jackass this spring, and the only other male on the farm right now is Patches, who is cute but... well, Patches is really cute, yessiree. So if Crowley starts beating up on hens (or me!) we'll be up a creek until someone hatches another cock. So far he's been ok, but time will tell.

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On March 13th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC), sionnach_sidhe commented:
Wow, that's some serious action-adventure happenings for those chickens! I love the drama :)

Here's hoping that Romulus recovers well, and/or that a new cock develops without total jerk qualities. I gather that this is a pretty critical thing for the whole flock.
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On March 13th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC), bice replied:
Yeah, because they're totally free-range it really helps to have a rooster that will look out for them. But ever-picky, I'm grateful to Romulus for being both awesome with the ladies and also not giving me scars! Remus was a doll with the hens, very considerate, but he attacked people unpredictably. The original Romulus was cuddly and affectionate with people, but a total dictator in the coop - he wouldn't let the hens out, and when we'd go in to check on them they'd all be standing on their perches very straight and tall, and looking terrified! Romulus was a perfect balance. Crowley is Romulus' son, and his mommahen was awesome, so he's been well brought up and so far is looking promising - we just have to get through that thing where they hit full maturity, which sometimes comes with a personality change. Also we'll see how he does with the power rush that comes from winning this fight!

I let them out yesterday and Crowley stayed in the coop and crowed for about ten minutes before sticking his head out - I think he was afraid Romulus was waiting outside to pounce on him and beat the crap out of him. (Romulus is in the porch while he recuperates.)
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